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Glass Sword (Red Queen) Hardcover – February 9, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Does saving some lives justify sacrificing others? This is the main question asked in this second installment of this series. Picking up right where the first volume left off, Mare and Cal are on the run from the usurper King Maven and his army of Silver bloods. Armed with a list of other "newbloods" like herself, Mare takes on the mission of recruiting them for the Scarlet Guard before they can be found by Maven. However, as her journey progresses, Mare learns that the lines between right and wrong aren't so clear, and she begins to become exactly the kind of person the Scarlet Guard is fighting against. While the kill count seems to be excessively high, it does end up raising some interesting points: namely, the question of who, if anyone, really deserves to die. And do the ends truly justify the means? As with her first effort, Aveyard certainly has a flair for the dramatic, which teens will eat up. The action hits the ground running and doesn't stop until after the last page is turned. And while some might recognize several familiar plot-related beats that resemble the novel's dystopian contemporaries, they shouldn't lessen the story's appeal. VERDICT Fans of Red Queen (HarperCollins, 2015) who have been clamoring for the sequel will be sated.—Kimberly Castle-Alberts, Hudson Library & Historical Society, OH
“Aveyard certainly has a flair for the dramatic… The action hits the ground running and doesn’t stop until after the last page is turned.” (School Library Journal)
“High-stakes excitement and sharp plot twists… make this a fast-paced, exciting read and a thrilling sequel.” (Booklist)
“Fast-paced and action packed, Glass Sword is compelling and strong, guaranteed to gratify anxious readers of the series and fans of dystopian and fantasy literature.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))
PRAISE FOR RED QUEEN: “A sizzling, imaginative thriller, where romance and revolution collide, where power and justice duel. It’s exhilarating. Compelling. Action-packed. Unputdownable.” (USA Today)
“Aveyard weaves a compelling new world of action-packed surprises... inventive, character-driven.” (Kirkus)
“A volatile world with a dynamic heroine.” (Booklist)
“Breakneck pace and engaging characters.” (School Library Journal)
” [Aveyard] sets her audience up for a gaspworthy twist that reconfigures nearly every character’s role and leaves Mare with no one to trust but herself... This blend of fantasy and dystopia will be an unexpected and worthy addition to many genre fans’ reading list.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)
“Fascinating world building... Readers will be intrigued by a world that reflects today’s troubling issues concerning ethnic inequality, unfair distribution of wealth, pollution, warfare, political corruption, and the frightening power of the media.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))
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Top customer reviews
Red Queen was good ! I really liked the whole idea of the divide between silver and red bloods and finished the book rather quickly, to be brief.
Now, I was so excited for Glass Sword. Like, I got it the day it was released. So I really gave it a chance, I did. But boy, by page 40, I could not stand this book. Not just the book, but MARE.
Let me break this down into what made this book a disappointing disaster for me.
I'm going to call her nightMare because that's exactly what she was throughout the entire book. What on Earth! I've never disliked a main character so much.
It started out by her calling herself the 'lighting girl' literally 20 times within the first two chapters. Yes, okay, we get it. You're the Lightning girl, woopdy doo. Not only was that incredibly annoying, but her ENTIRE inner dialogue was a pity party that NO ONE wanted to be invited to. On every single page she had to remind everyone of how "broken" and "alone" she was and boo hoo. 'Oh look at me I'm the Lightning girl and my heart is ice and my soul is black and I'm so alone I can't smile or laugh because that girl is dead and I must become this and that and I must harden my already hard heart and push people away and I can't trust anyone because ANYONE CAN BETRAY ANYONE' (yes, we KNOW) and blah blah blah BLAH.
Literally all she did was whine!! I'm going to add some direct quotes from the book at the end but I'm just paraphrasing what her inner thoughts were like. We had to be told what nightMare was feeling after every single little thing instead of being SHOWN. Show, not tell. Hello?? NightMare was also incredibly disrespectful, heartless, and distant.
She didn't give two craps about her family and belittled Kilorn FOR NO REASON. Okay, so with her family, she left them at that camp place. The Tuck? I don't even remember and I literally just finished the book an hour ago. Anyways, then she gives NO THOUGHT to them AT ALL after that. In Red Queen she visibly cared about them! Even sneaking off with Cal to get to see them and now it's like she did a 180 360 2 million turn around and couldn't care less. ??!!!
I cannot understand her reasoning for using Kilorn as a punching bag and literally treating him like dirt. No, garbage. She called him useless to his face and belittled him constantly. When Kiliorn told her how he felt about her romantically (that scene kind of came out of nowhere and was messy in general btw) she didn't care at all! Instead of being KIND to him about it, she was basically like, "Oh no, never wanted this to happen. Too bad for you Kilorn. I'm going to draw on my inner Mareena now because I don't know how to deal with this on my own." Ugh. NightMare did not deserve a friend like Kilorn who constantly forgave her for her disgusting attitude towards him. She honestly treated him so badly it was horrid to read. If that's how she treats her friends, it's no wonder that she has none.
Another thing: nightMare acted as if she were the center of the world/universe/Galaxy. News flash: YOU ARE NOT. In addition to calling herself the lighting girl (UGH) every 2 sentences, she also reminds the readers that she's the most important, her ability the best and deadliest. Which, by the way, was not true. She was no better than Cal's Fire or any of the other newbloods. In any way, shape, or form. NightMare needed to humble herself and sit down. She acted as if everyone else paled in comparison to her. And since Victoria Aveyard didn't bother to give any of the other characters the time of day (getting to that soon), they really did pale in comparison to that whiny little girl.
NightMare also complained about being alone. How completely isolated she was and blah blah blah. But she made herself that way! She didn't want to get close to anyone and was rude to them all, acting like a cold high and mighty leader. She kept saying that everyone was afraid of her, or, of the "lightning girl" (UGHHH) but why?? She never did anything to them to warrant their fear and so the whole thing was unrealistic. It was just an excuse for Victoria to not have to write any civil interactions between nightMare and any other character. I don't really mind, all of nightMare's interactions were painful anyways.
I can't really say enough about how annoying nightMare was. She was the worst. Her inner dialogue didn't make me feel bad for her in the slightest. Because of her terrible character (such a contrast to who she was in Red Queen by the way!) I didn't care what happened to her. I've never cared less for a main character. Maven inwardly tortured nightMare? Oh well.
NightMare is sad and lonely? Oh well.
NightMare fell off a cliff? Oh well.
Don't. Care. She was the main thing that ruined this book for me.
2) The characters
Characters are supposed to come alive. Authors are supposed to breathe life into them, to make them leap off the page and into our hearts. Did Ms. (Mrs?) Aveyard do that? NOPE.
I knew something was missing, even from Red Queen and now I know it was the characters. It wasn't as noticeable in RQ but oh, was it noticeable here. They had no quirks. What kind of food do they like/dislike? What makes them tick? They had no goals that didn't revolve around nightMare and her little quest. All Aveyard did was give the characters one word personality characteristics:
Farley- bold. (Speaking of Farley, wow did she turn translucent in this book. I can't believe Aveyard took such a strong, fierce leader and turned her into essentially, a nobody. :/ NightMare over shadowed her with her awful attention-seeking self. Yuck.)
Honestly because of their lack of everything, I sadly didn't really care about anyone. When Shade died it was upsetting but nightMare didn't care so neither did I. The family didn't seem to care so neither did I. The author skipped over every character just to get to nightMare who was the worst of them all. It was awful how little attention all the other characters got. And the newbloods ? LOL. Who are they? I don't know. What are their goals besides being used my nightMare? I don't know. All we know are their abilities, and I forgot their names as soon as they were mentioned. It was sad. It IS sad.
3) The Villain- Maven.
When you have a villain in a book, you want the readers to hate them. You want them to gasp and curl their fist, shout "how dare you!" In my
opinion at least. Maven was the softest villain I've ever read. We were all TOLD about him and what he was doing, like once in a while the author remembered to mention him. Maven was completely behind the scenes which stinks because he's the reason nightMare is so broken and cold and alone and BOO HOO. The little notes he wrote were silly and childish. Even at the end when he captured nightMare (which I was not upset about by the way. Like I said, I don't care what happens to nightMare. I didn't care that she was humiliated in front of all the Silvers. Oh well, too bad for her. I'm glad Aveyard didn't do two pages of inner dialogue on what nightMare was feeling at the time and how alone and sad she was. Thanks!) I still didn't hate him. It was kind of like, "Oh, there you are Maven. Cool. Sorry about your mom by the way." (Side note, Queen Elara's death was not even written out. Are you kidding me? She gets whisked into the dust and fog and comes out electrocuted and burned and fried up. Aveyard writes painfully specific details about surroundings and places but not important scenes like the death of villain #2.) -__- Anyways, the villain wasn't a villain and that also weakened the book a whole lot.
We were literally told nightMare was the Lightning girl 4000000000 times, and told how sad and alone she was. This annoyed me to no end. Seriously, no end. Aveyard spent so much time focusing on nightMare's inner pity party that all the action scenes fell flat because after every little thing, we had to know how nightMare felt about it. Who. Cares. There was too much detail to the point where I skipped over half the descriptions. Yawn.
5) The romance
I understand why nightMare wants to keep Cal at a distance, after all that betrayal by Maven and whatever. But then she of course kisses him and sleeps in the same bed with him and so on, and then pushes him away for no reason like a spoiled brat. Just like Kilorn, nightMare treated Cal like crap. She even belittled him as well, literally saying "...he's not the sharpest sword in the armory." EXCUSE YOU. Who are you to talk?? No one.The fact that Cal overlooked her vile behavior and crawled back was also unrealistic. NightMare was so awful ( I can't stress that enough you guys) that it truly was unrealistic that anyone could tolerate her and would continue to socialize with her. Kiliorn and Cal did not deserve the treatment they received from nightMare, and she didn't deserve them, period. The romance was choppy mostly because nightMare treated Cal like a toy and only wanted him when it benefited her. Ugh. And I LIKE Cal. He is one of the only characters I like. NightMare doesn't deserve him at all. Mareena did, but nightMare does not.
Now, those are the main 5 things that just made me want to throw my kindle while reading this book. Of course nightMare tops it all, she was 95% of why this was so frustrating to read. Seriously she was the worst. Anyways, here are some examples and my reactions to them.
*NightMare repeatedly referring to herself as the "Lightning girl". Also thinking she is the best thing since sliced bread.
Example 1) "I am the little lightning girl---living electricity, a lighting bolt in human form....I am valuable, I am powerful..."
Me: Okay, yeah sure.
Example 2) "Kilorn is looking to someone else now... he's asking the lightning girl."
Me: Uh huh. Yup."
Example 3) "....like every wire and circuit since I became the lightning girl..."
Example 4) ""The lighting girl" echoes from them..."
Me: Lol okay I get it.
Example 5) "Afraid of the lightning girl..."
Me: That's enough.
Example 6) "...but I am the lightning girl...."
Example 7) "....I was the lightning girl..."
Me: I GET IT OKAY.
Those are 7 of MANY you guys. MANY. But I won't torture you anymore.
Now, some examples of nightMare's inner never-ending pity party.
Example 1) "...and yet, I've never wanted to cry more. For them, I hold back. I curl inward and bleed inside, alone, so no one can see..."
Me: Sorry? Why are you THIS upset again? Did you kill your own father under the power of your mother? No? Okay then lol.
Example 2) "...sets in, joining the cold still deep in my bones. Normally I would shiver---but I am getting used to his feeling. I suppose I should get used to being alone too..."
Me: And why? Oh yeah, because you push everyone away please be quiet now.
(you know what you guys, she had so many pity-party poor me boo hoo incredibly annoying moments that I just can't. Let's just say I was in a fetal position halfway through.)
This review has gone on along enough, and though I have so much more to say about the utter annoyance, frustration, and disappointment this book caused, I think I've made my point. I won't be reading book 3 or 4 because I doubt there can be a comeback after this. It's just a shame to see a series with good potential go to the pits. :/
P.S: But Cameron/ Thank goodness for Cameron. Thank you for telling nightMare OFF. Too bad your character faded away shortly afterwards.
If you’re reading this, you have to know that I absolutely loved Red Queen… it was exciting and suspenseful and full of fantastical elements that drew me in and had me so stupid excited to get my hands on book 2. I loved Mare… I loved Cal… I loved Kilorn and at times I even loved Maven.
We dive right into action with Mare and Cal trying to escape Maven with the help of the Scarlet Guard which was exciting and brought me right back into the heart of the story, but from there it was just a lot of ups and downs for me.
The pacing of this part of the story was incredibly slow, and I get that there was no way around it… we needed to find out about the other Reds with special skills, but it was just soooooo stinking sloooooow.
Unfortunately, I found myself skimming over passages of the middle of this book and then having to focus, go back and pay better attention.
I think my other issues were with Mare… she at times to me seemed to have lost the fire and spirit that I came to love in Red Queen. She was just kind of moving through the motions with no real passion for what she was doing and it was so frustrating! I expected more from her as a character and all the things I needed just were not there.
I have to mention the romance because there were a lot of different players in Red Queen, and while they are all still present there is no question as to she’s got the connection with but to be honest, it was soooooo bland and not at all exciting and I didn’t get any urges to get them to hook up. I unfortunately think that had a lot to do with my feelings about Mare.
I still love Cal. The Fire Prince absolutely needed more page time, though I am loving the arc of his character.
I am trying to do this spoiler free, so I won’t give you any specifics HOWEVER, I need to say this. There is one goal that these characters have through most of this book and when the god damn thing happens, it was so ANTI-CLIMACTIC I probably would have missed it.
And then Aveyard does it to you with that ending.
As I’m thinking about this story, I’m surprised to learn this is going to be 4 books. Will I be reading them? You bet I will, but I will definitely be hoping that the story pace picks up, I start to dislike Mare less, and we can get some damn kissing that means something. As it stands, you just may find me cheering for Maven!