My Rating: Three Stars
Age Suggestion: 14+
I wasn’t planning to do a review of these books, instead just exploring my general thoughts about them in my post from last Saturday, Writing for Building Up (or, I’m Tired of Depressing Stories).
I didn’t have anything else to post on today, though, and I thought it might be good to put up a separate review of these books since they’re so popular right now.
Red Queen: The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.
That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.
Glass Sword: 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 the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.
Pursued by 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.
(from Goodreads with a few edits)
What I Liked
There are some great supporting characters in these books. I said in my review of Red Queen on Goodreads that I didn’t like Farley, but I got over that fast and she became one of my favorite characters, along with Shade. And my favoritest character of ever that I thought was great and then…*sob* If you want more details about this character and don’t mind spoilers, that’s the spoiler section on my Goodreads review, so you can check that out.
The worldbuilding was very good, I thought, although a map would have been very helpful since by the end of Glass Sword I was very confused about all of the places they were going. But the fact that the world needed a map speaks well about its development and complexity. Also, I felt like we got a lot of information about the culture and setting without any info-dumping, which was nice.
I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the writing, when compared to a lot of YA I’ve read. It was a bit of a different style, which was nice.
These books gripped me and kept my interest; I got through them much faster than Divergent, which definitely makes me like them better.
And the emotions…not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. But it’s a thing that happened so I’ll just mention it here.
What I Didn’t Like
I COULD NOT STAND MARE. She was a whiny, entitled, self-centered brat and then wandered around pitifully asking why she always pushed away all of her friends and no one liked her anymore. Hmm…you’re being a brat, so why would they still want to be friends with you? Maybe stop whining and just be a nicer person? And then at the end, she wouldn’t take anyone’s advice, and her internal monologue can be summed up as”I can’t believe they’re saying this to me again, I know it’s right but I’m just going to ignore it anyway and keep acting the same way”. Not a fan.
I really try to be professional in my reviews.
The other thing with Mare is that it took me a while at the beginning of the book to figure out if she was a girl or a boy. It wasn’t obvious. I thought she was a boy, which I didn’t appreciate when I finally realized she was a girl.
The endings of both books. The first one left me shocked and upset, and the second one left me a bit confused. I can’t say more because of spoilers.
These books are not light and fluffy. There is violence, a lot of it, and some pretty disturbing elements too. Torture and murder and superpowers…it isn’t pretty.
As for inappropriate content, there is romance in both books, with some implied stuff especially in the second book, but not really anything super inappropriate, so that was good.
Again, everything I talked about last week applies here. So far, these books don’t really pass the Philippians 4:8 test. It’s a lot of violence and selfish people doing selfish things, which, again, left me emotionally drained and frustrated.
I did like them better than Divergent, hence the three-star rating instead of two, but it’s still a pretty low three stars. I don’t know if I’ll read the final book when it comes out; I would like to, but I won’t be making a huge effort to get a hold of it and I might just forget. We’ll see.
What do you think? Have you read Red Queen and Glass Sword? Did you like them? Did you agree with what I said? Why or why not?