18 February 2016
Series: Red Queen #2
Rating: 4.5 / 5 stars rating
HOLY CRACKERJACKS. What... the... what? Dang.
It's hard to even process and try to figure out where to begin with this one. Mare is such a BA heroine because she is so inherently flawed that at times throughout the book, you aren't quite sure if you should be rooting for her or not. She is complex, and darker than most female young adult narrators. Take for instance the main character of Throne of Glass, since I'm currently reading through that series as well. While that character is a supposed assassin, she seems kind of... pathetic? most of the time. Perhaps pathetic isn't the precisely correct word, but you catch my drift.
But Mare? Dang. She has that level of rage that takes over and explodes, quite literally takes to her powers of manipulating lightning. And she isn't always in control of her thoughts and actions, which is why even her friends and brother are sometimes worried/scared of her. Aveyard does an amazing job with Mare's character development, especially which her dysfunctional feelings towards Maven (again, perhaps one of the only young adult love triangles I've actually been able to invest in because they are all just so messed up).
And the plot. It seems maybe a little slow as first, and there is a lot of travel as they move about the kingdom trying to save and recruit Newbloods, but it is a steady ramp up and by the end it is hard to put the book down. There are a few spots that hit suddenly and slow the pace, but it's because they are shocking and you are unprepared, as are the characters themselves. It's full of deceit and half truths, and none stop action. And while Mare is far from perfect, and she isn't quite the perfect character either, she's pretty impressive, as is this entire novel. The ending was a little weird, and I'm not in love with the set up for the next novel, but it definitely offers a lot of promise for dark, angry, vengeful things to come.