The Midnight Star (A Young Elites Novel) Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-10-10 
Review Score: 5 out of 5 star From 24 user ratings


“We cannot just die, not without trying. Not without fighting.”

3 1/2 stars. Listen, I'm not the biggest fan of Marie Lu. I think her books tend to follow the path of other YA series a little too closely - especially Legend - and her style is too quick, choppy, and lacking in detail for my taste.

But, for the most part, I was still able to enjoy The Young Elites trilogy because it was full of so much goodness (and badness) that overrode the clichés and amateur writing. Mainly the characters, dark setting, and political elements kept me hooked.

Though I think the first book will remain my favorite in this trilogy, The Midnight Star was a solid conclusion. It managed to elicit so much emotion from me, I liked the twisty, evil ending, and though the plot wasn't the strongest, it was darker than ever.

Adelina is at an all new low, her Elite power overtaking her and driving her to madness. She is now a queen known as the White Wolf and rules with fury and pain, striking down anyone who so much as utters the word "malfetto." The plot focuses on Adelina retrieving her sister, Violetta, who is being held captive, and making a deal with the gods in the Underworld to bring peace between the divided world.

I love the characters in this series. When I became lost as to what was happening in the story, antiheroes such as Adelina, Magiano, and Raffaele remained strong. I think some of them could have used more development, but they were unique, utterly corrupt, and - sob - Marie Lu wasn't afraid to kill them off. The setting was also awesome: a fantasy world set in a medieval-like time era full of burnings at the stake, traveling by ship, and war.

This book was a fast, dark read full of mythology. I loved the paragraphs included at the beginning of each chapter that had to do with this world. I don't regret reading this trilogy and will savor all the nasty grittiness." said.

""We can all do better."
We can all do better.

So, here I am, feeling emo as fuck after that ending.


Things I expected from The Midnight Star:

some sort of a happy, or at least, meaningful ending
lots of epicness and crazy battles
something different that wasn't in the other books

What I got:

Well, I definitely got something new/different from this book.... a boring first half. There's a lot of words I could use to describe this series, and I never thought boring would be one of them. I literally felt like nothing happened in the first 50%- nothing of importance anyway.

Lots of battles or epicness? Not reaaally. I mean very few people can fight Adelina, and even less want to. And there was like two scenes where I thought things would get crazy, but still.. the scenes were short and boring.

The ending... no spoilers here, but it left me partially regretting starting the series. I didn't feel anything for a good 90% of the book and then suddenly.. PAIN. Nothing that I wanted to happen actually happened, and I'm cool with that, but either way everything felt meaningless. I'm literally not elaborating on this at all because I don't want to ruin anything for anyone, so if you wanna know what happens: continue reading.


(view spoiler)" said.

"4.5 stars.

***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

The Midnight Star by Marie Lu
Book Three of The Young Elites series
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 11, 2016
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

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 that she’s achieved.

Adelina’s forced to revisit old wounds when a new danger appears, putting not only Adelina at risk, but every Elite and the very world they live in. In order to save herself and 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.

Bestselling author Marie Lu concludes Adelina's story with this haunting and hypnotizing final installment to the Young Elites series.

What I Liked:

***SPOILER-FREE REVIEW. There may be spoilers if you haven't read The Young Elites or The Rose Society, but you're safe in terms of The Midnight Star.***

The Midnight Star is an intense, dark, and thrilling conclusion to a fascinating and utterly unique fantasy series. I am blown away by Marie Lu's storytelling, her writing, and her stories in general. I don't typically read books so dark (at least in Young Adult), but I couldn't resist this series. And I'm glad I didn't - it was a magnificent and heartbreaking trilogy.

This final novel starts about a year or so after the end of The Rose Society (so it's been about two years since the beginning of The Young Elites). Adelina is suffering from the voices and hallucinations and nightmares, even more so than usual. But she's also very successful in her conquests - she is now the Queen of the Sealands, and she wants more. But every newly conquered territory fails to have what Adelina is looking for - her sister, who fled. And every new territory brings more and more assassination attempts, and more cruelty from Adelina. But there is a growing danger that is bigger than conquering lands and finding Violetta, and Adelina will find herself in the middle of the problem. To stop this growing chaos, she must learn to trust the Daggers that she has grown to hate. Sacrifices must be made, lives must be lost, and darkness will threaten to consume Adelina and the world, once and for all.

Upon finishing this book, I was speechless. My heart hurt, but it was also full to bursting. This book is not a happy and fluffy novel. There is only one way that this book could end (with variations), and it could not involve a cookie-cutter perfect HEA. I love how Lu put everything together, how she led readers to the ending, how everything fell apart and then bonded again.

Adelina gets more and more... villainous, shall we say? She's an antihero, a villain in this series. She's a cruel queen; she makes the laws very lenient for the marked, but harsh to the point of death for the unmarked. For all the times that she was hurt by the unmarked, she wants them to suffer by the hands of the marked. Adelina has become a ruthless tyrant, and everything fears her, hates her, and/or wants to kill her. Those who serve her, can they be trusted?

And yet, even though Adelina is quite the villain, we can clearly see just how human she once was, and still is. In her heart, she is doing what she thinks is right, but she is not naive or misguided. She wants to do right by the marked, which means punishing the unmarked (in her mind). We see her struggling with her hallucinations, with her unstable powers, with her feelings for Magiano and her grip on humanity. Honestly, as tyrannical and cruel as Adelina was in this book, she was also extremely human. My heart broke for her over and over. She deteriorates slowly but surely, in terms of her power (and her mind, a little), and it's sad to see how she lets her Elite power and her political power get to her.

This book is told in Adelina's first-person POV, as well as Raffaele's third-person POV. There are one or two chapters that are written in another character's third-person POV, but Adelina's first-person and Raffaele's third-person POV are the most important and most prevalent ones. I loved reading from Adelina's POV, but I also liked seeing another perspective. This mode of storytelling isn't my favorite (dual POV is fine but switching from first- to third-person is a little weird), but I think it works well in this trilogy.

The cast of secondary characters is relatively the same as in the previous books, with a few new ones here and there. I loved Magiano - he is probably my favorite character in the book. I need to reread The Young Elites and see how he came about in the series (I remember him from The Rose Society but not The Young Elites). Violetta is important in this book, but not present all the time. I didn't love her or hate her. Magiano and Sergio, are two of the best characters in this book.

I love Lu's writing, and the world-building of this book. Lu has a quality of writing that isn't quite lyrical, but it flows so well and has a rhythm to it. And her craftsmanship is so perfect - the world-building, the characters, the setting, the plot. Seriously, I'm having trouble finding flaws (not that I'm looking for them, specifically!).

There is romance in this book, and it's probably the strongest and most shippiest in this book than the other two. If you've read The Young Elites and The Rose Society, then you know the pair... Adelina and Magiano. There are some really sweet scenes in this book, which you wouldn't expect because Adelina is so ruthless. Magiano loves her, and while Adelina is purposeful in her cruelty, she loves him too.

I won't say a word about the ending, or even the plot and major events leading up to the climax... just know that you will be interested and hanging on to the edge of your seat and wanting to know how things will end. The ending crept up on me and I knew it was going to happen. But I liked how it happened. Lu knows how to deliver a powerful ending that is equal parts dark and light.

What I Did Not Like:

This isn't something negative about the book, but more of a suggestion - I highly recommend doing a reread of The Young Elites and The Rose Society (or at least The Rose Society) before reading this one. Lu does a good job of getting us back into the story (with recall and whatnot), but it would be immensely helpful to reread the books!

Would I Recommend It:

I highly recommend this book, and series in general. It is a very dark series (seriously though. Adelina is all kinds of cruel and cold), so if you're not into antiheroes and such, then maybe don't go for this one. And if you need a perfect HEA, then maybe avoid the series. The ending is good though, and it's exactly what the series needed. In any case, this is a really well-written fantasy series, and one that I'll be thinking about for a long time.


4.5 stars. I'm rounding down to 4 stars (I have to, given certain things that I liked but didn't like but can't say here because spoilers), but I really enjoyed this book. I think it's my favorite of the series? It's hard to say. All of the books were so good!

April 2016 EDIT: COVER!!!!!!!

I. Need. It. Dyyyyiiiiinnnngggg from The Rose Society.

Did you see my review of The Rose Society ? GO SEE WHY I AM DYING.


EDIT (January 19th, 2016): WE HAVE A TITLE!!!! The Midnight Star!!!!


" said.

"Told you, I love the first two books, they are dark and intense in the way that I like and enjoy very much. But this book? I found the plot not that interesting. The book is shot, but take me quite long to finish. How can this happen??? I feel like the characters kinda lack their fascinating persinalities which I love, or maybe the story is just so-so that it didnt grab me.

In spite of I LOVE the characters in this series, but after I face their fates (view spoiler)" said.

" On 10/13/15 I just finished the Rose Society, what do I do with my life. Whispers in my head "You wait a year for your little White Wolf to come back and kill more people."1/25/16This has a name now.Cool.10/12/16I just finished Midnight Star, what do I do with my life. Whispers in my head "Look at the stars for the White Wolf" " said.


“You are a light,” she replies gently. “And when you shine, you shine bright.”

I'm speechless. The ending is purely beautiful and inspirational. I loved Magiano, Adelina and Sergio, these characters are virile and push the story forward efficiently that I can't see how this book can be this good without them. Marie Lu managed to link the myth of Gods and Goddesses with the superpowers of the Elites very well, power always comes with a prize and it must be paid sooner or later.

This was all the feels before I started reading The Midnight Stars. My heart was full of darkness. I wanted to see Adelina exact her revenge and claim what she wanted, but at some point, I felt it overwhelmed me, the darkness was so thick and crushed my lungs until it was hard to breath. There're many unnecessary fillers made me question the things that happened in this book without foreshadowing, too, and this is why The Midnight Star is my least favorite of all.

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

One year passed since The Rose Society and Adelina built her kingdom on blood and cruelty. She gets what she wants, yet she always wants more. I had a hunch then that this was going to be her downfall, and I've never guessed wrong. Adelina is beyond redemption as Raffaele tells Violetta. Her heart is so rotten, and I didn't understand why Magiano was still beside her. Perhaps he loves her ? I think so. But there's something between their relationship making me speculate that Magiano is the only one who loves Adeliana, but on the other hand she fool herself heavily that she loves him. Despite the fact that she's just lonely and wants somone to hold on to, in my opinion, her love for Magiano is not real.

As for Terren, his obsession for his queen is deep and struck me in my chest for what he's done for human racial purity. I get attached to his charcter more than the others, even Enzo, his dark side is palpable and captured my attention entirely. Magiano, I loved his playful side, and the way he soothes Adelina broke my heart. His development slowly proceeds, which showed me that I didn't ship the wrong guy.

“She walks to the boy, tilts her head up at him, and smiles. He bends down to kiss her. Then he helps her onto the horse, and she rides away with him to a faraway place, until they can no longer be seen.”

Although Violetta is not my favorite character, she still steals the scene in this book. Her character is a conflict to her sister's wicked mind. While Adelina wants to find her sister among the war she wages, she still blames her for what happened in the last book. This confused me sometimes, yet I could understand why she was like this.

“Even now, decades later, I fear nothing so much as the open ocean at night, with darkness stretching around me in every direction.”

The actual rating of The Midnight Star isn't 4 stars after all, it's more like 3.85 stars for me if I compared this with The Young Elites. But I still enjoyed it. It's a perfect ending to this unputdownable series." said.


“Some say that, once upon a time, she had a prince, a father, a society of friends. Others say that she was once a wicked queen, a worker of illusions, a girl who brought darkness across the lands. Still others say that she once had a sister, and that she loved her dearly. Perhaps all of these are true.”

I absolutely adore this entire series and for me, this was a fairly satisfying conclusion to the trilogy. I think Marie Lu is great at endings, she leaves them open-ended enough you can add to the world in your head beyond the story, but closed enough you have closure and aren't wondering what happened to all the characters. So I definitely appreciated the ending of this series, it wrapped up most of the story and the characters well, but my main disappointment is that I felt some characters stories were left a little hanging and the storyline took a weird direction which I didn't feel was foreshadowed enough.

One of my first issues with this book was that the ending took a little turn towards a plot direction that seemed out of place to me. While the first two books focussed on the characters, and especially Adelina's quest for power, the third introduced a complication and fantasy element that wasn't explored much until this book. While it was foreshadowed a tiny bit at the end of The Rose Society, I still felt a little thrown off when this element came into play - and plot wise it did feel a little messy. It's easy to recover from, and it's not like it's so totally wild it ruined the story, but I did think it threw things off a little.

My other complaint was that I was a little dissatisfied with some of the charaters storylines - specifically Enzo's and Raffaele's and Mauve and Lucents. Raffaele and Enzo just deserved more closure and I wanted more about what happened to Raffaele after - and Mauve and Lucent weren't in it enough.

“You cannot harden your heart to the future just because of your past. You cannot use cruelty against yourself to justify cruelty to others.”

But beside all that I really liked the conclusion to this trilogy. The characters remained as diabolical and twisted as they were earlier in the series - Adelina's arc came to a conclusion in a way I was really satisfied with, and I also really liked the addition of Magiano and his role in this book.

I've always praised this book for it's ambiguous characters and morally grey situations and that trend definitely continues throughout this series. Characters make decisions and change their behaviours and it's definitely open to discussion as to who deserved their ending, who didn't and who is truly good or evil. I love that about this series, and I love that Marie Lu didn't give us definitive answers. The beautify of this series is it's ambiguity and how open-ended it is. I'm so glad Marie Lu maintained that to the end.

The ending of this book is very controversial, but I personally was okay with it and it left me satisfied. This entire series I hold so close to my heart, and I wish less people dnf'ed it right at the start before it really gets good.

This series is full of flawed, complex characters who aren't all trying to make the right decision. It subverts so many tropes and presents us with characters who are motivated by greed, anger, hate, jealousy and fear, but also love and want and a sharp desire for justice. Truly, I think this is one of the most original series in ya, with characters who don't fit into the typical YA tropes but exist for their own benefit and act in a way that purely is to satisfy their own needs. On top of that it has amazing representation, worldbuiding and plot which never got boring for me.

I know I am literally the LAST person to read this series, but if you still haven't you definitely should. It's one of my favourite series now and I couldn't recommend it highly enough.

“You are a light,” she replies gently. “And when you shine, you shine bright.”

" said.

" I refuse to accept this ending, goodbye. " said.

November 2017 New Book:

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