Friday, November 18, 2016

#Saturday Review - The Midnight Star by Marie Lu #YALit #Fantasy

Series: The Young Elites, # 3
Format: Hardcover, 316 pages
Release Date: October 11, 2016
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons BYR
Source: Library
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

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.

The Midnight Star, by author Marie Lu, is the third and final installment in The Young Elites trilogy. As we open the final chapter in the trilogy, Adelina Amoutera, the White Wolf, and Queen of Kenettra, has been busy conquering one country after the other after being left behind by her sister Violetta a year ago. But, Adelina is being affected by voices, hallucinations, and nightmares, along with a group of insurgents who want her dead.  

The Midnight Star weaves its story around not only Adelina, but Raffael, and Queen Maeve as well. When Lu chose to make Adelina the anti-hero of this series, I don't think she did it lightly or without knowing how she was going to wrap it all up once it was over. It was a choice that has put Adelina up against her former friends the Daggers, while aligning with her own Roses Magiano, and Sergio. Adelina's pain at being left behind by Violetta is real, but her anger has found a new calling. She has made laws putting down the unmarked, and making them feel what the blood fever infected have been dealing with for the last decade. 

Adelina is an anti-hero who Lu tries hard not to make sympathetic to readers, but comes up short, not because she didn't try hard enough. But, because we know that Adelina has faced difficult situations for the past 10 years that have molded her into what she's become. Adelina as Queen is brutal. She treats the unmarked as nothing but footnotes in her desire to punish them for how they treated her, and others affected by the blood fever. When warned by Raffaele that the Young Elites are in danger of dying young, including her sister, she still has feelings from being betrayed. 

Yet, because of her connection to Violetta, a connection that has remained rock solid despite all that has happened between them, she puts her hurt feelings aside and agrees to join forces to save the world. Even if that right thing ends up being no the way she thought her life would turn out. From the moment that Adelina, Magiano, Violetta, Maeve, Teren, Raffael, & Lucent travel to the Dark of Night, and then to the Underworld, things got really interesting. Here is where Raffael's testing comes into play. 

Unfortunately, due to internet spoilers, I already figured out that several characters would face his or her mortality in a way that would leave me feeling uncomfortable. I am not going to angrily scream that Lu made a bad choice in who she chooses to write off, or why it happened. There are several interesting romances that have taken place in this series. Adelina and Magiano. Maeve and Lucent. Even, Violetta had hopes for a happy ending. I don't mind how the story ended. I feel for certain characters, but will not throw a hissy fit because of Lu's choice at how to end things.

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