I was hopeful, but I just can’t warm to this series. 3/5 stars.
The blurb: No blurb to avoid all spoilers for anyone wanting to start this series from the beginning. Click on the cover image for the Goodreads blurb, or you can visit my review of Book 1, Red Queen.
I’ve just re-read my review of Red Queen which was full of concerns, but also expressed hope that the sequel would improve on some of the first book’s weak spots. And it does. I think the plotting in Glass Sword is strong (the characters have a series of clearly-defined missions) and Aveyard introduces a couple of interesting new characters. The writing remain solid…and yet…any yet…
My issue with this book all stems from my problems with its first-person narrator. Using a first-person narrator is a gamble: if a reader connects with the character and their voice they’re likely to be hooked and have a great experience of the story; if they don’t then the writer loses them. And I didn’t connect with Mare, the first-person narrator of the whole series so far. At best, I’m indifferent to her. At worst, I find her stupid and tremendously selfish. And, as she’s our only narrator, the entire book becomes a long and dreary immersion in the thoughts of someone so self-centred that – at several points – they reduce the narrative to: “Me, me, me, la-di-dah, me, me me, oh and did I mention MEMEMEMEMEMEME”. And as I really don’t care for her or her suffering, I found myself skimming forward to get to the end asap.
At this point, I’m honestly not sure I’ll bother reading book 3.
Overall: If you read Red Queen and found yourself sympathizing with and rooting for Mare then you’ll probably enjoy Glass Sword. As I’ve said, the plot is solid and there are some likeable secondary characters. But, for me, these plus points were sadly over-shadowed by the increasingly dull and narcissistic voice of the narrator.
Claire Huston / Art and Soul
A solid but unremarkable series opener. Hopefully Red Queen has laid sturdy foundations for future installments to be even better. 3/5 stars.
I understand why so many readers rave about this book. The main character, Mare, is a well-developed, principled, brave young woman. The story moves along at a good pace. The magical elements of Aveyard’s world are integrated skillfully with more familiar technological and mundane features from our world. Overall this is an enjoyable read and I will read the next book – Glass Sword – when it comes out next year.