Author: Tahereh Mafi
Narrator: Kate Simses
Series: Shatter Me, #3
Published: February 4th 2014
Publisher: Harper Audio
Lenght: 9 hrs and 50 mins
The heart-stopping conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, which Ransom Riggs, bestselling author of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, called "a thrilling, high-stakes saga of self-discovery and forbidden love."With Omega Point destroyed, Juliette doesn't know if the rebels, her friends, or even Adam are alive. But that won't keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all. Now she must rely on Warner, the handsome commander of Sector 45. The one person she never thought she could trust. The same person who saved her life. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world . . . but that's not all he wants with her.The Shatter Me series is perfect for fans who crave action-packed young adult novels with tantalizing romance like Divergent by Veronica Roth,The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Legend by Marie Lu. Tahereh Mafi has created a captivating and original story that combines the best of dystopian and paranormal, and was praised by Publishers Weekly as "a gripping read from an author who's not afraid to take risks." Now this final book brings the series to a shocking and satisfying end.
I’ve always considered Shatter Me to be a work of art. Don’t get me wrong, every book is supposed to be art to some degree, but nowadays, that simply doesn’t stand true anymore. Maggie Stiefvater creates art. So does Brenna Yovanoff. Although I don’t much care for her writing, Laini Taylor is an artist as well. It is the difference between writing your story for your readers, and unleashing your authorial voice because the story threatens to burst out of you, regardless of who might read it sometime down the line.
When Tahereh Mafi first thought “screw the conventions”, she crossed that line boldly. And in Shatter Me, it was clear in the way she stayed true to Juliette’s voice, her mental condition and her traumas. She never wavered, even when Juliette’s narration became downright nonsensical, she never once toned it down. As the story progressed and Juliette changed and grew, her thoughts became less scattered and her metaphors less elusive. In Ignite Me, there are hints of the old Juliette, but Tahereh’s writing unfailingly reflects these changes at all times. Even more firmly structured, her prose is a thing of beauty, woven carefully like finest filigree work.
Like its two predecessors, Ignite Me isn’t just about the romantic relationships, no matter how wonderful and complicated they may be. It is also about strong friendships, new friendships, tentative friendships, broken bonds and violated trust. Emotions are one thing Tahereh’s books never lack, and if not careful, the reader can easily drown in everything her characters feel.
I’ve had the pleasure of listening to Kate Simses narrate Matched and Crossed by Ally Condie so I wasn’t unfamiliar with her voice. It is tender, almost shy, but confident if need be, and as such, it was perfect for Cassia. But for Juliette, I needed more strength, and while Simses did everything right and her voice characterization was excellent, the timbre of her voice was simply wrong for this story. I will gladly pick up something else narrated by her, but I do think she was the wrong choice for this trilogy.
It’s true that Ignite Me could have benefited from an epilogue. The last few chapters don’t feel like the end of this story, but rather the end of its first part, with so much more yet to come. Perhaps that’s the best way to end a trilogy, with the whole world still ahead of our heroes, not just the good parts, but dangers and pain as well. Looking back, I can appreciate the openness, the life that awaits them, but when I first finished it, I felt just a little bit cheated.
It’s always hard to say goodbye, but when you love a set of characters as much as I love Juliette and her friends, it becomes almost impossible. So I won’t. I own these books in every available format and I’ll surely revisit them many, many times.