Hi Bookish Fans!
By Victoria Aveyard
Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3/5)
If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.
Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.
The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.
Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.
But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.
Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?
My attempt to be non-spoilery is in full motion, but if I let something slip consider yourself warned!
The first thing I want to talk about is Mare. I found I could mostly tolerate and even appreciate certain aspects of her in Red Queen, but in this book I could barely stand to hear her internal dialogue. Aveyard’s writing with Mare is just…I close my eyes and slowly shake my head from side to side. Besides the fact that Mare felt she was the center of the entire world and that they would never with without her (in essence), added in with the fact that Mare constantly refers to herself as though she is the greatest thing that walks the planet (“I am the lightning girl…they need the powerful lightning girl…do they know I’m the lightning girl?”) made it unbelievably difficult to listen to her constant thoughts (that revolved mainly around her). Additionally, she was so unnecessarily cruel to just about everyone this entire book, and THEN she spent so much time thinking “I am so alone” over and over and over and over that I wanted to fast forward to parts that didn’t showcase her pitying herself for basically being just like Maven and Elara. She was mean to her family, her friends, Cal, the Red Guard…like come on, Mare!
Next, the other characters. Speaking of Maven, where was this B? I get this story didn’t focus on direct interactions with him, but even still I felt like I never knew what was going on with him and I sort of like him as a character (unsure still if that’s good or bad). In Red Queen he pulled a shocker I wasn’t expecting and despite feeling hatred towards him initially, I started to appreciate him as a villain and missed seeing or hearing more of him during this book. I did enjoy the notes he left for Mare – go Maven, you ruthless ruler, you.
I wasn’t a fan of just about anyone else in this book, to be honest. Cal is unreadable, Kilorn went from playful and brotherly to serious and loving and back again too many times to enjoy anything else about him. Mare’s family was a blip on the radar. Farley was super toned down and almost passive compared to being such a strong female leader in the first book. I think I really just liked Shade for most of this book – he was witty, funny, and had a cool gift compared to some of the others with gifts I didn’t think were even worth mentioning or using.
Lastly, the story itself. Let’s start out by saying that truthfully, the first HALF of the book did not need to exist. At all. It could have been summed up in about 1-2 chapters and we could have used that time for more fighting, actually carrying through with some of the scheming happening, or even better character development instead of listening to Mare revel in self pity. I was honestly so bored the first half I wondered if I wanted to finish it or not. It did eventually get better, and I can say I enjoyed the ending pieces around Elara and eventually Maven. While I would want to spend more time talking about the positives of this book it would also spoil most of the book, so I will avoid doing that for now. The last third of the book was all that kept me interested and gave me a sense of what I had been hoping for most of the book. That is enough to keep me wanting to continue the series for now. I am waiting to receive the book from the library so I can devour it and hope that it isn’t as disappointing as Glass Sword was for me.
Overall, I hated most of the characters and the first half of the book topped with despising our main character. Despite this, I love the idea of this world – reds and silvers fighting for their freedoms which mean something different for each group. I enjoy the powers many people have, and I enjoy the fight to determine what is “good” and what is “evil” when it may not always be so clear with such opposing views.
Sorry to spend most of this time venting, but I just had to get my thoughts out about Mare and the first pieces of this book which boiled my blood. I feel loads better and promise not to spend all of my time roasting books!
- Have you read Glass Sword? What did you think after Red Queen?
- Did you like or dislike Mare’s point of view?
- What about the plot and the other characters?
- Someone talk to me!!!!!