Better Than I Expected… Not As Good As I Hoped: Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead

Better Than I Expected… Not As Good As I Hoped: Midnight Jewel by Richelle MeadMidnight Jewel (The Glittering Court, #2)
by Richelle Mead
Series: ,
Release Date: June 27th 2017
Published by Razorbill
Genres: YA, Fantasy
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Kyla Garcia
Length: 15 hrs and 39 mins
Pages: 416
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Source: Audiobook Received for Review

In MIDNIGHT JEWEL, Richelle Mead goes beyond the glitz and glamour of the Glittering Court, delving into the dark, political underbelly of Cape Triumph through the eyes of one girl who dares to fight for her freedom.

A refugee of war, Mira was cast out of her home country and thrust into another, where the conditions were inhospitable at best. In a life-altering twist of fate, she is given the chance to escape once more, and she takes it, joining the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. There, Mira finds herself subjected to persecution, not only from her fellow Glittering Court jewels, but from her suitors, as well—men she would potentially be expected to give her life to.

By day, she goes through the motions, learning the etiquette and customs that will help to earn her anonymity, even making a couple true friends in the process, the forthright ladies’ maid Adelaide and the ambitious laundress Tamsin. But by night, Mira hatches a different plan entirely—one that, if exposed, could get her hanged in the highest court of Adoria.

MIDNIGHT JEWEL is the extraordinary story of a girl with few options who courageously forges a new path, finding love, passion, lifelong friendships, and maybe even a way to freedom.

Audiobook Received for Review in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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I’m so bad with remembering book names…and book characters for that matter. Actually, let’s just say I have a bad memory in general. I often confuse things and that includes book names/characters. The whole time I was listening to this (which was a long ass book btw, almost 16 hours long!) I thought the book was called The Ruby Circle. I even kept telling Nick that I was listening to The Ruby Circle. It wasn’t until I had 5% left of the audiobook that I realized I had the name all wrong. Oh well, just another day in Nereyda’s jumbled brain. Anyway, I almost didn’t read this. I had written this book off after not loving (but also not hating) The Glittering Court. If you don’t know this by now, my all time favorite series ever is the Georgina Kincaid series by Richelle Mead, followed by the Vampire Academy series. Sadly, it’s been a few years since Richelle Mead has written anything that even comes close to that greatness, in my opinion. I keep telling myself I won’t read anymore YA from her, especially Fantasy YA, but that’s all she keeps writing and the part of me that still loves her as an author, just can’t seem to stay away.

First off, this book was way too long. I was worried that since we are basically getting 3 stories told from 3 different girls (happening at the same time) that there would be a lot of repetitiveness. There actually wasn’t as much repetitiveness as I thought there would be, it was just the right amount of recap to help me remember what the hell had happened in the first book and who the hell these characters were again. Still, I found myself wishing that this book would weed out some unnecessarily long and unneeded moments from the book that made it drag on at times. I’ve never been a fan of long books so that could be something that just bothered me.  I didn’t remember much about Mira from the first book (no surprise there) but I found myself liking her early on. She was feisty and strong in more ways than one and she was such a great friend to Adelaide and Tamsin. I loved how she wasn’t as headstrong and stubborn as Tamsin but not as… aimless as Adelaide. The romance took a long time to get going, I actually thought it would be one of those books that doesn’t really have a romance but finally I saw a small hint of romance happening well into the book. I guess it’s a good thing the book was so long cause we did manage to get a good slow burn romance that surprised me.

Like The Glittering Court, I don’t think the book was bad, it was actually better than I was expecting. At the same time, since this is a book by freaking Richelle Mead, who wrote my favorite romance ever, I keep expecting more from her… and she keeps letting me down man! She has written books so much better than this and I kind of wish she would write non-YA again instead of generic YA fantasy series. Give me a new paranormal series, finish Age of X or hell, write a spin-off to my beloved Georgie series! Unfortunately, none of that is coming and we get more YA projects from her. As much as I ended up enjoying Mira as a character, I have zero interest in the next book. Going through the beginning parts of this story again was enough for me and I just never found myself liking Tamsin enough to be interested in her own story. There’s just something about her that rubs me the wrong way and she just sounds like a dull character so I won’t be finishing this series. Until then, I’ll be over here waiting for something truly epic from Mrs. Mead…

Audiobook Sample:

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Nereyda is a 31 year-old mother of two girls with addiction to Friends, fashion, books, Pinterest, Netflix, the color black and a little bit of everything else. Also, the world's worst texter...

Latest posts by Nereyda (see all)

  • Aw, sorry this wasn’t a hit for you Nereyda! High expectations tend to do that to readers. :/ I was “meh” about the GK series and Vampire Diaries (don’t even get me started at the Soundless mess), so I came in with the Glittering Court with no expectations and ended up really enjoying it! I can’t wait to see things from Mira’s point of view as well. 😀 ALSO LOL I CANT BELIEVE YOU THOUGHT IT WAS THE RUBY CIRCLE. Omg. Close enough, right?

    – Aila @ One way or An Author

    • I have a really bad habit of getting names of books wrong, I have a terrible memory. Half the time I don’t even remember character names when it comes time to write my reviews…

  • I can`t believe I did not read anything by Richelle Mead. I keep meaning to pick up “Vampire Academy”, but I am afraid it won`t live up to the hype. I found your situation with her books very relatable. I sometimes love an author so much that I HAVE to pick every book by him/her, but not everything is good.

    • Luckily I read that series before I knew about the hype (I didn’t follow book blogs back then) so I had no expectations. But damn that series is good!

  • Aargh. I’m frustrated. I want the old Mead back.

    However – I’m still going to read this. Yours is the second review I’ve read lately and I think it will be worth the read, especially going into it knowing what to expect… Right?

  • kindlemom1

    I was really hoping this series would live up to VA. I’m kind of sad so far it doesn’t seem to be but at least it is somewhat good right?

    • Not bad but also nowhere near Richelle Mead-worthy kind of good 🙂

  • I’m planning on reading this one soon. I liked but didn’t love The Glittering Court, but it stuck with me, so I think/hope I’ll enjoy Midnight Jewel. Like you, I found these books too long and I didn’t like Tamsin either. I’ll have to wait and see how I feel about continuing the series after I read Midnight Jewel.

    • I did like this one more than The Glittering Court, hope you do too.

  • Sam Kozbial

    This was the one character I expected a stellar story for, because she had such a complicated backstory.

  • I liked this because I like Mira a lot, but I kind of felt the same, it seemed a bit long- and actually, kind of repetitive for me. And also like you, Tamsin is my least favorite of the girls, so who knows. BUT she’s also the one that was separated the most, so her story might be fresher? I liked it, but was underwhelmed. I hope you get more of the books you’ve been hoping for soon!

    • True about Tamsin, but oh man her attitude was just hard to like…

  • So sorry this did not live up to your expectations. It does sound interesting based on the audio clip.

    • The audiobook performance was actually pretty good, probably the only reason I read it. I would have never finished a book this long if I had to actually read it.

  • I felt the same way about The Glittering Court: it was better than I expected but not great. Which is really saying a lot for me, because normally I love anything even vaguely historical fantasy-feeling. Sounds like I may need to pass on the rest of this series and pick up Mead’s Age of X series instead!

    • I haven’t tried her Age of X series but my friend loves it.

  • I’ve got the Glittering Court on my shelf, ready to read…just haven’t touched it because I think it might be a bit bland. Still not too sure if I’ll pick it up – was hoping to see some really enthusiastic reviews of subsequent books! Oh well… :’))

    • I was hoping the same too. I honestly don’t understand how these sales are so good when most of the reviews are mediocre at best…