Review: The Brightest Night (Origin #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Let’s just get to the point: this book was boring.

It was boring because nothing really happened, even though you’re made to believe something is happening. But it’s not really doing anything. I get that this is yet another filler book rather than one that’s moving the plot forward to its purpose, I suppose, but it still felt like we weren’t really going anywhere with the story. To me, it felt like there were plot points that needed to be hit but rather than doing it in a nice flow, it was like we jumped from one point to another to another. And it also felt like as soon as the one plot point was done we immediately forgot about it. Like, we learn more about Luc and Evie being “created for a purpose” and then it’s forgotten. We learn more about the flu pandemic and it’s shoved to the back of your mind. And then surprise, Blake is alive and not actually dead (is this the book equivalent of jumping the shark?) but we jump from that plot line to the one about the homeless kids in a snap that turns out to be a capture trap, yet again forgetting about it. It’s just very weird trying to follow the plot of this particular book because it felt far too choppy and all over the place and there’s nothing really concrete to hold onto.

I think the problem with the plot compared to the story being told is that I really don’t think Luc and Evie are the ones to be telling this story. There’s a lot of disconnect between the overarching issue of the Luxen war aftermath plus the “flu pandemic” used to create animosity and distrust of remaining Luxen and it constantly feels like this is the last thing Luc and Evie care about. Like they talk about it constantly but they’re not directly affected or directly involved in it. And it’s also clear that, at least for Luc, he really couldn’t be bothered to care about the issues out in the world because he doesn’t care about anything other than Evie and I feel like that’s an incredible flaw rather than a positive trait. It also gets repetitive after a while because you know that whenever there’s a problem, he’s only going to do something if it affects Evie. And then there’s Evie, who all of a sudden thinks she’s the spokesperson for all humans with alien DNA and has to self insert herself in every issue that comes around. I think if maybe she still had all her memories and could actually contribute information to the problem at hand then yeah, I can accept her purpose, but she’s still running around whining about not remembering anything and it’s tiring watching her try to be a good protagonist. At first, I think I moderately enjoyed Evie’s character but as the series goes on I get more irritated with her and relatively bored. When she’s not spending half her time trying to be the only one with an answer of what’s going on in the world, she spends the rest of her time literally talking in circles about the same, tired problems. She’s upset that she can’t remember anything, she doesn’t know which name to use, she wants to control the Source, she wants to bang Luc, over and over and over. Her narrative isn’t as terrible as Poppy’s was in From Blood and Ash, because that was the worst thing I’ve ever read, but Evie is the type of person who thinks she’s special and important but really shouldn’t even be here. It’s very clear that JLA wants Evie to be like Katy so badly but it’s never going to happen so why bother trying anymore.

But the big issue with Luc and Evie is that, as I said, they only care about each other and even say straight up in the book how selfish they are. And they don’t see anything wrong with that. By admitting to their selfishness and not doing anything about it doesn’t make them endearing as a couple but rather insufferable. They think they can act without consequence and even when they do get rightfully reprimanded, the other is always there to comfort them and say that they did what they had to or, even worse, say they’d do the same thing. While I’m glad they have a commonality in their relationship it doesn’t make them a likeable or healthy couple in my opinion. These two walk around acting like they the Chosen Special Ones and nothing can touch them and it shows in every interaction they have. While Daemon made Katy stronger and she helped humanize him, these two just keep letting the worst parts of themselves shine through and actually praise one another about those parts. Luc and Evie are a prime example of why we shouldn’t tell the gifted kids they’re special.

The other thing that’s clear is that JLA wants Luc to be like Seth from the Covenant series and is going as far as recycling a plot line from the Titans series and while I’m sure there are a lot of people reading this book who haven’t read that particular book, I have and it’s clear that JLA has officially run out of ideas with her new books. I mean, that was clear in From Blood and Ash but no one wanted to listen to me then. She’s been recycling characters for the last little bit, at least with these latest series, but to now be recycling plot lines is ridiculous and I’m getting insulted. The way I went to bat for JLA over and over to see that she can’t even put original effort into her stories anymore? Not only that, but she’s not evolving as a writer either because every narrative is constantly the same in every single book these days and I’m starting to think that she’s absolutely lost touch with how real people speak to one another. Every female character tries to be snarky and sassy “because they’re cool like that” (that’s literally a line in every book, not something I pulled from my ass) and every male character is smug and full of sexual innuendos and while those types of characters are fine once in a while, seeing them in every book is tiring. It’s actually ok to write different characters once in a while, it won’t hurt you.

I think the saving grace of this book was all the actual Lux series content from Daemon and Katy, to Hunter and Serena, and Dee and Archer. And herein the problem lies. These are characters that JLA knows and understands and can actually write. But they’re also all characters that are directly involved in this new plot line and the ones who should be fighting. I really feel like this series, rather than being about Luc and Evie, should’ve focused on Dee and Archer. Dee is the one with the voice, the one trying to get people to listen to her and change the world and fighting in ways no one else is, but instead she’s thrown to the sideline even more. And though Luc is the strongest Origin, Archer is far more likeable and better at making a difference. But I guess JLA hates Dee for some reason; Daemon gets a 5 book series and a novella, Dawson gets a novella, but Dee gets nothing. Very telling, I’d say. Regardless, I loved seeing all of these characters again and their appearance makes it clear that this series should focus more on them and less on Luc and Evie.

I’m not bothered enough by this book to stop reading and not pick up the final book next year, but I’d say I’m more of a consciously aware reader. I no longer think this series is as strong as I once perceived it to be and the characters are more disappointing than ones to throw parades for. All in all, a relatively boring filler book with a pairing I’m starting to care less and less about but it’s the original characters that keep bringing me back for more, and JLA knows that and will milk it for all its worth.

And that ugly ass cover? Burn it and fire the person who not only designed it but approved it. I made better things while using GIMP before I discovered Photoshop. What a joke.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
Hardcover, 512 pages
Published October 20th 2020 by Tor Teen

Book Synopsis

Less than a year ago, Evelyn Dasher was a normal girl, living an unremarkable life.

Now, she’s on the run, under the protection of the beautiful, deadly inhuman Luc. She’s been betrayed by those who were closest to her. And she’s learned truths about herself that she never saw coming–things she once knew, and was made to forget. Truths with devastating consequences. She’s caught in the eye of the storm.

He is the darkest star.
You are the burning shadow.
And together, you will bring about the brightest night.

The thrills, drama, and intrigue continue in the third installment of the Origin series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout.

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon

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