I’m a huge fan of Marie Lu’s The Young Elites trilogy, so I was THRILLED to be invited to participate in the blog tour for The Midnight Star! Then, unfortunately, I had a medical emergency, and I did the worst thing imaginable – I MISSED MY TOUR DATE – I feel so bad about this, because I seriously LOVEd this book and I want to promote the heck out of it! I hope this will inspire those of you who haven’t picked up this wonderful series yet, to do so, and those of you who have read the first two books to run out and grab The Midnight Star ASAP.
I’ve never been very fond of unlikable narrators, and I doubt there’s a better way to describe Adelina, but despite her obvious personality defects, she’s the kind of character that can carry a series. I’ve always found her darkness to be just light enough that I’m compelled to see what she’ll do next, and her encounters with her fellow Elites have gotten bolder and more treacherous as the series has gone on. To be honest, she is far from my favorite character, but that doesn’t mean I hate her. There is something to be said for how deeply honest she is about her flaws, and I’ve found her descent into madness over the first two books to be quite a wild (and enjoyable ride).
So The Midnight Star opens with her sitting on the bloody throne of Kenettra, having just chased Violetta away for [maybe] good. She’s basically just alone with the psycho-killer voices in her head and her own fears and paranoia. She does what any good formerly-oppressed-now-oppressing dictator would do – turns all the laws around to make sure those who are not malfettos will suffer simply for not being marked/formerly hating on the marked. It’s cruel and twisted and absolutely brilliant in a Game of Thrones kind of way.
One of the things I liked best about this book was the fact that it felt a lot like some epic fantasy journey. There wasn’t as much fighting, and we get all our favorite Elites to work together for a common purpose, which I enjoyed. Raffaele and Magiano are probably my two favorite characters in the entire series, and I loved getting to have quite a lot of both of them throughout the story. Raffaele realizes that the Elites are going to have to work together with Adelina if they have any chance of stopping the Underworld from seeping into the land of the living for good, and instead of just killing all of her old frenemies, Adelina has to face the choice of either letting everything be destroyed or working together with them.
Adelina is the ultimate complex villain. She’s seriously unstable, more so than even in The Rose Society (and I didn’t think she could get much crazier than she towards the end of that book), which makes her think and act far differently from what you’d expect. I love how that kept this story flowing, and made the whole adventure much more fun to follow. You just never know what she’s going to choose next, and that meant I was on the edge of my seat, and biting the heck out of my fingernails throughout the book. This isn’t the kind of story you pick up “just to read a few pages” – trust me, you’ll be haunted by “What comes next?” until you sit down and finish it.
But truly guys, the VERY BEST part of The Midnight Star happens at the end. OH MY GOSH THAT ENDING WILL DESTROY YOU AND REBUILD YOU AND THEN DESTROY YOU AGAIN IN THE BEST POSSIBLE WAY. #SorryNotSorry for the major caps lock there, because I don’t honestly believe there is any other way to describe the ending of this trilogy without a heavy dose of ALL CAPS. Every single moment in The Underworld slayed me. I could not get enough of it. If Marie Lu decides to write an entire series based in the Underworld of The Young Elites series, I would pre-order it, champion it, and devour it in a heartbeat. It was my favorite setting of the whole series, usurping the bathhouses from The Rose Society for the prime real estate of my heart.
Despite my complicated love-hate feelings for Adelina, I really wanted her and Violetta and Magiano (okay, especially Magiano) to have a happy ending. I mean, in the end it’s technically not Adelina’s fault that she’s consumed by darkness and insanity, is it? If she had never been marked she might have lived a perfectly content life, free from using fear to control those around her. At least, that’s my opinion. But throughout The Midnight Star I just could not conceive of any way in which she would get a truly happy ending, not with the this book staying true to the series, anyway.
I should never have doubted Marie Lu though. That woman knows how to craft the perfect ending, and she outdid herself with this one. You will cry and laugh and rejoice and cry some more. Violetta gets the ending she deserves. Adelina gets the hero’s ending she desperately needs. And MAGIANO. Oh my poor, sweet, darling magical thief, Magiano. His ending is perfect – bittersweet and perfect. As soon as I finished it, I couldn’t help but think that it could never have ended any other way.
I can’t wait to hear your thoughts – be sure to share them with me here, on twitter, or on instagram. I would love to fangirl with y’all!
“To those who, in spite of everything, still choose goodness” (Isn’t this the BEST dedication?)
“You cannot harden your heart to the future just because of your past. You cannot use cruelty against yourself to justify cruelty to others.”
“After a lifetime of darkness, I want to leave something behind that is made of light.”
“We were never meant to exist. And we will never exist again. But we cannot take the entire world with us. No matter how it has wronged us.”