Adelina has conquered a nation and set herself up as queen. She had made something of herself despite her history. She is fearsome and will do whatever it takes to make sure that her reign expands across the lands.
But something is wrong. Adelina can feel it. And when the Elites send a message to her, she has to decide whether or not to help them fight something no one understands.
I wanted to finish this series before Marie Lu's next book came out, so I made sure to read this during BookTubeAThon.
I ended up listening to most of this on audiobook because I read this during one of my super busy weeks before I left for college. The audiobook helped me get through the story pretty quickly, and also allowed me to finish the book without carrying a physical book around. I have no idea why I felt this was important to mention, but it did kickstart my use of my Audible account again.
The book was pretty good, but definitely not my favorite in the trilogy. I think the first book will always be my favorite, for reasons that I can't explain lest I spoil those of you who have yet to read the first book (in which case, why are you reading this review?)
The plot moved at a good pace, as can be expected of a Marie Lu novel, but the main problem that I had was with the characters. I started to lose my connection to them and their desires, which I didn't have a problem with in the first two books. This was the first time in ages that it had happened to me. Maybe it's because this was one of the first audiobooks I'd listened to in ages, thus making it harder for me to connect with the characters, but I just didn't feel it.
As the story got closer and closer to the end, I realized that there really was only one direction for it to go in. To me, the ending was really obvious and I felt no effect from it. Several people have said that it made them happy or sad, but I really felt very little. In no way is that Marie Lu's fault, I just think that with the kind of story this is, it was hard to see the ending go in any other direction. Part of me wishes that the ending had a greater impact on me, but since I started falling away from the trilogy in the second book, I also don't really mind that I felt really neutral about the end.
For me, this isn't quite up to par to her Legend trilogy. I have yet to read Warcross, so I'll have to see if I like that better than this trilogy too (I have a strong suspicion that I will).
I've always quite like Adalina because she's very real about her desires. It's not about being the good kid or the nice girl - she's not afraid to go after who and what she wants. However, I felt something lacking in her throughout this book, and that made it harder for me to care when she started making decisions and doing things that I didn't necessarily agree with.
Even though I'm reviewing this months after I read the book, I don't really know how to talk about the rest of the characters without spoiling the entire trilogy. For the sake of keeping you spoiler-free, I'm not going to talk about them.
4 stars. I still like this series, but I don't know how I feel about recommending it to people. If this interests you, I think it's worth checking out, but it's not a must-read.