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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Lefty's Lowdown: Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
(Red Queen #2)
Published: February 9, 2016 by HarperTeen
Source: Purchased
Summary from Goodreads: 

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.
 It took me way too long to read this novel. I really enjoyed Red Queen, its predecessor, but let this sit on my shelf for a long while. I'd heard it wasn't very good and that made me extremely nervous. I'll admit, this wasn't my favorite book to ever exist, but I am happy I read it, and it made me excited to continue the series!

So, this book starts out sloooooow. That's my main squabble with the novel. It started out with action, but for some reason it still just felt slow-paced. It was very description-heavy, but I feel like it was mostly just describing different buildings, and I literally zoned out every time we started getting heavy description. Personally, I like characterization, and we really didn't get much of that until the final 1/3 of the book. Maybe I'm wrong, but it just felt like the characters hardly had any meaningful interaction throughout most of the book. They'd discuss battle strategy, but they remained fairly static until closer to the end.

Needless to say, the final third of the book is what saved it for me. Once more started happening with the characters and the stakes began to feel crucial, I became completely absorbed in the novel! And by the end, I was ready as heck to keep reading.

Now let's talk about our protagonist. Mare Barrow. I tried so hard not to get frustrated with her as I was reading, but ALAS! Frustration occurred. I get that she was majorly betrayed in the first novel, so it makes sense that she starts questioning who she should trust. But like. I didn't enjoy the way she just iced over her heart. She didn't treat anyone with respect. And she was just so wobbly. She got onto her high freakin horse and barked orders at people and acted like she was the most important person to ever exist because she could make lightning, but then when people regarded her as a leader she'd say, "I'm not a leader. Woe is me! Anyone can betray anyone! I'm so powerful!" I lost a lot of respect for her character in this novel.

As for the other characters--we had a nice motley crew. I enjoyed meeting the newbloods and I loved seeing more of Kilorn and Shade and Farley. Tbh, I wish we got to see more Maven because, try as I might to hate him, he's probably my favorite character. It was a lot of fun to see all the twisted shit he does in this book and how deeply fucked his psyche is.

This book was just fairly lackluster for me. I feel like the series lost a lot of the intrigue that it had in the first book. I wasn't swept away by the politics or, for most of the novel, the character relationships. The plot was expected and repetitive. The romance was kind of bland. But that final third of the novel, man. It convinced me to keep reading. It convinced me to hang on to these characters and to care about them. I have hope for Mare's character arc and I have hope for MORE MAVEN.

My rating: 

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