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.

Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag (Spinette Edition)

I’m what you call the Reader That Judges a Book by its Back Cover. Usuall, I don’t really have time to read books but when I do, I love to read them. So here is a book tag! We were tagged by the reptile who is good at cards, otherwise known as aceshadowdragon.

RULES:

1.Choose five books.

2. Randomly set up your books in order.

3. Flip to a random page in the book and write the first two names you can see.

4.Put the names in the categories listed below in the order you saw them.

5.And…cry at how screwed you are? (I’d rather dream about the bottoms of their feet!)

 

My favorite books that occupy my bookshelf:

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

One Punch Man, Volume 1 by Yusuke Murata

King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard

Replica by Lauren Oliver (both Lyra and Gemma)

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

 

The First One to Die?

Mickey Mouse, The Da Vinci Code. He is small and insignificant, a tiny detail of Langdon’s watch.

The person you trip to get away from the zombies?

Lyra, Replica. She’s an avid reader, but otherwise has no other redeeming qualities that could wash out her whole “I don’t really do much…” thing. So seeing her as useless, I will do what is appropriate and kick her out of our otherwise capable group of characters. Also her appearance is rather foul (I judge people on looks—it shows how neat or sloppy one is, their living conditions, the amount of money they have, but this is an argument for another time) and a bother to imagine.

The person who trips YOU to get away from the zombies?

Maven, King’s Cage. He is a demented meanie, so he would probably trip all of our zombie survival group. To be more precise, he would do that cliche plan in the movies where one person moves in as bait, and use me as the bait and once the zombie is safely SUCKING ON MY BRAINS, Maven will pass by whistling, using all of my flaws against me to clear his name.

The first person to become a zombie?

Cath, Fangirl. She’s not actually that wimpy, it’s just that I think she would be really nervous in her situation. Most probably, the anxiety will infect her brain before the zombie does, turning her into sweaty fan-fiction writing putty. For a couple of days she will live off a diet of granola bars, which I may remark is pretty impressive, but honestly not as impressive as what the rest of the group will have in store. I imagine her zombie-fication like this: In the middle of the night a zombie will find her snoozing on her computer, playing Kanye West in an attempt to relive her stress, and then eat her!

The idiot of the team?

Levi, Fangirl. Such a power couple aren’t they? The OTP for the zombies! As both of them will die first. He will make up jokes, eat too many survival granola bars, and oddly recite Cath’s fanfiction from memory in blurbs. Even if he is great with Cath, he will annoy the rest of the group to death. Most likely his bad choices will get him to be a zombie with his girlfriend one day.

The brains of the team?

Langdon, The Da Vinci Code. He is a Harvard professor! His various knowledge of symbols, religion, the Renaissance, and conspiracy theories will totally help us in the pursuit of chasing off zombies. Beside his off-the-edge smarts, he has a very well trained eye and can keep lookout for any zombies coming our way. Just don’t get him side tracked with topic of Christianity and he will be a great advisor to our group.

The team’s medic?

72, Replica. Otherwise known as Caelum, this boy will make the best medic. He has seen the nurses do their job at the Haven Institute. Fate picked him for this position is because it had no one else to put here. Good thing I found this little blurb to justify the answer: “He traced the long curve of her earlobe, and then moved a finger down her neck, pressing lightly as though to feel her pulse beating up through his hand. And everywhere he touched, she imagined she was healed. She imagined the disease simply vanishing, evaporating, like water under the sun.” He will heal Lyra, whom I tripped earlier.

The weapons expert?

Evangeline, King’s Cage. Her dresses are deadly. In our zombie survival group she will make us super cool metal dresses to stab the zombies with! We will be like Big Hero 6 except we will be much more stylish, fabulous, and deadly. Doubled with her ability to fling shrapnel, nothing will stop her from being a weapon expert. Hopefully, her rude attitude will not get us into trouble.

The brawler?

Crablante, One Punch Man. He’s big, strong, and has a temper to fit the part! I imagine him crushing zombies out of colossal rage. Also, since he has no brains, he will be a great choice for offense.

The team leader?

Saitama, One Punch Man. This should need no explanation. He can just destroy the armies of zombies with a single punch!

I tag all people who feel like doing this.

 

Red Queen: Some Random Thoughts

My favorite book of all time is Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. (Although The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen and The Keeper of the Lost Cities series by Shannon Messenger are close contenders.) If you haven’t read it (or them) you should.

This post does include some mild spoilers. You have been warned. (But if you haven’t read the book, I doubt it’ll make much sense.)

I am currently reading Red Queen for the fourth time.

But my rererereading it brings up some points that I always have had questions about.

It explicitly states that there aren’t any physical differences between a Red and Silver, other than the fact the Silvers are generally paler and blush weird.

That implies that if one were to place a Silver and a rather pale Red next to each other, one wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between them (unless the Silver started blowing stuff up or something).

And now my question: The inside of a person’s mouth is pinkish due to their red blood. So if a person had silver blood, wouldn’t the inside of their mouth be gray or something? The corner of a person’s eye is also pinkish due to their red blood. Wouldn’t that be silver for a Silver?

So if the inside of a Silver’s mouth was gray and the inside of a Red’s mouth was pink, then wouldn’t the High Houses know that Mare was only posing as a Silver as soon as she opened her mouth to say something?

Spinette has made an interesting theory on this point, which will follow the colon: What if Silvers have a strange affinity for cherry Kool-Aid or something else with intense red dye?

And now my second question: I have some problems with Mare’s cover story. It said that Mareena¬†Titanos was a Silver who was raised by Reds and she didn’t know that she was a Silver until she was seventeen.

That implies that she didn’t know the color of her own blood, which means that for as long as she could remember, Mareena hadn’t bled at all. Doesn’t this mean that Mareena never injured herself? She never even got a paper cut?

And if Mareena truly was a Silver raised by Reds who believed that she had red blood, it means that she never looked in a mirror to see that her mouth was not pink, but instead gray.

Either way, I am willing to overlook these minor technicalities and just love the book. (But I would love it if someone would explain to me how these things could be. I’m talking to you, Victoria Aveyard.)