Wednesday, April 25, 2018

DNF Review: King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard

Title: King's Cage (Red Queen #3)
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Publication Date: February 7, 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: Way too Many 507
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Reviews for book 1 & book 2

In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl's spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother's web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare's heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.

"In this breathless third installment..." Spoiler: it's "breathless" because Mare uses all her breath WHINING AND MOANING.

The Red Queen series is one of the most disappointing series I've ever read. Book one started strong for me, although I still had issues with it. In fact, I rated it FOUR stars! Then Glass Sword was one of the absolute worst sequels I've ever read, getting a one star, ranty review. But I decided to give King's Cage a try anyway, thinking maybe the series would redeem itself. Alas.

So what went wrong with this series? The number one reason I despise these books is because all Mare does is whine, especially in Glass Sword and King's Cage. Every single page that Mare appears on - whining and complaining. I get it, her life is tough. How sad. I've read a lot of books with about a lot of characters who have a lot of crappy luck, and never have I read one that made me hate a main character THIS much. 

I had forgotten how bad it was, really. I downloaded the audiobook and immediately remembered how much I hated Mare. Why did I immediately remember? The first few chapters are one long whineeee. Literally, Mare sits in a cell and whines about how badly she wants to be OUT of the cell, then when she gets out, she whines about how she wants to be back IN the cell. I. Hate. Her. I really thought I must be at least an hour into this whinefest, when I looked at my phone and saw that there were SIXTEEN AND A HALF hours left in the book! Sixteen! 

Which brings me to my next point: why is this book so long?? Red Queen, the only decent book in the series, was a respectable 383 pages long. A normal length for a YA fantasy book. Of course, Glass Sword grew to 444 pages, having to make room for all Mare's complaining. And this one? King's Cage is over 500 pages long! I'm not saying that a YA series can never be over 500 pages (ACOTAR is one of my favorite series!), but I am saying that it should definitely be under 500 pages if half of it is filler. While serious events have occurred in this series so far, the whole thing could be considerably shorter if we didn't have to spend so much time inside of Mare's head.

I didn't make it far enough into King's Cage to know if it continues the rinse and repeat formula of the previous book, but I definitely made it far enough to know that I was right to say I wouldn't continue the series at the end of my Glass Sword review. I'm not sure if I had on rose-colored glasses while reading Red Queen or if the next too books really actually declined that much, but I won't be giving the series a third chance.