Book Review: “The Midnight Star” by Marie Lu

Cover art for "The Midnight Star" by Marie Lu.

Warning: If you have not read “The Midnight Star” by Marie Lu, do not read this review unless you’re okay with spoilers!

I’m back with another book review, and this time it’s “The Midnight Star” by Marie Lu!

It’s been a long while since I touched on the Young Elites trilogy, and it was about time I reached the end. I’ve already reviewed the first two books, “The Young Elites” and “The Rose Society,” so I’m glad to finally pick up the third book (after many failed attempts to borrow from the library last year)! Here’s a summary so we know what it’s about:

“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.”

After being so thrilled by “The Young Elites” and “The Rose Society,” I was utterly disappointed with reading this third book. It wasn’t straight up horrible, but it definitely was not as good as the first two books. Let me count the ways as of why:

  1. So many characters could have been developed more.

Magiano got his backstory touched upon, as well as Teren, but their backstories together were only about six pages in total, and far too simple. I was hoping for something much more complex and interesting that added to their personalities! Also, Magiano became very much a generic love interest in this book compared to “The Rose Society,” and so he wasn’t exactly as fun to read this time around.

As for Teren, there should have been so much more of his point of view. He only got, say, one chapter, and that was spent solely to discuss his three-page backstory. It would have been nice to see, from his point of view, how he felt about Adelina eventually asking him to join forces with her and such. I loved what interactions he did get with Adelina and the others, but there should have been so much more.

Maeve and Lucent felt underdeveloped, despite what chapters they got together, and I think it’s mainly because the plot just got too much in the way and overrode what character and personalities they had.

  1. The character deaths? They were all underwhelming.

Violetta dies. Teren dies. Enzo dies. Adelina dies, but it’s to bring Violetta back to life. All of the deaths (save for Teren’s) were a bit….too predictable. I won’t elaborate on how Violetta, Teren and Enzo die, because that spoils too much, but still.

  1. Adelina got way too soft in this book compared to her development in the first two.

She constantly got nightmares, which eventually felt way too overdone in the book. I know it’s a horrible side-effect of her powers and we’re supposed to feel something for her despite the villainess she became in “The Rose Society,” but I honestly just couldn’t connect with her. I liked her better when she was this cold, venomous queen that she became in the past book much better than how she was portrayed in this book.

  1. The magic/religion elements just got…weird?

They didn’t exactly make the most sense, overall. I feel like the mythology/religion/magic elements were meant to add to the world-building, but it honestly raised more questions for me than answers.

Despite all of these really unfortunate points, I did like the character interactions, particularly Teren and Adelina’s interactions. Teren and Adelina always have this creepy-weird chemistry that I will never romantically ship because that would be horrifically abusive, but I swear they are forever destined to be enemies or frenemies. I wished there were more of their interactions.

Overall, I’m going to have to give this book 1.5 out of 5 stars.

I hate giving such a low rating for the finale of a trilogy that’s so well-done in its first two books, but I was honestly too disappointed to give this book anything higher.

For the trilogy overall, I will rate this 3 out of 5 stars!

This is mainly due to how disappointing I felt this book was compared to the other two, or else the rating would be higher. I still recommend reading this trilogy, but I do think that one can probably get away with just stopping the series after the second book.

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