Monday, September 26, 2016

Book review: Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

Title: Glass Sword (Red Queen #2) 
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Publication Date: February 9, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen

Pages: 444
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Reviews for book 1 & book 3

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?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.

Well... wow. That was honestly one of the most disappointing sequels I have ever read, ever. I would like to begin this review with a visual representation of my reading experience:

So, yeah. That basically sums it up. I began this book almost immediately after it was released. I read just under 200 pages before putting it down. Over the months I tried a few times to read more because, well, EVERYONE loves this book and I was determined to finish it! Finally in September I got the audiobook from the library and swore to see it through. I did. I'm going to try my damndest to write this review but I obviously don't remember much from the first half so bear with me.

Glass Sword picks up immediately after Red Queen, that much I do know. Almost this entire book consists of Mare, Cal, and Co. on the run from Maven and in search of New Bloods who also have super cool powers because of reasons. It. Is. Boring. They run a bit, they find a New Blood, they convince him or her to join them, Maven almost catches up. Rinse and repeat. Over and over and over. Glass Sword is all about repetition. A few exciting things do happen here and there, but they are so few and far between that this book just drags.

Honestly, I don't know what happened between Red Queen and this. Red Queen was not entirely original (I don't think anyone is arguing that at this point) but it was fun. It was an exciting first book and there was constantly new information being revealed to keep things moving along. I enjoyed it and the ending was such a huge twist that it pretty much made me forget the problems I had with the first 95%, but that didn't happen here. My biggest problem is that Red Queen Mare was tolerable and even enjoyable, while Glass Sword Mare is a totally different human.
"Only despair drowns out my rage."
- Mare Barrow

This quote perfectly sums up Glass Sword Mare. Literally all she does in this entire 444 page book is whine about how horrible her life is and, when she isn't doing that, she is constantly mad and bitching about everything and at everyone. She is rude, annoying, and thinks that she's God's gift to the planet. Her power gives her a major god-complex and makes her completely unbearable. There are very few characters that make me want to throw a book (or audio device) across the room, but Mare has done it. Put simply, I can't stand her.

The only thing I really liked about this book were some of the other characters. I enjoyed Cal and found him to be the sensible one throughout pretty much everything. Obviously I really liked Shade also and wish so much that there was more of the two of these characters to drown out Mare's incessant moaning. I also found Farley to be mostly tolerable. That's about the best I can say...

Not even the ending of Glass Sword could save it from itself. (I actually had to just think about it for awhile to remember what happened and I just finished this book.) Other reviewers have talked about what an amazing cliffhanger the ending was and how it came out of nowhere but I really didn't see it that way. It certainly hasn't inspired me to read the next book. I won't be continuing the Red Queen series (apparently it's 4 books now?), which is so disappointing after investing so much time in a series.