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review 2017-08-14 15:18
Glass Sword
Glass Sword (Red Queen) - Victoria Aveyard

Ugh. I was hoping this book would get better for me than the first. Based on some reviews, I knew there was a risk it wouldn't, but a girl can hope, right?


Mare started out in the first book as kind of a badass. Then by the end of book one, she turned a bit whiny. Now, at the end of book two, she's basically just a cold-hearted bitch. I'm struggling to find any sort of redeeming quality for her. Yeah, she's young and been through a lot - I get that she might snap a few times and say something insensitive. But we're in her head, so it's her thoughts too. She turns on everyone - all because Julian, who she knew for only a short period of time, once told her that 'anyone can betray anyone' (and we hear that statement ALL THE FREAKING TIME). She apparently trusts what this Julian says more so than her family or Kilorn who she's known her whole life and continues to stand by her even though she shits on him all the time. Julian must have been right because Maven, the guy she didn't really know and was betrothed to out of force, betrayed her. Sure, that makes perfect sense for why she wouldn't trust the people who have been by her side from the beginning. What??


And I'm seriously missing why Mare is treated as the most important person in existence, by both sides. I could understand why Maven would be obsessed with getting her back under her control -- except for the fact that he tried to kill her. So if he wanted to control her why wouldn't he have done that from the start? 


And it was way too long. By like 200 pages. Maybe more. Just a lot of nonaction and thoughts from Mare which were the same thoughts on every other page. 


Ugh. I'm taking a break from this series. There's one more out right now, and I think there's a 4th coming. I hope that will be the last one. I don't know yet if I'll finish out the series. I sort of don't really care at this point.

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review 2017-07-20 20:12
Red Queen
Red Queen - Victoria Aveyard

I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about Red Queen. I had high hopes based on many of the reviews, and I'm wondering if that's what left me a bit ambivalent. On some level, I expected more than what I felt. 


One of the primary reasons I didn't connect more with this book was the main character, Mare. She started off strong for me. While she had the expected 'I don't give a shit' attitude found in many similar YA books, I liked how she strove to be independent. I liked the way Mare found her way into the royal circle and how she discovered her abilities. We did see one hint of her ability prior to this (which was good) but I do wish there had been more hints prior. The way it is makes it seem as though it was just dumb luck that her abilities showed up at the right time. But as the story progressed, she became somewhat inconsistent for me. I like when a character grows throughout a book or series, but that's not what happened here. For example, she hated Cal for his role in the death of so many Reds and how he could torture Reds with only the slightest hint of guilt, yet she didn't show much remorse for the deaths she had a hand in or the people she used along the way. It was a classic double-standard -- it's not OK for it to happen to the Reds because they are the oppressed society, but it's totally fine for it to happen to the Silvers because they must all be the same and take from the Reds and abuse them along the way. 


I also didn't like how Mare was the girl all the guys fell in love with. That YA trope is starting to get old for me. It just makes the character unrealistic. Someone has to dislike her (other than the jealous girls and the evil mother) so that leaves me as the reader to dislike her. And not for good reasons that make me still enjoy the book.


I have to admit that I looked ahead at the book description for the second and third books of the series. I wish I hadn't done that because it spoiled the twist at the end. Had I not looked ahead, I think I would have been surprised by the twist. So I have to give credit for that being well done. 


I liked the book well enough to continue with the series -- hopefully they get better for me or at least stay on the same track as the first book.

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review 2017-07-20 18:57
King's Cage
King's Cage (Red Queen) - Victoria Aveyard

Book 3 in the Red Queen series was an improvement over Glass Sword. I became increasingly disappointed in Mare's attitude in the previous book and didn't care for the path she was heading down. Despite the pain and torment that Mare endures as she is held captive by Maven, I was pleased to see the growth and change in her this time around. Her interactions with her family, Cal and even the way she treated others in general were vastly improved.


I admit, I was preparing myself as I read Glass Sword for the possibility of Mare becoming the villain (due to her increasingly foul attitude and disregard for human life) and Maven switching roles and becoming the true hero. That didn't happen, at least not in this book. Book 4 is still in the works, so you never know.


Maven's scenes were always interesting. Learning what makes him tick, why this complicated individual, even without his puppet master, Elara, pulling his strings he continues on his road of destruction. Another character I enjoyed seeing more of, was Evangeline. She always keeps things interesting. I wasn't surprised at all by some of the decisions that she makes in King's Cage, but I was very pleased.


Mare's relationship with Cal was very much improved through most of the book. There were some very sweet scenes, but by the end of the book, I was honestly hoping Mare would zap his lying princeliness clean off a cliff. I feel he is too weak and indecisive, and I've lost all interest in his character. He can ride off into the sunset for all I care. I'm more interested to see what will become of Maven and Evangeline in the final book of the series.



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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-06-26 04:44
"Red Queen: King's Cage" by Victoria Aveyard
King's Cage (Red Queen) - Victoria Aveyard

So, we've followed Mare for two books and now this one divides the pov between Mare, Cameron, and Evangeline. I'm not a fan of this. We just met Cameron, I would think Cal would have been a more natural choice. Or even Kilorn, though I don't really like him. And I could have done without Evangeline's perspective completely.

Speaking of Evangeline, suddenly she's lesbian. And Maven is bisexual. Odd how those both came up in the third book, though we've known these characters since the first book. It's as if the editor was pushing Aveyard to include LGBT+ characters. Otherwise, I would say that I think the character development in this series has been good. I enjoyed the dynamic between Mare and Maven as he keeps her captive and attempts to manipulate things so that they can be together, and she struggles against Stockholm syndrome.

I could completely relate to Cameron in this scene:

I want to snap that my priority is to get the heat working in my barracks, not find out how many times Mare used the bathroom today, but her sweet face stops the impulse. Farley must have sent the cutest bleeding kid in the base. Damn her.

Sometimes, the kid's so cute you can't be mad.

And, speaking of Farley, her mysterious question from the last book was pretty easy to guess, considering it was stated that she rested her hand gently on her belly...

I feel like there are a couple of times when Aveyard's description of Mare's electricity is inaccurate. Like when the guards were being electrocuted, Mare was careful to not step in the puddle of water, but then she touched a guard to take his key and she should have been shocked then. Though, she was impervious to the current when her ability was first revealed... But she was shocked by her own electricity because of the machine... I don't know. Is she immune to the electricity or isn't she? And if she is, why was she so careful to stay away from the puddle?

Also, Mare kept mentioning that the ends of her hair were turning grey. I'm pretty sure that isn't a thing. Hair turns grey from the roots. Though, I guess you could say since the grey is a result of magic use, normal rules don't apply...

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review 2017-06-18 04:19
"Red Queen: Glass Sword" by Victoria Aveyard
Glass Sword (Red Queen) - Victoria Aveyard

I found this one really boring compared to Red Queen. I think the plot just moved along too slowly.

I also got confused a time or two when I misread a sentence because it wasn't immediately clear that Aveyard was referring to a character's ability. For example a sentence like "She saw two eyes" not referring to the body part, but to people who have the ability to see into the future. I think Aveyard should have capitalized those words (Eyes, Silks, Strongarms, etc.) to make it more clear and reading more smooth.

Also, in my review for The Hunger Games , I mentioned the belief Aveyard and Collins share that one cannot scream without a tongue. Sara (who was supposedly "unable to scream in fear") still has perfectly good vocal chords. She can still make noise through her mouth. She can't shape that noise into understandable words because of her lack of tongue, but she most certainly would be able to scream. The tongue has nothing to do with screaming.

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