I finally picked up Glass Sword. By “pick up” I really mean checking it out from my local library via audiobook even though I own a signed copy of the book. What’s wrong with me? Well, I’m a little overwhelmed with the digital ARCs I need to review. Top that off with the North Texas Teen Book Festival in the beginning of March, I feel this odd need to read as many books as I can by authors who are attending because you know, priorities and all. 😛
Title: Glass Sword (Red Queen #2)
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Release date: February 9, 2016
Genre: Young adult, fantasy, dystopia
Length: 444 pages (hardcover)
Synopsis (from Goodreads): “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.”
Trying to figure out what to rate this was painful. Weird, right? It shouldn’t be–at least, I don’t think so. I contemplate 2.5 stars, but when I took a step back I came to appreciate various character developments in the books despite the fact that this book was slow. Maybe others might think this suffers from the dreaded “second book syndrome,” and I’m inclined to agree with them.
Granted, it’s not as if nothing happened, because truthfully, stuff did happen but it was all build-up with very little action. When there was action, I was left unsatisfied and felt various parts of this book was lacking. In terms of world-building, too, I have the same concern as I did with the first one: this is dystopian? It’s hard for me to see. Despite that, I like how we’re introduced to other parts of the country, and I sort of get a vague idea of where these countries in the current U.S.
What I liked most about this book is all the characters! Because Mare and Cal, along with Farley, Kilorn, and her brother Shade, are out to find “New Bloods”–Reds with Silver abilities. She’s using the list given to her by her old tutor, Cal’s uncle, Julian. I definitely enjoyed learning about each of these New Bloods’ abilities and how unique and different they are from the typical Silver abilities. I actually grew to like Farley a lot more in this book, and that’s mainly because we learned a bit more about her past. Sometimes it’s hard for me to remember that she isn’t that much older than Mare.
As for Mare herself, there were times I really got tired of her pity party, but it made me realize that maybe the focus of this book was more on Mare’s character development rather than the story arc because gosh, this book was slow. Almost painfully so. Somehow Mare started thinking she knows everything and really didn’t have a lot of mercy–that’s where I appreciate her contrast of character with Cal. I still like Cal, still like how he is logical and doesn’t want to hurt his people (though Mare does have some strong, valid points in regards to that). In the end, I saw Mare becoming an almost anti-heroine, and it confused me how easily the events in the last few chapters came to be. She was so willing to go forth with the New Bloods and yet… The ending.
Anyways, it makes me even more eager to read King’s Cage because I’m still really confused why Maven is oddly obsessed with Mare. It seems as if he wants her more as a pet rather than to “study” her. The next book better answer all my questions…or something.