I read a lot of first books in a series, simply because those are the books for review that cross my desk, and I don’t always have time to finish the rest of the series, even if I enjoyed the first book. So when I do get a chance to finish a series that I enjoyed, I’m always pleased. In this case, Lisa M. Green’s Midnight Descending is the third book in her fascinating, unique and entertaining reimagining of Sleeping Beauty.
1. Thoughts on the plot
The first two books were relatively straightforward in their plot, even if they did leave a few questions rather unanswered (I’m looking at the end of book two, especially, though it worked very well for the story). This book takes all those questions, and then some that I did not even know I had, and answers them very thoroughly. I think the plot does well in this regard, providing answers while also moving our characters to the place they need to be in order to, well, save the world.
I will say, though, that this book moves a whole lot faster than the first two books. Each chapter seems to jump from one thread to another, answering questions and then bringing up new questions to be answered later on. This makes for a very fast-paced book that is a little complex. I would say that it worked very well as a stand-alone piece, but in conjunction with the first two books, which were a little slower in pacing, it felt like there was a lot of information that was being presented without prior interaction in the first two books.
However, the plot was very well thought out, and fit together with the first two books nicely. I, unfortunately, can give no more information than that, because spoilers abound and I would not want to ruin the series for anyone who has not yet read it.
2. Thoughts on the characters
Aurianna is a far more interesting character in this book, in my opinion, than in the first two, and I liked her a lot there. She finally seems to understand the things that have been happening to her, and she is having none of it. Oh, she’ll sort everything out, but let it be known that it was her choice, that she was not acting as a mere puppet to other forces. I think this, in conjunction with her emotional development, and her better understanding of the world, really made her a great main character to complete the series. I like her a lot.
I also think this book did very well in exploring Pharis’s character, as we better understand where he is coming from, what sort of motivations he has, and also his reaction to a certain event involving a certain person from his past was absolutely perfect. I appreciate him so much more, now, and I think he makes a perfect counterpart to Aurianna.
3. Favourite part
The bit about time travel. Well, okay, time travel weaves through the whole series, but in particular the scene where Aurianna must fetch her necklace. I can’t say any more than that, because it would spoil things, but I really, really liked this whole scene.
Mostly, I think my critique is to do with the points mentioned in my discussion of the plot. There was a lot of information presented in this book that was not discussed in the first two books. While this is generally fine, I think that maybe one or two more hints in the first two books that were slightly more concrete than the whispers that are there already would have been useful. Of course, I must take into account that I have read a lot of books between each of the three, and sometimes my memory is a bit faulty, so I could easily have found something in the first two books and then forgotten about it by the time I got to book three. So, take this critique with a grain of salt.
Overall, I would say that this book is a dramatic and entertaining conclusion to the series, and I am pleased to have been able to follow the development of the characters through the whole trilogy. I really enjoyed it, and I must say that it is the most imaginative fairy tale reimagining that I have ever seen.