Nope. I will not go on any pretentious pursuit of liking this book and wrack my nerve to come up with any compliments to sugarcoat my review. So yes, 2 out of 5 stars. Given my history in rating books, I am pretty much benign so a 2 star score for me could even be more godawful for others. Just saying.
Victoria Aveyard’s writing style in Glass Sword wasn’t at a complete odd with Red Queen, its predecessor. Looking back, I hardly had any effort getting into RQ but for some reasons, it was a 360-degree turn for GS for me. For the record, my reading activity for February revolved on this book alone. I am telling you so you get the picture how it practically killed me to drive my focus into it… and to illustrate how much of a masochist I am trying to love a book that wouldn’t love me back.
I read chapter 2 countless times not because I was so into it but because some trinkets of life pulled me out of Glass Sword’s universe. One second I’m reading but on the next, I’m admiring the lovely shade of blue in the sky outside. No, seriously it was like that for me. To others who said they devoured it in one sitting, good for you. I was reading with so many attention-grabbers, Mare included, that 75% of the book, I kept on forgetting what just happened I had to back-read multiple times. I know the problem has to be me but the book shouldn’t dare come clean because if it were as spanktacular as it promised to be, my rants would be non-existent.
Glass Sword picked up right were Red Queen left off. The entire plot was strewn with action-packed scenes from the first page to the last. The whole book mostly revolved around recruiting newbloods. There were close-to-death encounters. There were warfare and combats here and there that attempted to keep “your” (meaning, not mine) blood pumping all throughout. I’ll give Aveyard that credit. But not because it’s jam-packed with motions doesn’t mean it will keep you off your seat like watching Rick Grimes and his gang slaughter a bunch of walkers in Alexandria from The Walking Dead. NO. It wasn’t compelling enough.
There were so many things going on, so many characters introduced, so many places mentioned I can’t help but be like *le sigh* “WHERE’S THE FREAKING POINT?!”. Fine. There are points but before I even got to them, I’m tired comprehending which place lead to which (Cartography exists for a reason!), who this character is coming into picture all of a sudden, and ugh, MARE. Don’t get me started on Mare.
On second thought, let’s discuss the lightning girl. Much of my exasperation on this book is credited to Mare Barrow. That woman’s got loads of issues on her system. She’s feisty but not in the most adorable way. The outright opposite, to be honest. In RQ, I tolerated Mare’s obnoxious POV but here, it’s just too much. We knew she regretted trusting the douche that is Maven. We knew she felt sorry for the fire prince. We knew she wanted Kilorn alive and breathing forever. We knew she’s shattered. And obviously, we knew anyone can betray anyone. And how many times have we heard this? Thousands. I was on the verge of ordering myself to throw a fit the next time she wails about these. Will somebody junk this broken record away?! And what’s more sickening was this made up at least a fourth or a third of the book if summed up. More than sympathizing for the lightning girl basking in the the drama department, I pitied the trees cut to supply us papers for this book with a lost cause.
I still had sting my eyes, prickling at Maven’s memory. It’s hard to forget him as he was. No. As he pretended to be. The kind, forgotten boy. The shadow of the flame.
Mare of the Stilts died the day she fell onto a lightning shield. Mareena, the lost Silver princess, died in the Bowl of Bones. And I don’t know what new person opened her eyes on the Undertrain. I only know what she has been and what she has lost, and the weight of it is almost crushing.
I also felt sorry for the other characters – Cal, Kilorn, Shade, Farley, Maven, etc. Mare stole their spotlight. She’s got huge character development at the expense of others who were given just snippets. I saw less of Maven. Kilorn had hiatuses as well when it’s better he’s given none. Cal was there but taken not so importantly. I get that you’re the main character, Mare, but this isn’t your biography.
It’s not fair to point out only the crappy things about the book. I obviously loathed it to some extent and thus, the 2 stars. However, I didn’t give it a 1 for no reason. I praise Aveyard for putting first the actual theme here and that’s a war-based fantasy. She learned from the huge mistake of Red Queen that was insta-love. This provided a realistic setting because blatantly, when you’re facing a fight, you think of nothing else but to win it. You sought for distractions because humans are vulnerable but you don’t let that get the better of your game.
Also, that ending was one helluva cliffhanger. Finally, I could genuinely say that event was gripping. I like that it ended that way because at least, there’s a reason, even the littlest bit, for me to still consider the third installment, I could say it compensated for the ugly parts but hmm, I can’t afford to be that generous so I’ll just say it was one positive thing about this book.
I recommend this book to readers who are extremely patient with headstrong, insufferable characters, takes pleasure on action-packed fantasies with less romance, and with a zeal for listening to a broken record.