BOOK REVIEW: War Storm (Red Queen #4) by Victoria Aveyard

BOOK REVIEW: War Storm (Red Queen #4) by Victoria AveyardWar Storm (Red Queen #4)
by Victoria Aveyard
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Synopsis:

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 overthrow 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 defeat 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 demolishing 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 little 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.

 

 
A soldier with orders to answer to. Fitting. That’s who he thinks he is. Just another person under his father’s command, obeying the will of someone dead. Again we lock eyes, and something in both of us burns.
Despite everything, his presence feels like safety. No matter what, he chases away any fear I have for myself.
Of course, that only leaves fear for the people I love.
For Farley, for my family.
And still, always, for him.

I think it’s safe to say that, even though it breaks my heart, this series just was 50/50 for me. Whereas most people would say book one and two were horrendous while three and four flourished, I’d laugh in their face and claim the opposite. See, to me, a book isn’t about bragging rights. It isn’t about doing things for the sake of doing them, nor is it about only making a statement. And, somewhere along the line, this series became about making a statement rather than just being a good book.

I feel cut in two, torn in different directions. An obvious question hangs in my mind. Another choice that I might need to make. His life or our victory? I don’t know which side I might choose, if I ever have to. Which side I might betray. The knife of that knowledge cuts deep, and I bleed where no one else can see.

I’m all about the excitement. The romance. The Peril. I don’t need the MC to stomp on everyone at the expense of keeping things interesting. And, while I’m at it, I don’t need a series or book to be wholly original. If you take a tired, but true, concept and add even a little twist to it, I’m happy. I obviously like what I like, so if you master it and make new characters and a fun storyline seem fresh and new, I’m all for it. I just need to fall for the characters, enough to care what happens to them, in the end, and I am so so happy. But making me fall for a character I’d die for, then making him a shell of a man….Nah. I’m so not here for that, and that’s exactly what happened here.

I don’t care about Iris, still out in the harbor, making her escape. I can only look at him, even though I never want to see him like this. Each passing second is a ruin. I’ve been shot; I’ve been stabbed; I’ve been hollowed out. This is a thousand times worse.

And, to be fair, I’d say that happened more in KC than in WS. In WS we saw my man really do his thing…but, yet, he also seemed like a pussy. Sorry, but I feel like the author totally emasculated him-and I stand by that. Do you know how disheartening it is to fall in love with a character, to really, truly fall head over heels for him for two whole books where he’s protective, loyal, strong-seeing them fall in love slowly, then all at once, even though it’s forbidden-would do anything for the MC, would die for her, to then be demoted to a lovesick puppy dog in book three with his tail behind his legs (and really in book 4, as well) and every POV that isn’t his all of sudden talks crap about him 24/7? DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHY THIS MIGHT RIP APART SOMEONE’S SOUL?!

I wonder which second put this in motion. Which choice. Was it Elara, looking into my head for an opportunity to strike the Scarlet Guard? Was it Evangeline, making me fall into the arena of Queenstrial? Was it Cal, his hand closing on mine when I was just a Red thief? Or Kilorn, his master dead, his fate decided, the doom of conscription looming before him?

And I think, over anything else, I have to ask why. WHY build someone up to then just cut him down? And don’t even get me started about Mare. Weak, pathetic, and really a total moron in book one and two (even though I really didn’t ever dislike her wholly), then made to be a badass (which is a good character arc, to be honest) along with every other woman in the series, yet all the other men fade to the back? Well, okay, except Maven who, frankly, I think was leading all the Maven fans on, so why stoke the fire? I just…this author. I don’t get it. Why???

Constructions of their parents. Cal is built from his father’s dreams, and Maven from his mother’s nightmares.

And sometimes I just need time to figure out what I really feel about a book, an end of series, whatever, before I can give a real rating. As I was reading this, in May, I really thought it was a 4 star or 5 star book…but that end. Give me a break. Yeah, I liked it, it was okay. But, say if it was by Leigh Bardugo (and that’s just ONE example, I have many), for instance-I’d have been all heart eyes and emojis because, as most of the world knows, this woman can write, and a HFN for Leigh is the equivalent to 1,000 parades celebrating a royal wedding-that is to say, you know those characters will be okay and they’ll be together. But, with this author, I find I have no such assurance by that end. And, the most telling for my rating of all-as time has passed, I forgot I even read this novel. Which, as many of you know, is NOT good. It’s not good at all.

Making us wait isn’t just rude; it’s politically stupid. And a waste of my own precious time.
He’s probably off arguing with Mare again, pretending not to look at her lips while he does it. The prince is terribly predictable, and I hope the pair of them will boil over into some not-so-secret secret relationship once more. Will I be expected to guard the door?I sneer to myself.

I won’t go on and on and diss on a series that I really adore-I do and I did. The first two books are so superior to me-I could NEVER forget them. And, frankly, I plan to re-read those two books until the end of time. They still excite me. I still go crazy when I think of them and my heartbeat goes crazy and I’d just defend them to the very end. But those last two books, to me, just weren’t what my heart wanted and they were, honestly, poorly executed (At least book three was). Playing the ‘unreliable narrator’ card for Mare for books one and two so she can demolish another character for the sake of the story is deplorable, to me. And I will NOT support it. However, I will always cherish those first two books with my whole heart. I’ll admit that doesn’t happen often…so kudos to the author for that. If I don’t like a series, in the end, I normally dismiss all the books. But not here-Cal and Mare were EVERYTHING, to me, and I’ll never forget it.

Don’t think about him.
I chant it to myself as I prepare for bed, repeating the words over and over.
Cal’s face seems burned against my eyelids, while Maven haunts even my fleeting, distant dreams. Those stupid boys. They never leave me alone.

And the children. Seriously. Wtf.

And, to be fair, I am extremely hard on series ends…but I truly don’t think I’m the problem here. Just saying. I think I’m just so hurt/betrayed/upset that this wasn’t made to be more. It just could have been so. much. MORE. I cry for what it had the potential to be. And, yet, here we sit.

********

I have waited and waited and waited to write this review-I had read this the first week it came out…but what do you say when your heart is broken? Frankly, this series started out SO strong for me. Cal is everything. Cal is my baby. Cal is [one of many] my husband. But, after book two, this series lost the sparkle, for me. It became about female empowerment at the cost of other characters’ development, and lost my interest in the process-Just because Mare was an ‘unreliable narrator’, as the author stated at her War Storm signing, does not mean the ‘I am female, hear me roar’ idea should overpower the integrity of the rest of the novels.

Now, I know this will be an unpopular, likely trolled, opinion, but I hope everyone will accept that, while it is not popular, it is my right to say what I feel, to speak with candor, and to not be ‘hated on’.

I will come back with a full review, but, for now, that was my largest problem with this series. Not Mare, the ‘lightening girl’, the repetitive phrasing, nor Camden (who I loathed) (and is that even her name??? Cameron, maybe?). It was this series and how it was handled. And it lost me at King’s Cage. I had hoped for a better, different outcome…but here we are.

Review to come.

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4 Comments

  1. I haven’t read this book yet but I’ve seen a lot of people of disappointed with the finale. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it as much as you hoped.
    Raven recently posted…Between Frost and Fury (The Xenith Trilogy #2) By Chani Lynn Feener [Review]My Profile

    • Chelsea (Peril Please)

      October 30, 2018 at 10:50 am

      Yeahhh…it just really sucked lol Actually, I think 3 AND 4 sucked, so, well, here we are.

  2. Haven’t started this series yet, but I hate when the series ends on a fail.
    T.H. Hernandez recently posted…Young Adult Book Review + Giveaway – HOW TO BREATHE UNDERWATER by Vicky SkinnerMy Profile

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