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Disappointing conclusion

Ignite me - Tahereh Mafi

Contains minor spoilers

I've been putting off reading this book. I was nervous and then after reading Unite Me, I found my interest in the series had waned. But I'd already bought it so I convinced myself that I should read it and then put the series to rest. Be done with it.

I was right to be nervous about this book. After loving Shatter Me, liking Unravel Me and reading both in a day each, this book left me feeling absolutely nothing. After Shatter Me, my heart ached. After Unravel Me, I was angry but hopeful. After Ignite Me, I feel nothing but relief that it is over.

Ignite Me is the conclusion of The Juliette Chronicles, the story of Juliette Ferrars, a girl who cannot touch without destroying. After breaking out of the asylum where she spent almost a year locked away and then finding her way to Omega Point where she becomes a part of the war against the Reestablishment, only to have Omega Point destroyed and herself shot. As she recovers, she doesn't know what's happened to her friends or who she should trust. She only knows that she needs to take the down the Reestablishment. Somehow.

Before I start ranting, there were things I did like about this novel. Juliette is no longer the helpless, crying girl from the last two books. She is stronger and braver and she has a purpose. This was probably the best thing to come out of this novel. But it came too late and by the time it did I didn’t feel as emotionally invested in the series as I had been previously, so I was lacking in the excitement I would normally feel in such a fantastic character development and only thought to myself “about time”. Which may not be entirely fair, as not all characters will develop in the same way. But at this point I was frustrated with her for taking so long to make important realisations that would have aided her survival. It took way too long for her to care.

Oh look, the rant started without me meaning it to. It’s too late to stem the flow now, because I promise this review will move faster that the book. The progress through this book was painfully slow. 400 pages and only the last 30 where we really saw some action rather than just angst. Because it is very angsty. Enough to make you want to rip your hair out (the slow progress will contribute to this feeling). I couldn’t have cared less about the romance in this novel and only really hoped she went out on her own and didn’t end up with either love interest. Both were possessive and angry and if all you can say about them is how attractive they are, that doesn’t really sit well with me because that sort of obsession is fleeting. What happens when someone better looking comes along? All I see at the end of this is two angsty teenagers who are attracted to each other, but I don’t see anything that will make for a lasting relationship. And let’s be honest, if this was real, it probably wouldn’t last. Everything is amplified in their situation, but it won’t always be like that. You’re not going to be an angsty teenager taking over a nation (what the hell? Actually?) for the rest of your life.

Which brings me to our next topic. Juliette has superpowers, but she’s not the only one, yet she is the one taking over? Let’s wrap it up all nicely hey? How ridiculous. I know its fiction, but a 17 year old is now leading a country? Come on, we want it to be a little bit realistic.

This book also destroyed everything I thought about the characters that had been so carefully constructed from the first book - except the hilarious Kenji and sweet James. But Warner and Adam? Forget everything you thought you knew because Mafi is changing their characters! Warner was a villian, and I liked him that way. Not as a love interest, but as a bad dude. Adam was always patient, calm and enduring. Nope not anymore! I didn't feel like I knew any of these characters and by the time it was done I was so sick of the three of them. I wish more time had been taken with the rest of the cast, such as the Omega Point team, because they were actually interesting!

Such a disappointing end to a series that started so fantastically. What a shame.

2.5 stars