Review: The Midnight Star by Marie Lu

The Midnight Star (The Young Elites #3)
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons BYR
Publication Date: October 11, 2016
Pages: 316
Format: Hardcover/Own

There was once a time when darkness shrouded the world, and the darkness had a queen.

Adelina Amouteru is done suffering. She’s turned her back on those who have betrayed her and achieved the ultimate revenge: victory. Her reign as the White Wolf has been a triumphant one, but with each conquest her cruelty only grows. The darkness within her has begun to spiral out of control, threatening to destroy all she’s gained.

When a new danger appears, Adelina’s forced to revisit old wounds, putting not only herself at risk, but every Elite. In order to preserve her empire, Adelina and her Roses must join the Daggers on a perilous quest—though this uneasy alliance may prove to be the real danger.

*Spoilers if you haven't read the first two books, or the ending to this*

Review: Well, this was not the ending I was expecting. At all. Overall, I did enjoy the book, it just didn't go in the direction I thought it was exactly. It was a bit different than I thought it was going to be like. I do think this was a decent end to the series. Not the best ending, but a decent one nonetheless. 

I was torn on Adelina in this book. She becomes darker still. She is losing control over herself. She's letting the voices and illusions drag her deeper into darkness. She kills more and more people with no regret. There was such an emphasis on how bad it was that Maeve was trying to use Enzo to get control over Kenettra in TRS, but yet Adelina is conquering other countries in this. How did she think that was different? She's become more paranoid because of the voices. She's starting to think that literally everyone could be against her, even those trying their hardest to keep her safe and stand by her. She even starts to refuse to believe things she KNOWS is the truth because of the voices. She's seeing the elites deteriorate in front of her, she's being told by a number of people, including Raffaele with proof that they are going to die if they keep their powers but she still fights it. She refuses to believe it because of the voices telling her they are wrong and deceiving her. It takes so much convincing and literally watching Enzo die again because the darkness of the underworld overtook him to finally get her to see the truth. I wasn't a super big fan of her outright stubbornness with this. I was actually getting pretty annoyed with the voices. I was actually pretty happy when in the second half of the book, she starts ignoring the voices because she can see she isn't being deceived by those around her. 

I was actually super happy with the Adelina/Magiano relationship in this book. I love that despite the darkness, Adelina knew what she felt for Magiano was real and true. I loved how he stood by her even while the darkness was overtaking her. I love that even though he clearly disliked some of her actions and decisions, he still stood his ground next to her. He would not abandon her like Violetta did. He was the light in her darkness. It was beautiful. 

I was disappointed however that Adelina and Violetta's issues weren't resolved until the very end, and even that, not actually resolved. Adelina finds Violetta with the Daggers within the first 1/3 of the book. They spent a fair amount of time together venturing the the Dark of Night. With Violetta dying and Adelina not even being sure they'll make it out of the Underworld once they get their to fix the opening between the worlds, you'd think they'd make more of an effort to fix things with each other. Nope. We get glimpses here and there about how scared they were of losing each other after certain near death experiences, but they never deal with their issues and resolve it. I was really disappointed in the fact the sisters were so stubborn that they wouldn't even forgive each other when they are literally going to face death herself. 

I definitely think Teren's small ARC came full circle in this. He went from hunting Adelina and killing malfetto's in TYE. To losing himself in his obsession to protect the queen and defy orders regarding malfetto's in TRS. To being locked up, offered a chance to rid himself of his malfetto powers, and doing what he thought was right in TMS. When Adelina offered him the chance to join their group to seal the crack between the worlds, he saw it as his chance for redemption. Even though he despised every one he had to work with, he still went and even protected them for the chance at it. And I think in the end, with how he goes out, he did indeed get that redemption he was seeking.

The ending was really what made me not enjoy the book as much. The Roses and the Daggers make their way to the Dark of Night and the Underworld to fix the opening between both worlds. I thought it had a lot of meaning that almost everyone was willing to give up their powers if it meant saving the rest of the world from death. Adelina of course needed more coaxing to give up her powers. It's just what Adelina does after. She gave up her powers in hopes it would make Violetta come back from her death on the mountain since her soul was tied to her to get into the Underworld. When that doesn't happen Adelina just gives up her life in order to let Violetta live. She trades places. I kinda felt betrayed by this ending. While yes, I thought it was incredibly meaningful and pretty much Adelina's redemption doing this, I also felt like we had Adelina's story built up for nothing. We get so attached to her and wanting her to overcome her darkness and be a good ruler and end up with Magiano and all of that was taken away. We end up with Violetta instead. And apparently she's allowed to take Adelina's place on the throne. While I get the immense significance of Adelina's sacrifice, I felt  disappointed that in the end we don't get to see her after giving up the powers. We built up the entire series around her only to end up with Queen Violetta in the end. And all we get of Adelina in the end is the gods making her into a constellation? I just felt like we got jipped building everything around Adelina to not have her alive at the end and see her without the darkness.

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