Title: Glass Sword
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen #2
Genres: Young Adult, Sci-fi, Dystopia
Release Date: Feb 11th, 2016
If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.
Mare’s blood is Red – the colour 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 the prince and friend who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.
Pursued by the Silver 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?
Last year, Red Queen was the most anticipated read not just for me, but for a butt load of people as well. And along with that, its reigning spot on the NYT Bestsellers’ List is clue that Victoria Aveyard’s debut is a hit all around. Unfortunately, it was a Hit and Miss for me. After being thoroughly disappointed, I was pretty sure I’d not read the sequel, but alas. Here I am, reviewing it.
The sequel picks up right where the first book left off with Mare and Co. running for their lives from the newly crowned king. Mare is struggling with her newly appointed power status of Lightning Girl while suffering from PTSD and the sting of betrayal. But work must be done. She and a select few others whom she trusts embark on a journey to find others like her – Reds with Silver abilities. All the while they’re being hunted by prince Cal’s evil brother and it seems like he’s always one step ahead of them.
I’m just going to be frank about this. (Not that I’m not always frank, if you take a look at all my recent GR ratings, lmao.) The writing in this book is Terrible. I’m sorry, but it was. Maybe it’s just me, maybe it is actually terrible, I don’t know. But I do know that I tried reading a few lines out loud and cringed my way to Georgia (I read this on the Black Sea coast, ok?) The dialogue, when there was dialogue, felt forced and grating, while Mare’s inner thoughts were sprinkled with what I call “pretentious thinking” – using big words to appear More Sophisticated, but failing because they don’t fit at all. Sometimes simple language is the best way to go. It can work wonders. I’ve forgotten pretty much everything about Red Queen, but Glass Sword really did one on me with its writing style (or lack thereof). It didn’t flow well at all. I’m only sad that I didn’t highlight anything because I would’ve liked to insert some Exhibit A’s and B’s.
The characters are as I remember them – annoying and bad decision makers. The plot plays a lot in the second part as well – I found it almost as ridiculous as the writing. But let’s not talk about that (because is there really anything to talk about?) and focus on the characters instead. Mare Barrow is quite possibly the most selfish protagonist I’ve ever encountered. Personally, I love to read about Unlikable Characters, and there’s a certain beauty in selfish characters, but Mare is a Special Kind of Egotistical. She only talks about herself. Something would happen to someone (that isn’t Mare) and she would start a soliloquy on how Hard it is to be The Lightning Girl. I’m sorry, Mare, but the world does not revolve around you. Remember what I said about lack of plot? Yeah, it was because it was overshadowed by Mare’s constant thoughts of herself, and of the two people she’s “not supposed to be thinking about” (and yet still wants them to pay attention to her). I can’t even talk about the rest of the characters because I had a hard time finding their personalities. She talked so much about herself that we didn’t really get to see anything else from the other characters.
Overall, this book was a Real Pain to get through. I’ve read it for the better part of the last four months and, because I’m an idiot who doesn’t like to abandon things, no matter how bad, I wasted a whole week of my holiday to finally finish the whole book. The only thing enjoyable in this book series, for me, might be the (undeserved) pretty book covers. If you enjoy Aveyard’s books – good on you. They just are not for me. At all.