Book Review: War Storm

So, I just finished the final book in the Red Queen series.

It’s the first ever series I have ever finished in the history of the world.

It was okay.

Warning! This book review consists of spoilers for the book series and War Storm so please refrain from reading this review if you haven’t read the books yet. There are spoiler free parts (only for War Storm) and spoiler filled parts.

Onto the summary:

VICTORY COMES AT A PRICE

Mare Barrow learned this all too well when Cal’s betrayal nearly destroyed her. Now determined to protect her heart –and secure freedom for Reds and newbloods like her– Mare resolves to destroy the kingdom of Norta once and for all… starting with the crown on Maven’s head. But no battle is won alone, and before the Reds may rise as one, Mare must side with the boy who broke her heart in order to destroy the boy who almost broke her. Cal’s powerful Silver allies, alongside Mare and the Scarlet Guard, prove a formidable force. But Maven is driven by an obsession so deep, he will stop at nothing to have Mare as his own again, even if it means destroying everything- and everyone- in his path. War is coming, and all Mare has fought for hangs in the balance. Will victory be enough to topple the Silver kingdoms? Or will the lightning girl be forever silenced? In the epic conclusion to Victoria Aveyard’s stunning series, Mare must embrace her fate and summon all her power… for all will be tested, but not all will survive.

Non-spoiler Section

Despite the description, this book is actually a messy, imperfect and odd way to end the Red Queen series. It’s very long (being 662 pages) but, for some reason the series feels unresolved. I will go into the specific reasons why in the spoiler section.

For now, let’s focus on what the book did right. In War Storm, Mare and other main characters feel so much more human and have clear motivations other than to defeat the Maven. Mare’s family is fleshed out more (especially Tramy), Evangeline’s love interest Elane burns a fire in her heart, and Cal is tied to the crown, his noble personality taking charge.

Also I love the settings in this book. They stomp out the places we’ve been in the other books by a long shot. Translation: Montfort is beautiful.

Spoiler Section

Why was the book unresolved, you ask?

“So I’m guessing we won,” I (mare) sigh, too surprised to even comprehend what that means. I have no idea what a real victory would even look like.

“Not entirely,” Kilorn rubs a hand over his dirty cheek, smearing grime across the clean parts of him. Idiot, I think kindly. “They managed to limp back out to sea. I think the big shots are negotiating a cease-fire right now.”

IT ENDS WITH A BLOBFISHING CEASE FIRE FROM THE LAKELANDS.

In the ending pages of the book, this unresolvedness just keeps on going with a light air of “We’re safe, but only for a while.”

Another thing that was unresolved was Evangeline and Elane. I mean, there are a few lines at the very end of the book that state that Evangeline is an honored guest of Montfort, but not much else.

Even Maven’s death felt unresolved! In the last few minutes of their battle Maven let Mare kill him. The main thing in the end was how it “wasn’t too late” with Evangeline rebelling against her parents for Elane and Cal putting the crown aside for Mare. Was it too late for Maven? What if he stayed alive?

Maybe this was Victoria Aveyard wanted to portray. Maybe she’ll make another series following Mare and the others a year or so later (maybe even a different crew in the same world— like the Grisha Trilogy and SOC).

I loved the parts with the Lakelander queens, the rickety alliance between Cal’s crew, Montfort and the Scarlet Guard and the little lines hinting at Evangeline and Elane’s relationship. (If you have read the book you know which line I’m talking about.) Montfort provides a free democratic country to compare the corrupt nations of Norta and the Lakelands to, which is another reason why I’m swooning over the bison filled mountains. The bison are great.

Despite how much I liked about War Storm, the novel was one of the shabbiest of the series.

I didn’t like Maven this time around (he just seemed lazy, angry and spoiled) and he didn’t seem like the scheming little guy he used to be. He feels more like time bomb just waiting to blow, or one of those characters who you know dies first in a horror movie.

Another thing I greatly disliked was the vagueness of everything, which I don’t think was problem with Aveyard’s writing as much as it was just stuffing an epic conclusion, or a whole blobfishing WAR into 662 pages.

Lastly, I would like to point out that the book didn’t seem as clever when it came to major plot points. Take Iris’s siege on Bracken’s children for example. The guards were stupid and distracted. Why? How did Montfort survive as a nation with these idiotic guards? Why did Davidson, who is clearly an intelligent person, let these imbeciles guard a prisoner of war?

If I had to rate this book from one to ten , one being absolute scum and ten being a gift from the heavens I would give this book a six.

Translate that into stars and this book is 3.5 stars out of five.

It’s Raining Book Reviews!

I think I’m starting to get a hang of this book reviewing business! I still have to start reviewing books immediately after finishing them, though. Oops.


A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab || 5/5

a conjuring of light

This is an amazing series! The world-building and plot are amazing, but I think that the most impressive part of this trilogy is the characters. They’re all so unique and flawed and they all have their own motivations. Schwab tackled multiple point-of-views really well and she was really good at creating suspense. I was terrified on behalf of the characters. This book definitely took a more tense turn and it wasn’t as carefree as the second book, A Gathering of Shadows(But that wasn’t very carefree, to begin with.)

Plus pirates. There were pirates. I love pirates.


The Rose Society by Marie Lu || 3/5

the rose society

Most of this book was boring for me and I had trouble finishing it. The end was great, though. The minor characters weren’t developed and the romance was weird and unplausible. I think the book would’ve been better without it, but I guess you can’t have a YA book without romance, right? There was a love triangle, too. I don’t usually have anything against love triangles, but I wasn’t a fan of the romance at all. I thought it was strange for not one, but two peoples to fall in love with Adelina. Also, the characters’ decisions were occasionally random and illogical without reason (A reason could be that they were heartbroken by the fact that they were planning to propose to their longtime boyfriend, but the engagement ring that they spent months saving up for was swallowed by a rogue seagull. This heartbroken-ness can cause a person to make illogical decisions.)

My least favorite part of this book was the planning sessions. I thought the plans were weak and undetailed. They were mostly winging it. And yet, usually, nothing went wrong.

I loved Lu’s writing style, though, which was apparent in her other book, Warcross.

There are two things that will usually make me instantly love a book: Pirates and anti-heroes. This book had anti-heroes, but I still didn’t like it.


To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee || 5/5

to kill a mockingbird

This book was great! I can’t believe I haven’t read it before now. My favorite part of this book was the various characters. They were all lovely, especially Atticus. The writing was beautiful and there were many amazing quotes.

I’m not planning to read Go Set A Watchmen, though. I don’t want my precious Scout to grow up.


They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera || 5/5

they both die at the end

This book takes place in a world that’s mostly like our own, but with one difference: Death-Cast will call you at (about) midnight the day you die.

So first, I want to talk about the idea of being alerted the day you’re going to die (if someone is going to die that day, they’re called a “Decker”). I feel like this is a paradox, sort of like time travel.

So, assume that you are an avid mountain climber and you are supposed to die on June 4 because your harness snaps and you fall down the cliff-side to your doom.

But at 12:05 a.m. on June 4, Death-Cast calls you and tells you that you’re going to die, so you decide not to go mountain-climbing because tumbling down a cliff seems like a painful and unappealing way to die. Instead, you decide to not leave your bed and just drink peppermint tea all day. Super safe.

You don’t die.

And because you didn’t die, Death-Cast didn’t call you that morning.

And because Death-Cast didn’t call you on June 4, you didn’t die on June 4.

You went mountain climbing and your harness didn’t break and you had a grand ole time.

Therefore, is everybody’s life extended just by the existence of Death-Cast?

Or would you have died on June 4 anyway by some other method? For example, by drowning in your peppermint tea?

Okay, let’s get to the review now.

I love the message of this book, which is to take risks and live life to the fullest because you never know how much time you have left.

My favorite part of this book was the characters. I loved Mateo and Rufus. The title (They Both Die at the End) is a huge spoiler and since I knew that they were going to die, I tried not to get attached. I failed.

The writing was amazing and there were a lot of quotable parts. (I thought it was weird that teenagers were coming up with these beautiful and poetic quotes about life and death, though. But I guess they’re dying. They have a reason to be profound.)

Silvera was great at writing suspenseful parts and light-hearted parts and I was smiling through a lot of the book, even though I knew what was coming (intense sadnesses). The characters were just so lovable. Silvera did well with multiple point-of-views, as well. I always knew which chapters were Mateo’s and which were Rufus’s based on what they said and how they said it.


Crooked Kingdom || 13/5

crooked kingdom

This one was a reread, but I don’t think I’ve reviewed it before. THIS IS MY FAVORITE BOOK. THE CHARACTERS! THE CHARACTERS ARE AMAZING! I love how much they grow throughout the course of the series.

Also, I love them.

They’re amazing

SQUEEEEEEEEE.

Sorry, I’m being incoherent.

Read it.


Currently Reading

I just finished Crooked Kingdom, and I’m not entirely sure what to read next (nothing seems as good afterward), so I’m trying out different books on my TBR to see what I’m in the mood for, so I’m at the very beginning of both Seraphina and Ready Player One.

seraphinaready player one


TBR

  1. This Mortal Coil
  2. The Midnight Star
  3. Red Queen
  4. The Unwanteds Quests: Dragon Bones

Six of Crows

After a good month of Arachnid stuffing this book in every sentence she spoke and down my throat, I’d decided to read it.

And I did. It was amazing.

The first comment I would like to make is that none of the parts in this book went by slowly. Everything was interesting, from every nook and cranny of the pages, nothing was boring and it kept me entertained! The characters were awesome, the setting was brilliantly described and the plot was difficult to predict. I think this was one of the only books that I did not get bored of at one point and I got bored of Harry Potter, so this is a very fun read.

Because I don’t like writing summaries here is one I got off the book:

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker.

Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge. Matthias
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager. Jesper
A runaway with a privileged past. Wylan
A spy known as the Wraith. Inej
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. Nina
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes. Kaz?

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

My favorite character is all of the six outcasts, Kaz, Inej, Nina, Jesper, Wylan and Matthias because they are so fun to see fight and become friends with each other, but have terrible backstories that give their moral greyness a deeper meaning. Also, the characters avoid the stereotypical Power Ranger stereotypes that teams from other books and movies usually fall into.

They have great times with each other but are still unpredictable due to past conflicts and layered backstories that really make them do something evil, like be able to kill everyone on the team, but still have a reason. Matthias actually plotted to kill someone on the team because she betrayed him in the past and was part of a race he disliked, but ends up doing something really unpredictable instead.

All the characters have awesome motivations too and revenge plans to seek out which makes their goals worth it. (start spoiler) I especially liked the scene with Inej climbing the incinerator because it seemed like an hot, boiling (ha ha puns) anime fight scene where the main character gives it his all and won’t give up due to sheer stubbornness even as the villain gets stronger and stronger. As the soles of her shoes are burning off, Inej still climbs up the incinerator unable to stop amidst the flames which shows off her super hero-like determination. (end spoiler)

(all of this is a spoiler)

Another part I enjoyed was when Nina, the Heartrender sacrifices herself to the drug like substance jurda parem to gain more magical power and save the team from a whole army of soldiers. During that chapter, my eyes were glued on to the pages wanting to know what would happen next. Would Nina be spared from the addictive affects of two doses? Or would she die after she killed the soldiers?

(end spoiler)

I have no way to end this review so…

Wylan x Jesper for life!

Book Reviews!

Guys! What kind of semi-book blog is this? It’s been forever since I’ve reviewed anything! (Or even talked about books at all.)

So now I will throw up a large quantity of book reviews that review books that I have read recently.

 

story thieves pick the plot

Story Thieves: Pick the Plot   3/5

This book was okay. It wasn’t as good as the others in the series and there wasn’t much character development or plot in general. But that’s to be expected considering it’s a pick the plot book, which in itself is very interesting because the story that I read is different from the story that someone else read, even though it’s the same book. It was still a lovely addition to the series, which I highly recommend.

 

fantastic beasts and where to find them the original screenplay

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay   4/5

Fantastic Beasts is currently my favorite movie and it is absolutely wonderful. Thanks to the screenplay, I actually know what is going on.

 

turtles all the way down

Turtles All the Way Down   4/5

This book was great. I love John Green’s writing style and the things his characters point out that I’d never think about. One such thing that I keep thinking about is how English puts humans above many things, but below the stars. (It was much prettier the way John Green put it.) The main character was well-developed as we spent a lot of time inside her head, but I felt like there was more we could’ve known about the other characters. But I think this was intentional because Aza, the main character, is thinking more about what’s going on inside herself and is not very observant. The mystery aspect of the book was also rather lacking as it wasn’t the main focus of the book and it was suspenseful. But that’s okay since it’s not really about the mystery.

The ending was… there are no words. It sort of just ended. I really like the way it made it seem like the book was just a little piece of the characters’ lives, but I don’t like that I won’t know what happened after! This book may keep you up at night, imagining the next nonexistent chapter.

 

the gentleman's guide to vice and virtue

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue   5/5

This book was wonderful! The humor was exceptional and I think if I actually like historical fiction this would be a new favorite. It was ridiculous. *A note for future reference: When I say “ridiculous”, I usually mean it in a good way.

 

the language of thorns.jpg

The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic   5/5

This book was so good! It’s a collection of short stories that are like traditional fairy tales. And it was absolutely amazing! It’s hard to review the book as a whole because all the stories were completely different. My favorite was “The Witch of Duva”, which I made the mistake of reading at midnight. It was so creepy.

 

six of crows.jpg

Six of Crows   12/5

THIS BOOK WAS SO GOOD! Spinette, you have to read it. Everyone in the whole universe has to read this. I have to reread it.

IT IS SO GOOD!

Okay. I can’t form coherent thoughts about it. Everyone, just read it. Trust me.

 

I’m going to try and be better about reviewing. Maybe I’ll do one every five books I read?