*Spoilers ahead, if you haven’t read Red Queen*
“No one is born evil, just like no one is born alone. They become that way, through choice and circumstance.”
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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 Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind. Pursued by Maven, now 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. Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?
Feelings: TWICE I picked up the paper copy of this book to try and read it and TWICE I got bored out of my mind. You guys…what happened?? I even re-read Red Queen so as to motivate me the second time and NOTHING. So then I turned to the audiobook, thinking I could at least force myself to listen to it in the hopes that it would get interesting at some point. I listened to the first half of the book, then switched back to print when it started getting interesting.
I was glad to see some world expansion in this book. The first book was so narrowed to only a few places and in this book the world just explodes. There are so many new places we see and people from far off lands. (And lots of accents, if you’re listening to the audiobook.) I’m not really sure I followed everything, though.
The first book kind of made me think of the X-Men stories, but THIS book was like watching the movies all over again. We’re traveling along, picking up newbloods and learning about their abilities. I kind of liked that aspect of the story.
Issues: The first half of the book was dreadfully boring. They’re just traveling to where the action is and it was such a DUD. It was literally the 50% point where it started getting interesting.
I liked Mare well enough in the first book. I felt like she forgot where she came from a little too easily and lost some of the fight within her, but I was open to some more character growth. This book, however, left me super disappointed in Mare Barrow. Every 5 pages, her mind changes towards Cal. He’s a murderer…I need him…he’s an evil tactical genius…our eyes lock and I feel something whatever, back and forth. She’s sharing a bed with him, but can’t have a conversation? HE was the one that had to deal with the ultimate betrayal at the end of Red Queen.
Sure, Maven betrayed Mare as well, but CAL! Then she was keeping secrets about Maven from Cal and she lost me. That made zero sense to me. I get that she misses who she thought Maven was, but he’s not that guy. Never really was. Come on, Mare. He’s a good dude dealing with some serious demons. Mare is the reason I was bored. Her POV was all about her and how everyone was treating her, what she’d been through, and her her her.
And I don’t understand at all what is happening between Mare and Kilorn. It kept seeming like there was something more than friendship between them, then it’d just go away. This book did that a few times and it wore me out. It kept making me think of The Hunger Games. He confessed his feelings, she shut it down, then her feelings change a little? I’m so over the love triangle thing.
Other Characters: I really like Cal. I guess I didn’t have issues with him in this book because I felt for him, I was rooting for him. I wanted him to overcome his circumstances so badly and we see him go from a follower to a leader.
Farley become less of a scary leader lady in this book. She developed into an actual character, someone with a past to relate to and some demons to sort out. I liked that the author humanized her in this book. I was beginning to wonder exactly what her purpose would be. Then that ending…that’s a little more insight into her purpose. No spoilers.
Final thoughts: I stuck with this book because I enjoyed Red Queen so much. I just knew that it would pick up at some point, but I didn’t expect it to be HALFWAY through the book. That was really disappointing. I got frustrated with the characters more than I enjoyed reading about them. Bleh. There’s one more book in this series coming out and I’m not sure if I’ll read it or not.
Goodreads rating: 4.25/5
Amazon.com rating: 4.5/5
My rating: 3/5
Happy reading! – Caitlyn