*Warning: This review contains spoilers for Red Queen and Glass Sword.

Glass Sword by Victoria AveyardBook: Glass Sword (Red Queen #2)
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Genre:  YA Fantasy

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My rating: 2 stars

The next book in the series has just come out (King’s Cage, released February 7, 2017). And…I’m torn. I want to know what happens. Will Mare get free? Will Silvers and Reds and New Bloods work together to defeat Maven’s tyranny? Will Norta be burned to the ground? But…I found this book…to be…frustrating. It felt like a weird mish-mash of Hunger Games and Divergent, and I’m not sure what else. It felt…unoriginal.

I enjoyed this book.

And, at the same time, I didn’t enjoy this book.

It’s one of the first books I’ve read that I can honestly say is a clear two-star. I liked parts, but not all.

And now…I need to vent a bit. So, let’s pretend we’re sitting in a coffee shop, sipping chai lattes and gabbing about books.

It was intense. The characters kept moving, kept doing things.

Mare is on the run with Cal and the Scarlet Guard. There is a lot of intrigue and adventure. You’re never sure who to trust, never sure what will be around the next corner. There is spying and fighting and training, rescue missions and evacuations and escapes. Battles and mind games and emotional rollercoasters. Even within the team, there is tension. A lot of tension. Reds, Silvers, New Bloods. No one is quite sure what the power structure is anymore. Between getting away from Maven, evading capture from everyone else, finding and convincing new bloods to join up, training new bloods, and more, Mare is busy. And that’s what it felt like, busyness. It was interesting…and a little overwhelming.

It was confusing. I found myself frustrated with the writing style and the plot and character choices.

This books starts in the moments immediately following the first book, but held no clues to remind me of what happened. I get it, sometimes people read books in a series back to back and those reminders can be annoying. But for most of us, they are necessary. I read Red Queen months ago. I’ve read at least 10 books since. I NEED some orienting. One sentence here and one sentence there would be enough. Please. Help your readers.

And then…the scenes in the prison were so confusing. It bounced around with directions and weird placements and so many characters. I was lost for the entire time. I could not figure out the layout of the prison at all. I couldn’t picture the battle. I ended up skimming a bunch of it. I don’t like skimming novels. Oh, and why was Elara at the prison? And why was it so easy for Mare to kill her? When Elara showed up, I expected to see a much more intense battle with her controlling others and using them to attack Mare. But no, it felt, instead, like a quick draft of a scene that needed a lot of filling in. It was too easy.

I found many of the character choices confusing and out of character/hypocritical. First, why does Maven want Mare? He just tried to execute her, he’s put out a call for anyone who can find her to kill her, and yet he takes her prisoner and makes her some weird dog-like slave with a collar? What?! Doesn’t jive with me. It seems like we missed something. When and why and how did he go from wanting to kill her in a great show in a the ring to leaving creepy notes with murder victims to becoming her slave-owner? And why would he negotiate with her at the end there? Why not kill everyone else on that plane, including his brother? It seems completely out of character (and quite stupid) to leave members of her crew alive and able to regroup and retaliate.

It was frustrating. A love triangle? Really?

Why? Why must there be a love triangle? It felt like it was plucked right from The Hunger Games. The best friend who’s always been there and the guy who she didn’t like at first but now gets her because they’ve been through something traumatic together. Oh, and she’s super badass and doesn’t realize that her best friend is in love with her until waaaay too late. It’s old. It’s overused. It’s just icky. I wanted to see more development of her relationship with Cal. Not more drama between her and what’s his name.

I loved Shade! But Mare…not so much.

The whole motivation for Mare’s involvement in all of this is to help her family, save her kind. Right? And yet…she rarely thinks about her family. And then berates herself for not thinking of them. It felt fake to me. I started getting bored because, to be honest, I don’t really like Mare anymore. She’s not interesting to me. And I find it hard to read a book about a character I don’t care about.

But Shade. I LOVED Shade. He was snarky and smart and so freaking funny. And loyal. And sweet. And… why do my favourite characters get killed?

Overall, an okay-ish read.

This is probably the most negative review I’ve ever written. It’s not well-written, either. My apologies. I felt the need to vent a little bit. I’m hopeful, based on what I’ve heard, that book 3 is better. I may get to it eventually. But…probably not any time soon.

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