Hello and welcome to Angel and I’s first discussion for the year! Today, we’ll be talking about The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski—it’s been a long time coming but we finally read it, and now we’re here to share our thoughts!
If you’re interested in seeing what we’ll be reading in February and March, you can see the post we did about that on Angel’s blog. And with that out of the way, let’s get started.
Ely: I think we should start off with maybe the most important part of this discussion and that is the fact that we actually have kind of different views on this one. We almost always agree on everything (and we still might in this discussion), but I think as a whole you were a lot more impressed with this than I was.
Angel: I’m not sure impressed would be the right word, maybe intrigued. I will come out and say that I didn’t love it. And it did take me a very long time to get into, but then once in I wanted to know what was going to happen next and see where the story was going to be taken. Rutkoski’s Winner’s Trilogy is one of my favourite series of all time, so this was a highly anticipated read for me, and maybe that is why I had such high standards when reading Midnight Lie. I think there is a lot to break down with this novel, but first what are your thoughts overall?
E: It is a very slow book to get going, and at first I wasn’t really worried because The Winner’s Curse is also quite slow to start, but then even when it got going I didn’t like it at all. I was so extremely bored throughout the whole thing, and we’ll get into that, but I just felt like the plot wasn’t strong enough. This was also a very highly anticipated read for me, so to say I’m disappointed is a bit of an understatement.
A: Oh it’s a very slow novel for sure – and there isn’t a whole lot that happens and even when we hit the climax, it doesn’t go really anywhere. While I wasn’t bored throughout the whole thing, it’s one of those novels that isn’t for everyone. I really enjoy a lot of set up not only of the world, but of characters and I think that is what we go here. It was more reader getting to know Nirrim more than having a plot – and that isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Talking about Nirrim what did you think of her? I know I have a lot of thoughts.
E: I usually love a good, slow book especially when it’s fantasy but I think the writer has to make it worth it and I just don’t think that happened here. I know this is the first in the series but I needed more to bring me back into the world. I didn’t really have any strong emotions for any of the characters, let alone Nirrim. But let me know your thoughts.
A: I think I feel pretty much the same. There wasn’t really a character that stood out to be and fell in love with. Nirrim was very interesting to say the least. I just wanted more from her, I wanted her to stand up for herself more, to believe in herself, but it just never happened. I know we talked about it briefly but there were times where I thought Nirrim might be on the autism spectrum. And I can’t figure out if it’s because of her naivety and exposure to the world, or if she is on the spectrum. And that added a layer to her character, but I wanted so much more.
E: It is a very hard question of whether it’s just the world she lives in or whether there’s more to it than that. I haven’t really seen anyone talk about it. What about Sid—how did you feel about her?
A: Exactly! There were just some moments here and there that really struck me. Even after finishing the book and having some time to think about, I’m still not sure how I feel about Sid. Like Nirrim, I just wanted to know more. I feel that a lot of her past and who she really was, is kept secret for a reason and all of that makes sense, but I didn’t feel like there was enough of a connection. I do feel though that book two will look into Sid more. How did you feel about Sid? And on that note what were your thoughts on the romance?
E: I really liked the mystery surrounding her at the beginning, and also her sort of sarcastic, witty personality. I do think later on her ‘secret’ was kind of obvious—I saw it coming from a mile away. But kind of tying into your question there, I found the romance incredibly lackluster. I was so excited for it, but then it just sort of felt like it didn’t actually lead either character to grow or for us to really learn anything else about them. I needed more time given to the romance on the page to make it actually feel believable. How about you?
A: Oh I knew her secret from early on as well – but I kinda loved it. Oh I absolutely agree with you on the romance. I liked it, I thought that it was cute. But I didn’t feel any connection between the two. I wanted to see more of their feelings. Like you said I felt that there needed to be more romance on the page. There needed to be more of a connection between the two and there just wasn’t. I think if there was, I would have loved the romance. Talking about relationships. Nirrim has a lot of them throughout the book – and none of them are fantastic. Especially her hers with Raven. What are your thoughts on this?
E: I completely agree. It had all the markings of a really great romance but then there just wasn’t any feeling behind it. Raven is the absolute worst. But besides that, I think it’s sad that there really isn’t a great relationship in here at all—even if we ignore the actual relationships, there just isn’t a feeling behind any of them really. They just didn’t feel real. Do you agree with that?
A: At first, I was really interested in Raven, but as the novel went on – I just couldn’t with her. She was so horrible. Not only the way that she treated Nirrim, but everyone else. And I felt so heartbroken for Nirrim, because Raven was her mother figure and damn it hurt. Absolutely, I really enjoy seeing complicated relationships, but there wasn’t even that here. Nirrim has no one she can really trust and that again makes me so sad.
The world of Midnight Lie took me a while to understand, and I know that I do struggle with that a lot. Did you feel the same?
E: The Winner’s Trilogy is definitely full of complex relationships, so it would have been nice to see that done here as well. I think with some stronger relationships, this could’ve been a really great book.
I definitely do. I still don’t really know what the plot is or kind of how the world works. I was constantly getting confused between the different classes and who was what and what they could do and etc. Again, it just felt like it was lacking those finer details that would’ve made the book.
A: Well I’m glad that I’m not alone in my thinking. Towards the end I was starting to understand it a little more, and I mean the last few chapters were pretty full on. I know that I want to read the second book, especially after reading the synopsis for it. It’s not going to be one, that I get right away though. How about you?
E: I don’t have any plans on picking it up as of right now. Maybe that’ll change once it’s out and there are reviews, but I doubt it. There are already so many new books that I desperately want to read that I don’t foresee myself making time for this one.
Well, is there anything else you wanted to discuss today?
A: I think that is all I have to say for now. What did you all think of it? Have you read it yet? Is there a book that you want Ely and I to discuss?
E: Let us know! And join us next month on Angel’s blog when we read and discuss Sabrina Jeffries’ Never Seduce A Scoundrel.