Parents' Guide to

The Midnight Lie

By Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Same-sex love story drives compelling Winner's spin-off.

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A mysterious and cruel class-divided society makes this Winner's trilogy spin-off compelling, while the romance between the two female main characters adds intrigue and heart. Sometimes the romance and the mystery don't mesh as well together -- especially near a somewhat rushed end -- but both pieces make the whole well worth reading. Much credit goes to author Marie Rutkoski's lyrical writing. Passages where Nirrim relays her earliest memories at the orphanage are both heartbreaking and beautiful. Rutkoski's reflections on what it would be like to have such a perfect memory when there's so much loss in life add another poignant layer to the story.

It's clear that Nirrim, of all her class, should be the one to escape the Ward first. But as The Midnight Lie marches rather quickly to the end, it's hard to tell what Nirrim's goal in her escape really is. She never says that she wants to be the savior of her people, just that she needs to know what happened to them. The discovery of her own magic also seems to come rather late in the story, and the shocking twist is so late that it's in the epilogue. But all together these elements add more layers of intrigue that beg for a sequel.

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