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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Review - Glass Sword (Red Queen #2) by Victoria Aveyard

Image and blurb from Goodreads

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

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.

Buy Links: Amazon 

I would:

  • Befriend: Cameron
  • Take to prom & kissShade
  • Take to a desert island and leave behind: Mare
  • Change into a vampire so we can be young together & foreverCal, maybe. 

If I turned on the TV, I'd find Mare, Cal and the others on:

  • X-Men: Evolution (LOVED that cartoon)

1 “The most selfish, annoying, enraging, disgusting MC in the history of young adult literature” STARS

Warning: super negative review.

Look, I try really really hard not to be mean when writing reviews. There’s usually a lot of work that goes into writing and publishing a book, so being mean to someone who went through all this trouble doesn’t make me feel good. Not at all. Look at the rest of my reviews and you'll noticce I always try to point out the good things about books, even when I don't fall in love with them. 

But I can’t help myself this time. I really can’t.

I mean… I could just rate this 1 star and let it go, but where would all this rage I’m feeling now go? I need to let this out.

Please, let me be mean just this once.

Warning 2: mean review. Probably best not to read it if you loved the book. If you do read it, though, please don’t curse me.

Waning 3:

**I mean it. SPOILERS ahead**

Here we go. *takes a deep breath* 

I hate this MC. 

I don’t simply hate her. I despise her in a way I didn’t think possible. I despise her in a level that surpasses my hatred for Kestrel from The Winner’s Curse (and I hated her so very much), but this is something else.

I have to believe Victoria Aveyard wrote her protagonist the way she did on purpose. I mean, there’s no other explanation. No one would write such a selfish, stubborn, cold-hearted, despising main character and not know what they’re doing, right? I don’t mean to offend the author, but she can’t possibly not see everything that is wrong with her MC. Not possible. She had to know.

The problem here is simple, though. Even if Victoria Aveyard did this on purpose, there’s nothing – I mean NOTHING – she can do to fix this for me. There’s absolutely nothing Mare (that’s her name – it pains me even to think of her as someone with a name – even a fictional someone) can do in the next book (or books) that will make me tolerate her. Just as simple as that.

She could die to save all humans and dogs and cats and the entire freaking planet and I’d still not tolerate her.

To be completely honest, I didn’t remember much of “Red Queen” when I started “Glass Sword”. I’d read it so long ago and hadn’t hated or loved the book, so it hadn’t made a lasting impression. Going back to my review of “Red Queen” (I gave it 3.5 stars, but now I’m starting to doubt the fairness of that rating), I noticed that the first thing I pointed out as a problem was Mare – the MC. I called her selfish and immature, but from the little I remember about book 1, she wasn’t half the monster she became in book 2.

Sorry, but there’s no other way to put it. Mare is a monster. Forget Maven or Queen Elara. The real villain is your damn MC.

I’m not going to go on about the lack of plot in “Glass Sword”. For details on how the story was boring and led to nowhere surprising at all, you can find other reviews on Goodreads. Same for how the rest of the cast was uninteresting and one dimensional, or how the romance lacked chemistry. This review is solely focused on Mare and how she had me make over 50 notes on my Kindle (it’d never happened before) just because I couldn’t stand reading about her and not marking all the places she was insufferable.

One might be asking at this point why I kept reading if I hated it so much. Well, the train wreck theory explains it well. Google it.

So, I’m going to write some of my Kindle notes so you get to experience what I did when reading about this selfish, despising character’s thoughts.

1) Mare being her lovely self.

Mare: “now I know I am special”
Me: how many times is she going to call herself special in chapter one???? (look at the question marks and you’ll understand I’m already agitated, and it's 8% in)

Mare: “I’m worth more than the rest”.
Me: *raises eyebrow* Really? Did she… Did she just say that?

Mare: “I’m more valuable than most, because of what I’ve done and what I can do.”
Me: here we go again. And why is she so valuable? There are so many others with more interesting abilities than her stupid lightining!

2) Mare being lovely to all her “friends” and “family” (yes, quotation marks needed here)

Exhibit A)
Mare talking about Kilorn - the boy who’s clearly stupid enough to stand by her side since childhood, always defend her and still find it in his heart to love her. I don’t know what’s wrong with him, but Kilorn has a serious problem.

Mare: “To think he’s spending his time flirting while I’ve been unconscious…”
Me: Really? You want to control him even when you’re unconscious? Great.

Mare: “Like a dog following commands.”
Me: *gasps* Did she just say that about Kilorn? Great way to refer to a friend. *rolls eyes*

Mare: “He can weave a net faster than anyone I know, but what good is that when we’re catching people, not fish? (…) He survived the Hall of the Sun because of me, and outlived the massacre of Caesar’s Square because of luck.”
Me: She’s so annoying. How is Kilorn still her friend? Someone explain that, please.

Mare: “Glad? You’re jealous, plain and simple. You’re not used to sharing. And you don’t like being useless.”
Me: Someone hold me back. Did she just say that? Did she just called him useless to his face?

Then Kilorn stops talking to her and what does she do?
Mare: “If I were not so preoccupied with my own duties, recruiting and training, I would try and snap him out of it. But I barely have time to sleep, let alone coax Kilorn back into the fold.”
Me: I didn’t expect you to stop being selfish now. We’re already 59% in.

Mare: “Who is he to question my orders? He’s no one. A fish boy with only good luck and my foolishness to protect him.” (this right after her brother died)
Me: WHAT??????????????????? I'm done.

Exhibit B
Mare when thinking or interacting with Shade, the brother who saved her more times than anyone can keep track.

Mare: “His face falls, torn by the knowledge that I will not save him.”
Me: SELFISH!!! How can you leave your brother behind like this???? He’d never leave you!!

And of course Shade had to die. No surprise there. Just as predictable as Maven being the bad guy in book 1. The only surprising aspect of it was when it would take place. Hmmm.. Not really. Shade would only be killed when he was not useful anymore, meaning when the author didn’t need him to save Mare from the impossible situations she managed to get herself into. So she had to wait until the end of the book to do that, right? Yeah. No surprise.

So, after Shade dies, what does the lovely MC do? Cry? Break down? Has a redeeming moment? Of course not. She verbally and physically abuses her brother’s girlfriend, the only person mourning poor Shade. When the girlfriend tries to fight back, Mare acts like her lovely self again:

Mare: “Farley, you never know when to quit. I used to admire you for it. Now I lonely pity you.”
Me: Don’t know why I’m surprised, but still can’t believe she just said that.

Exhibit C
Mare being mean to her best friend and older brother isn’t enough, so she needs to bully the rest of her family, too.

Mare about her other brother: “It’s probably the smartest thing I’ve ever heard Bree say.”
Me: OMG. I can’t even. No words.

Mare about her decision to NOT stop her siblings from going with her to a mission that will mostly end in their deaths five minutes after delivering the body of her dead older brother to her family: “I wish I could tell them not to come. They would listen if I truly meant it. But I can’t. I need them, just like I needed Shade.”
Me: Yeah, and look at where that got him. Dead. Not enough to kill one brother, huh?

3) Mare caring about the only person she shouldn’t.

Here obsession with the one who betrayed and tried to kill her is still shocking to me.

13% in and I couldn’t stand how many times she’d already thought about how much she missed Maven. He tried to kill you!!! Are you stupid or…? *groans*

Then Maven starts leaving letters next to dead bodies of children and babies and PEOPLE saying he’ll kill everyone if she doesn’t go back to him. What does Mare think? “I miss him”.

4) Mare being overdramatic.

What about her non-stop overreaction to absolutely everything? Every-damn-thing pained her. Everything was more than she could bare. More than she could take, but she was soooo strong, so damn strong because she was the lightning girl and had to keep going so she could save the world. *rolls eyes* Please, have mercy!

5) Finally, the good parts.

You know the little parts that didn’t suck? They were the ones when other characters finally called her out on her bullshit. I lived for the moments those with a little bit more sense than the ones blindly following an incompetent leader (Mare, in case you don’t know who I’m talking about) addressed the MC the way she deserved.

Colonel: “Not everything revolves around you, Miss Barrow. The world does not rise and fall at your command.”
Me: YESSSS!!! If only the author understood this, too.

Cameron (my favorite character who obviously came into play way too late and disappeared shortly after with no reasonable explanation): “‘Don’t act so high-and-mighty’, she presses on, throwing words like daggers (…) ‘You’re no lordy lady now, no matter how many of us you try to order around. Bedding a priencleing doesn’t make you queen of the heap.”

Of course Mare goes on to call Cameron a bitch and a brat she needs to “educate” – this word was used. Educate. Really. I couldn’t even make this stuff up.

6) The rest.

Don’t even get me started on the “amazing cliffhanger” everyone was going on about. Really? That was it? Really?

After everything you read here, do you honestly think I care what happened to Mare????

*If you liked this review (or not), if you read the book (or not), come say hello and leave your comments bellow.

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