Series : Shatter Me
Volume : #3 of 6+
Year Published : 2014
Genre : YA, Romance, Dystopian, Sci-Fi
Formats : eBook / Paperback / Hardcover / Audiobook
# of Pages : 409 pages (Hardcover)
With Omega Point destroyed, Juliette doesn’t know if the rebels, her friends, or even Adam are alive. But that won’t keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all. Now she must rely on Warner, the handsome commander of Sector 45. The one person she never thought she could trust. The same person who saved her life. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world . . . but that’s not all he wants with her.
I flew through this book, it’s a vast improvement over the second though I was pretty much in a consistently obsessed zone through books 1-3, they all kind of flow seamlessly together and are ideal for marathoning. The audiobook and narration continue to be effective. Juliette no longer wallows in angst (or at least less than she did in book 2) and I notice the sort of poetic writing has also receded in favor of more tight and eventful plotting.
I like the first half more than the second half. The fighting, the drama, Kenji and everything about him and his thoughts on all the situations, it was just utterly entertaining with lots of great dialogue. There are some shocking shifts in the romance portion, with Juliette making some surprising, satisfying new decisions that have been alluded to (and basically, in the making) since book one.
The last half is more plot-driven, with a dramatic (if somewhat abrupt) finale that is rife with intensity and much more action-oriented than this series usually is. This was originally meant to be the final book, but the author decided to expand things by another three books which is a great decision since there is still a lot of room for growth.
More Spoiler-ey Section (Mainly me rambling about the romance aspect.)
I want to preface several of the following critiques by stating that Ignite Me is probably the best book in the series. If you’ve liked things up to this point, it is definitely worth checking out and closes the main arc of the plot up pretty nicely.
So, given that this is the third book, there are a lot more involved points worth talking about that would unfortunately somewhat spoil events of the prior books.
Mafi does something very unique with the love triangle situation- something I’ve only seen one other YA author do. She takes the “bad” guy and “good” guy and has them, in essence, switch places. Juliette also has left Adam for good and gets involved with Warner. We see all the worst facets of Adam- the “good” guy, in this book. It was shocking to see this otherwise passive (in my opinion, boring) individual fly off the handle and enraged.
Conversely, we see the antagonist- Warner- as more humanized than ever before. We learn of a number of surprising plot twists and that several prior things that made him seem evil were on account of misunderstandings.
So this is going to be a very unpopular opinion (warning, I tend towards having them) and I’m pretty sure I’m alone in the world with this but I didn’t care for the redemption arc of Warner. Some redemption is fine but the extent seemed like a broad re-working of the character. It seemed misguided, as the entire appeal of him up to that point for me was his ambiguity. He’s alluring enough that I could see Juliette with him, even if he’s not “perfect.”
I feel like Mafi literally tried to retcon ALL of his prior unsavory actions to make him unproblematic and working for the good of everyone after all. I understand that this is probably a good thing, considering that this is YA and his rap sheet is long enough that he shouldn’t be the love interest without some major rehauling. I understand the why of it. After viewing some interviews with the author on Youtube, she seems keenly aware of her responsibilities as a YA author, yet still tries to explore more provocative ideas by blurring the lines of villain and hero in the first place. I can’t imagine straddling that line is easy.
So to bring up an even more unpopular and probably unheard of opinion of mine, I started to like Adam more in this book after seeing his dark side. He went WAY too far and should indeed be considered unforgivable but I just found it intriguing how he went from passive and insipid to basically awful. I just like seeing characters change in unexpected ways and Mafi managed it in a believable way. Long story short and a warning for the future, I’m basically a trainwreck chaser when it comes to characters. Most people will probably dislike Adam in this book and be overjoyed at the added humanity to Warner’s character and Juliette’s favoring him.
Problems that I bought up in prior reviews (lack of female characters, lack of new characters outside of the major ones introduced in book 2, Juliette’s shortcomings) are still present. To be fair, Juliette does have some great moments though and I’d say she had made at least some considerable progress from beginning to end.
Overall Rating – 9/10
Why You Should Try It – If you’ve read the first two books, absolutely read this third one. The main plot makes some strides, the dialogue between characters is at its best, and major decisions are made. I agree with the seemingly popular opinion that this book is the best of the trio.
Critique – Very subjectively, I had mixed feelings toward certain turns in the characterization. While there is some growth, if you have actively disliked the series, I don’t think this volume will change minds.
Ignite Me (Shatter Me Book 3) (Amazon Link, Click Here To Read A Sample.) Shatter Me Series Paperback Box Set: Books 1-4 (The Shatter Me Boxed Set on Amazon, Discounted/On Sale.)
Many thanks to all who read my review! Are you interested in this series or have you read it before? Do you have any additional questions or comments? If so, let me know your thoughts, I appreciate all likes and comments very much.