Review: The Midnight Star (The Young Elites #3) by Marie Lu

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Title: The Midnight Star
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher/Year: Penguin Publishing 10/11/16
Length:   336 Pages
Series:  The Young Elites

Overview

The thrilling finale to the New York Times bestselling Young Elites series from “hit factory” Marie Lu

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.

My Thoughts

When we left all of these characters at the end of book 2, we saw that there was a huge divide, not only because Adelina’s powers have overcome not only herself but others, but there were deaths of beloved friends that followed.  Her powers have taken on such a dark twist that even her sister can’t be with her, and she’s fled along with others who were once not just best friends but necessary to survival.

In this final installment, we see a lot of things happening.  Adelina is on a mission to right what was wronged for so long, to rid the world of the word Malfetto and to make sure that all that are marked finally get the joy of life that they deserve with those who mock them being punished or killed.  She rules with a heavy hand for most of her time in order to make sure that people believe that she’s powerful, and it’s only through the help of Magiano, the guidance that he has been able to give because of emotions at play that we see that she’s able to turn the tides a bit and perhaps win people over with another side.

If that were only enough right?  If you remember, towards the end of the last book, we learned that it was the elite’s powers themselves that would cause them to become weak and die and we have seen that with Lucent and some of the others getting sick and weakening.  We see that Teren’s powers of healing are slowing and we knew that Adelina’s illusions were likely because of her own powers turning on her.  So in this finale we see them come to terms with the fact that in order to survive they need to give up their powers, but it’s not that easy.  We know that there are 12 gods that they consider to be important and they need representation of all of those gods to give the powers back.  That means that they have to bond together, elites that hate each other and are repulsed in the hopes that they can survive.

This is how Violetta and Adelina come back together.  Lucent and Queen Maeve along with the others.  it’s a sweet culmination to the story – to know that those who hate each other have to fight together to really survive.

What’s nice about this story is that we don’t get the happy ending that you were all hoping for.  Too many of our friends are killed on the quest for salvation, and that means that ironically there are quite a few broken hearts.  When we were able to raise them from the dead in the past, that’s something that Queen Maeve is no longer able to do because her powers are weak, and she now knows better.  So we see that there are consequences for her yes, but for Tristan and Enzo who were raised from the dead along with others that we wished could be revived.

I feel like we got an interesting finale to the series – it’s a bit different than the other installments as this one was based more in mythology than the others.  what i mean here is that we knew that the marked got their powers from the blood fever which is as a result of the descent-ion of a god, but we never spent that much time on it before.  In this final book though, we spend a lot of time getting to the root of things since that’s the only way that they determine that they can be saved, and while i like the thought here, i dont know that i’m necessarily a huge fan anymore of all of that stuff.  I spent a while reading angel type books (if you go back a year or 2 in my blog you’ll see that). it’s nice to see where things are derived, but i feel like it veered a bit off from the first 2 books.

Regardless, like i said, a bittersweet ending to this trilogy, but we get closure for most of the characters that we’ve spent a lot of time with.  I hope you enjoyed it and have a good weekend!

Review: The Rose Society (Young Elites #2) by Marie Lu

No-Brainer

Title:  Rose Society
Author: MArie Lu
Publisher/Year: Penguin Young Readers Group 10/13/15
Length:  291 pages
Series:  Young Elites #2

Overview

Once upon a time, a girl had a father, a prince, a society of friends. Then they betrayed her, and she destroyed them all.

Adelina Amouteru’s heart has suffered at the hands of both family and friends, turning her down the bitter path of revenge. Now known and feared as the White Wolf, she and her sister flee Kenettra to find other Young Elites in the hopes of building her own army of allies. Her goal: to strike down the Inquisition Axis, the white-cloaked soldiers who nearly killed her.

But Adelina is no heroine. Her powers, fed only by fear and hate, have started to grow beyond her control. She does not trust her newfound Elite friends. Teren Santoro, leader of the Inquisition, wants her dead. And her former friends, Raffaele and the Dagger Society, want to stop her thirst for vengeance. Adelina struggles to cling to the good within her. But how can someone be good, when her very existence depends on darkness?

My Thoughts

I love that this series is so different from Legend – and it’s dark.  I feel like while others by Ms Lu were optimistic, this one is just dark and foreboding.  Like the summary above says, we’re rejoined with Adelina after she’s been cast out of the Daggers, and her world is upside down.  Teren has killed Enzo, the prince of Kenettra and not only was he a royal, he and Adelina had something developing – a great bond that was torn.  It’s because of illusions and poor judgement calls and betrayal that led to his death and murder, and well now Adelina is left to figure out how she can gain a following and power to overthrow her once friends and avenge everything that’s ever been done.

Where we go on this 2nd installment is on a path of power and fear.  As the summary also says, Adelina’s powers are getting stronger – she knows what she’s capable of and the voices that are dark and fearsome in her head are really bringing her into her own.  Is it a good thing?  well i don’t know – i feel like there are moments throughout this story where you want to believe that she’s really after giving malfettos a better life – that she wants everyone who’s suffered to be able to be free, ye i think that as the story progresses, we see that she’s power hungry and she’s really after something for herself.

The way that this story is told is that each chapter is from a character’s point of view.  some get several in a row, but really what we have are Adelina, Raffaele, Maeve and a few others – showing what they are going through at a given time.

As everyone knows, there are more folks out there with powers as a result of the Blood Fever and Adelina is looking to gather some of her own to create her own army to overthrow the royals.  She’s found several that have amazing powers, some that have been cast out by The Daggers, and in turn she creates The Rose Society.  Along side her, her sister Violetta stands – with her own power that’s gradually getting stronger.  It’s a twist at the end – something that Violetta discovers that really turns things badly, and i think that it’s safe to say that where we usually end up on a cliff at the end of an installment wondering what’s next, it’s safe to say that Adelina and Violetta are in a bad place – and i wonder who’s going to end up alive, and on which side.

We see a new romance develop in a sense between Adelina and Magiano, another Elite, however it’s the raising of Enzo from the underworld that complicates things again.  While he was brought back from the dead and there’s a bond between him and Adelina since he’s tied to her to stay alive, there’s a darkness there that makes things that much worse.  He learns what happened when he was killed and that puts him against Adelina. There are several others that die, and several others that are changing alliances.

Personally, i can’t wait to see what happens.  We know that Adelina is power hungry and gets what she wants, but what’s the sacrifice especially when everyone turns their back on her.  I wonder if there’s hope for any romance for anyone here, and i wonder if the little bit of information that Violetta found will come true.  It would be a shame but it’s valid.

So on that note, enjoy this sci fy esque series – and have a great weekend!

Review: The Young Elites (The Young Elites #1) by Marie Lu

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Title: The Young Elites
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher/Year: Penguin Group 10/7/14
Length: 266
Series: The Young Elites #1

Overview

I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.
Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.

My Thoughts

I’m so happy that this new series from such a great author is so different than what we had before.  There’s really no sense of time from this one so it’s not classified as dystopian in my mind – which is nice as well.  Based on the overview, you can see that you’re going to get a story that centers around 2 different sides – 3 different people so to speak.  And while that’s a system that’s worked in the past for Ms. Lu – i’m glad that we got it again.

In this story, we are introduced to Adelina when she’s 16 yrs old, and a mulfatto –  a survivor of a disease that scares everyone with it’s after effects.  She’s got outward scars and marks from it, while her younger sister had the same disease and yet doesn’t have any marks.  There’s a thought that some survivors have special powers – and those with powers are known as Young Elites.  Adelina’s father feels that her own redeeming quality would be if she had a power, yet she doesn’t.  It’s not until one night when she’s forced to run away from home that she discovers that she actually does have powers – which results in the murder of her father, and her imprisonment.

That’s where our story crosses the path of the 2 other characters noted above.  Telen is the inquisitor who’s to execute Adelina, and Enzo is the one to swoop in and save her, since he’s actually a Young Elite.  From there on, the story goes down a path of trying to rein in Adelina’s powers and find a way for the other mulfatto’s to be free and survive.

The underlying story here is really nice – we get the coming of age stuff that we usually get in the genre, yet we also get to see how there’s more to life than power.  Adelina develops friendships with some of the Daggers – the members of the Young Elite group that she’s taken in by – and that in itself is a nice story.  While we see that there’s a constant power play with trust among everyone, we see that it’s a dynamic that Adelina craves – almost as much as what her power stems from.

The other nice dynamic is the romance / non romance with Enzo and Rafaelle.  Enzo is the potential interest that has a draw that’s more than just friendship  but we never know what’s going to come of it.  Rafaelle however has a draw that’s from something that’s not tangible, and he’s the constant that Adelina needs.

It’s only when Telen comes into the fold and tries to use Adelina that things go awry.  So where we go for the rest of the story is a nice mix of fantasy, anxiety, angst (romance of course) and curiosity of who’s going to continue on.  True to form, some of the mains that we love throughout the book don’t make it to the end, and i have to say that i’m bummed about one in particular.  It makes me question where the rest of the series will go, but given the sneak peak epilogue, i think that there’s going to be a twist introduced that will keep me excited.  so…what does that mean for me?  i have to wait for book 2 to come out and i don’t know when that will be just yet.  I hope you guys try this one out – its true to form of the great writing that we’ve come to expect and experience from Marie Lu.