Series: Red Queen (Page 1 of 2)

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
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads


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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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
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads


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.

To celebrate my first post here, I’m going to share a review of one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE series, Red Queen! I am absolutely in love with this series and these characters and I was sad to say goodbye to them this year (unless those novellas actually come to fruition, as Victoria has hinted at).

To rise. And rise alone.

It’s finally here. My most anticipated book of the year!

I unabashedly love this series. I love love love it. If you had me sit down and explain to you what elevated this above so many others, I’m not sure how I would articulate it. But I’m just so drawn into this world and these characters.

Because of this, I was so worried for how this was going to end. I imagine it’s very difficult to end a series, as there are so many expectations and opinions. Some do it well, while others misfire. And obviously, as with all things we choose to consume, it’s entirely subjective. I recognize this, but the final book can tarnish the rest of this series if done in an unsatisfactory way. (Unpopular opinion: this is 100% how I feel about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – I hated the ending so much that it affected my love of the series.)

But I’m happy to say, in my humble opinion, that War Storm ends on a satisfactory note for me.

Mild spoilers below:

I wasn’t let down, even without a fairytale ending. But it also didn’t go the route of Mockingjay and kill off everyone either. I was happy with the realistic middle ground, which left Mare and Cal’s relationship on a break, but with hope for the future. I truly believe, that after they both do some growing up, they do get their happy ever after.

I’m happy to report the major story lines were resolved over the 650 pages. This book was a brick, not that I’m complaining about length. Even after I tore through it, I didn’t want to leave these characters behind. The world-building continued to grow to new heights and introduced an exciting new government structure to our Norta friends.

Almost all living characters from the past three books make an appearance, though some briefly. I wasn’t sad for the omission of Cameron’s voice this time around. Cal and Maven receive their own chapters, but they are used sparingly. The majority of the story is told from Mare, Evangeline and Iris.

“I am different from what my world demands I be. And I am not worse for it.”

Evangeline remains to be one of my favorite literary characters. Here is someone I wrote off after the first book as an evil and power-hungry girl, but oh how I was wrong. I loved her storyline as she grappled what it meant to be free and to stand on her own without the shadow of her parents or the weight of her family name. I only wish we received one more chapter from her point of view at the end.

“Never change, Evangeline.“ Her smile flashes, quick as a knife. “Of course not. Why change perfection?”

While Evangeline remained my favorite character, I devoured the difficult relationship between Mare, Cal and Maven. Let me be very clear: I was Team Cal from the very start, but I find Maven to be an incredibly interesting character. His sway over Cal and Mare is evident and fascinating, even to the very end. Cal’s struggle with his brother’s choices, and evening wanting to find a way to redeem and forgive him, was absolutely heartbreaking. Even as Mare accepted that Maven could not be saved, Cal’s love of his brother, even in spite of every horrible thing Maven had done, was so strong. I really felt for Cal as he dealt with his complicated feelings.

“I can’t,” I bite out, looking anywhere but his face. He responds quickly, with force. “Neither can I.” “But I also can’t – ”
Stay away. Keep doing this. Denying ourselves in the face of always-looming death.
Tiberias hisses out a breath. “Neither can I.”

I ate up every single Mare/Cal scene, which ranged from funny, to tantalizing, to frustrating and to heartbreaking. There’s really a full gamut of emotions for us Cal/Mare fans.

Victoria has been pretty clear that outside of a novella or two, we are likely done with these characters. While I would love for more books in this world, I understand her need and excitement to move onto a new series.

I know I’ll be following.

King’s Cage (Red Queen #3) by Victoria Aveyard

King’s Cage (Red Queen #3) by Victoria AveyardKing's Cage (Red Queen #3)
by Victoria Aveyard
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads


In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl's spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother's web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare's heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.


I’m not leaving this place unless I leave behind his corpse—or mine.


No one can possibly understand how much love and adoration I have for this series. Book one and two were literal obsessions for me. I loved them so deeply that I literally took the time to annoy each and every one of my closest friends who chose to give a shit…even though 4/5 of them didn’t care for this series. I can’t even count all the times throughout a year that I say the name ‘Cal’. I know for a fact that I induced many an eyeroll from everyone around me. All year long it was Cal this, Cal that, epic ending this, epic ending that….it was unforgettable, if only to me. This was my world, and I longed for it every moment I couldn’t have it. And then…this.

It’s almost comical. Every step I take explodes in my face. I tried to save Kilorn from conscription and maimed my sister instead. I became a maid to help my family and within hours became a prisoner. I believed Maven’s words and Maven’s false heart. I trusted Cal to choose me. I raided a prison to free people and ended up clutching Shade’s corpse. I sacrificed myself to save the people I love. I gave Maven a weapon. And now, try as I might to thwart his reign from the inside, I think I’ve done something much worse.

Look, I’m clearly the weak link here. You can go to the book’s page and clearly see that the four and five star reviews are just rollllling in. And what the funniest thing to me is, where the hell were these reviews for book one and two? When I needed someone to fangirl with, when I just needed a fix, a quick look at a new perspective from someone who truly loved this series as much as me-where the hell were these amazing, glowing reviews? There was so much hate for the first two books that, okay, yes, were a bit cliche and a bit over the top, and even were a bit repetitive with the phrase ‘lightening girl’, and now people like this one? Okay…that last one was said A LOT, but still. My point is this: there was no more wrong with those two books than this book, yet the praise keeps rolling in for KC. In fact, I really wonder what made this such a success in so many people’s minds?

Like I said in my pre-post after just finishing-Its not about the teams and its certainly not about who she will ultimately choose…or not choose. I just think there was so much potential for this story and it fell so so flat.

The smell of smoke gets stronger as I push on. Hope flares. Where there’s smoke, there’s a fire prince.

Let me start with my least favorite part of this whole book and what I had thought was a shoe in for being my favorite: The extra POV. I mean….what. The fuck. WAS that?? Cameron was not only a character that I hated more than I could ever POSSIBLY have hated Mare, but she was an absolute brat. She was grouchy. She was judgmental. And, what do I care what anyone thinks, I’m just going to say it: She did nothing but talk shit about Cal. FINE. It’s fine-And believe me when I say that if this was the only problem I had with this book, I would have GLADLY handed this book yet another five-I love this series SO MUCH that I’d have wholeheartedly dealt with the self-righteous and obnoxious Cameron (to this I ask reviewers why they love Cameron so much? You all have hated Mare so much…yet Cameron is just Mare on crack. She calls Cal and others out…but she might be just as bad, if not worse, than Mare. So…why?) with a smile on my face. No. Believe me when I say there are far more problems than something as simple as my bias.

Nights spent curled against Cal. Forcing Cameron to join our cause. Stolen moments rereading Maven’s sickening notes. Memories of who I thought the forgotten prince was. My cowardice. My nightmares. My mistakes. Every selfish step I took that led me here.
Look what you did. Look what you did. Look what you did.

For one….I’ve read a million and one books that are bridges to the final story, and not felt an ounce of the boredom I felt for this one. It’s just a whole lot of nothing, if I’m being honest. I suppose there was plenty of political planning, war strike planning, and even some pretty decent action scenes, but it felt so contrived, so forced that I couldn’t help but feel wholly disconnected.

Which is my next problem: Do you ever feel like you’re an outsider looking in? I mean, in a way, aren’t books kind of supposed to be like that? Of course we are merely the readers, simply observing our favorite characters from outside the book, rooting them on and hoping they make it out alive? Well, yes, in a way this is correct. But, if you really think about it, how often do you ACTUALLY feel this way? The answer should be never. You should never feel separated from your characters, you should always be so fully immersed in the world that you can’t tell where your fictitious book world ends and real life begins. There’s a fine line here you don’t want to cross, and it happened here. Not once in this series have I ever felt like the twice-removed cousin hanging out like a creeper in the back…but this book made me feel so left out, so apart from the story, that when I finally got to the part I pined for, I just couldn’t fall back into the story. In fact, when that moment hit? I deflated like a balloon. I knew for a fact I wasn’t going to love this story, no matter how much went my way. And, believe me, a ton did, all the way up to a twisted, fucked up ending. I just…simply ceased to love, to care. And this might be why my heart is still completely shattered.

Even now, when I am painfully his, he won’t let go. I would prefer death to this cage, to the twisted obsession of a mad boy king.

And, sigh, the elephant in the room, on my end: Maven. If you look back at my reviews, you can see I have never hated Maven. Sure, he has been an obstacle between Cal and Mare, and this brings out the competitive juices in me. But never has there been utter hate. I even liked Maven in book one-not as her love interest, but as a person. He was never a true problem for me because, in the end, I loved Cal so deeply that the Maven moments were inconsequential. So, when I heard this was mostly a Maven driven book, it didn’t deter me in the least. Who cares?? But I did feel that there was something icky about how he was handled. We all know he’s not truly a monster. He’s a wounded boy who grew up with odd circumstances and a repulsive mother. But we also know Victoria Aveyard’s intention is not for Maven to be a love interest-she has made this more than clear. So then…why all the Maven empathy? Isn’t it kind of fruitless after 30% to continue laying on the Maven mind games? He loves Mare in the only way he can…but even Mare can see a screw is loose. So I guess I just felt like it was cruel to Maven fans, honestly. Which is something I never thought I’d say.

I wonder if he has nightmares of the assassination attempt. Nightmares of his mother, dead by my hand. His father, dead by his action. His brother, in exile but a constant threat. Funny, Maven called himself Cal’s shadow, but Cal is the shadow now, haunting every corner of Maven’s fragile kingdom.

Sigh. And Mare. Oh Mare-she can make or break your love for this series….where I sit wholeheartedly in the middle. She definitely isn’t someone I’d say is a favorite heroine (or even one I truly like) but I don’t feel the way most readers do. She is kind of a badass, really. And yes, she has made me so mad I could throw my iPad across the room, but no, she isn’t unbearable, to me. She was the best she’s ever been-I can assure everyone of that. I won’t get into it, but I will say this: my biggest problem is what COULD be. I don’t know how Aveyard will end this…but I do have a problem with one outcome, and I’ll leave it alone because I, quite frankly, don’t want to be harassed about it. Just know, there is a super…depressing way this could end, and I sure hope she doesn’t choose to end it that way, because it would really break my heart.

“If your heart’s not in this, you’re going to get a lot of people killed.”
He whirls, almost knocking me on my ass with the speed and force of his movement. I have seen his fire firsthand, but never so strongly as the flame blazing in his eyes.
“Cameron, my heart is quite literally in this,” he hisses through gritted teeth.

And I’ll make my normally longer than life paragraph about Cal short and sweet. He had some extremely swoony, wonderful, amazing quotes and moments in this book-some that I could only dream of actually happening-I was beyond ecstatic. His love for Mare (and actual declaration of it) made my soul soar and I was on cloud nine…but only to an extent. That’s as far as it went because of that ‘feeling like an outsider’ deal I mentioned earlier. I could only immerse myself so far…and that might have been the final nail in the coffin, for me: My darling baby Cal feeling like the shell of the man he could be. Just….OUCH.

So, I guess that’s that. A lot of ramble, but a whole lot of deep truths from me. I can only be truthful and I can only say what I feel-there’s no room for half-truths or false pleasantries. I liked a few things about this book but, in the end, I just wanted and needed more. Evangeline was a definite plus in this book, seeing as I’ve always liked her from afar (and now I adore her), but not enough to save the breaks in this story and my expectations. I’m glad people are loving this….I’m just devastated I’m not one of them.

“Then what do you want?” When Kilorn asked me that same question, it gave me focus, purpose, a clear path in darkness. “What do you want, Cal?”
He answers quickly, eyes blazing. “You.” His fingers tighten on mine, hot but steady in temperature. He’s holding himself back as much as he can. “I am in love with you, and I want you more than anything else in the world.”

I hope even Victoria can read this review and understand I have no ill intent-I will forever be a huge fan of this series and I STILL love book one and two way more than is acceptable for my health. It is never my intention to attack an author, to attack other people’s opinions-I simply have to get my thoughts out, for my voice to be heard by those who care enough to hear it. I think I’ve always been a fair reviewer, and I hope people can see that the only thing I’m trying to say in my review is this: I’m just a girl who is obsessed with this series, and my heart and soul hurt because I couldn’t find a connection with this story, whatever the reason. It hurts me more than it hurts anyone reading this, and I have nothing but hope for an amazing final book. And if not?? I’ll forever adore the first two books and they will always be in a prime spot on my nerdy bookshelf/shrine in our living room. I just hope people can see that-I give up on series for way less than this…yet here I sit, ready for book four and hoping for all the best. I just hope my heart doesn’t get ripped in two next year. I guess we’ll see, won’t we?


NO one knows how painful this is for me to rate and feel this way. It has nothing to do with Maven. It has nothing to do with my precious baby Cal, who, by the way, I will still marry someday and who can STILL do no wrong in my eyes. And, actually, it has nothing to do with Mare. I don’t care if you’re team Cal, Maven, Mare, Kilorn, or Evangeline. In fact? It had nothing to do with this hideous representation of the characters in this story, at all.

What it comes down to? This story sucked, plain and simple. Boring without an ounce of inspiration, this book is nothing more than filler, extra drama, and a total bridge to the final book. And, if I’m being completely honest, I, for once, don’t see how the next book can be any better.

I’ll hold out hope, though. Cal is a number one BBF, and I will see this all the way to the end.





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BOOK REVIEW: Glass Sword (Red Queen #2) by Victoria Aveyard

BOOK REVIEW: Glass Sword (Red Queen #2) by Victoria AveyardGlass Sword (Red Queen #2)
by Victoria Aveyard
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: 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?


When I remember all I’ve done, and what has been done to me. The ice sits where my heart should be, threatening to split me open. My arms curl around my chest, trying to stop the pain. It works a little, letting warmth back into me. But where the ice melts, it leaves only emptiness. An abyss. And I don’t know how to fill it back up.

There are certain series that just ooze greatness and emit an allure that makes them almost impossible to hate. Well, I’m here to assure you…this series isn’t it. I know, right?? How big of an ass am I?? I said the same thing for book one, yet gave it a 4.5. Now, here I am again giving this a 5-a perfect score-and bashing it right out of the gate. Let me make it simple for you: I am a very easy person to please. No, scratch that, I’ve become picky as shit. But in doing so, I’ve narrowed down what works for me-All the way down to the writing, the female lead, the genre, the cheesiness, and, of course, the boys. Most books are one way or another-Good or bad. Epic or lame. Beautiful or meh. Yeah, well….this one is all those things. It’s both good and bad. It is absolutely fucking epic…but has some lame things I wish I could burn away with Cal’s fire (eh, eh????). And while it has some beautifully heart-wrenching, soul-crushing, and butterfly inducing moments….there are many, many moments where I want to stab the main character.

When Cal’s warmth wraps around me, his arms around my shoulders, his head tucked against my neck, I lean into him. I let him protect me, though we swore we wouldn’t do this back in the cells of Tuck. We are nothing more than distractions for each other, and distractions get you killed. But my hands close over his, our fingers lacing, until our bones are woven together. The fire is dying, flames reduced to embers. But Cal is still here. He will never leave me.

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THERE!! I FUCKING SAID IT. I have a large issue with the main character, OKAYYYY??? Sue me-I might only have ONE large flaw with this series, and that, my friends, is the lightening girl….aka, a pompous little piece of shit. Okay, hear me out before you get all judgey- I have NEVER hated this girl. Hell, I don’t even hate her now!! But in book one…I was a tad skeptical of her. I mean, I liked her, she was cool and all. But, I saw signs in her that made me wonder what was to come. Like, oh, I don’t know, trusting that conniving little monster who almost-he certainly attempted (something I will NEVER forgive him for, please note)-killed his own brother. Sick bastard. Just…okay, I digress. In this book, she didn’t even start off in middle territory-from page one on, she was a self-righteous little bitch.

Even the faces that haunt me, the faces of the dead, have disappeared. Funny, now that I’m dying, my ghosts decide to leave.
I wish they would come back .
I wish I didn’t have to die alone.
-And no, she doesn’t really die. Chill.

Yeah, sorry not sorry. ANYWAY, I’ll get back to her later-I’d like to actually start off on a nicer note (First I’m sour, then I’m sweet!! Hehe). I was one of the few who found book one to be almost flawless. It had it’s problems, it really, truly did, but I never have been one to rate based on hard facts and originality-If an author can take something that has been done before and make me a die hard fan, then I don’t see the problem. In fact, I ended that book and was so happy…but was like okay, moving on. But as the release for this novel got closer and closer and the ARCs were being given out and I saw that fucking gorgeous cover…I may have began to, oh, I don’t know, long for it’s impending release?? This absolutely shocked me, if I’m being honest. Yeah, I enjoyed it. So, what? I enjoyed a ton of books in 2015. But what made this one so special, ya know??

If I am a sword, I am a sword made of glass, and I feel myself beginning to shatter.

So, ANYWAY, seriously, I have GOT to get on track, February got closer and closer…and I got more and more excited. There are about 5 releases this month, most of them ends of series that are absolute favorites that I adore, and I didn’t really have this one ranked-in fact, it was maybe even last on my list. And then…and then. I began thinking about Cal. I began reminiscing and reliving all the best moments where I fell head over heels for him and all his loyalty. I began to mention him to friends. I began to talk…and talk…and talk…and obsess about how he’d do literally anything for Mare, even put himself in the most danger possible, just to keep her safe, even after everything….. and all of a sudden it became my most anticipated release. Any book that can do that to me, even after I had it pegged differently in my mind…is a winner in my eyes.

I fear being alone more than anything else. So why do I do this? Why do I push away the people I love? What is so very wrong with me?
I don’t know.
And I don’t know how to make it stop.

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So, again, what’s so special about this book besides my main man, Cal?? Well, aside from him, because he really is my biggest obsession with this series, there is actually a lot that attracts me to these books. For one, there is always action. Two, they are always running for their lives. Three, the battles are actually super hardcore and the author doesn’t shy away from terrible things happening, even torture, even to main characters. And, ya know, I just can’t not be attracted to that stupid love triangle that plays with my very soul even after I’ve long since fallen asleep. And probably my favorite thing of all, besides Cal (Didn’t we COVER this??), is the absolute unabashed way the author writes cliffhangers at the end of these books.

But then, my life has changed more in the last two months than ever before. And only two people were with me through it. The first is imprisoned and the second wears a crown of blood.

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Do you guys even understand how hard it is for cliffhangers to make me cackle in glee?? I remember the good old days (‘Wish we could turn back time, to the good old daaa-aaaaaays’) when every little cliffhanger shocked and excited me. Now, when I see people say, THAT ENDING THOUGH, I roll my eyes and say, yeah, okay. Well…thus are the perils of being a peril whore-Eventually, you run out of shocking and mind-blowing moments of ultimate destruction, devastation, and general mayhem. And hey, they don’t always have to be huge explosions or screaming declarations of last minute pleas to the ones our characters never admitted they loved. Sometimes subtlety is much more satisfying, consuming…and bone chilling.

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The girl I see is both familiar and foreign, Mare, Mareena, the lightening girl, the Red Queen, and no one at all. She does not look afraid. She looks carved of stone, with severe features, hair braided tight to her head, and a tangle of scars on her neck. She is not seventeen, but ageless, Silver but not, Red but not, human-but not. A banner of View Spoiler », a face on a wanted poster, a prince’s downfall, a thief…a killer. A doll who can take any from but her own.

I’d love to say this subtle little dagger to the heart is only because of something between Cal and Mare, oh boy oh boy wouldn’t I….but I can’t say. Well, Chelsea, why even bring it up, then?? I’ll tell you why: This ending was so good, so subtlety satisfying and all consuming (hahahah see, just like I said above), that I would be angry at myself if I didn’t bring it up. I can’t even begin to explain how perfect it was. It was so damn good that it didn’t have to go out with a bang…a whimper sufficed. And my whole point in all this??? Not since my Golden Son ARC in December 2014 has there been a cliffhanger that effected me at all…until now. Glass Sword’s ending made me so happy that I can’t even recognize myself….I’m an annoying old turd.

But like my brother, I too have a crutch. Mine is not metal. It is flesh and fire and bronze eyes. If only I could cast him away. If only I was strong enough to let the prince go and do what he would with his vengeance. To die or live as he saw fit. But I need him. And I can’t find the strength to let him go.

*Sly look* And would you like to know whyyyyyy I am being so colorfully annoying? I can tellllll you in one. Simple. Word. It starts with C…and ends with al. What does that spell? CAL CAL CAL CAL CAL CAL CALLLLLLL!!! That’s right, my lovelies. Hundreds and hundreds of pages of Cal moments, looks, and caresses. Protectiveness, loyalty, and longing for the lightening girl he used to know are abundant and seeped onto every single page, and I couldn’t be happier. This guy, this beautiful beautiful boy that stole my heart last summer was the same as he always was…er….or not-He was even better.

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What began as Cal’s breakdown has become mine. One dark night I spilled my secrets to him, on a road thick with summer heat. I was the girl who tried to steal his money then. Now, winter looms, and I’m the girl who stole his life.

DARK. TORTURED. LONELY. HELL BENT ON VENGEANCE. And most of all…broken and sad. My poor boy went through hell in the last story. He never had his mother-she was murdered long ago, but he lost two of the most important people in his life in the blink of an eye-His father and his brother.

My fingers find his lips, stopping him from saying the words. They cause him so much pain. In that instant, I glimpse a man with no drive but vengeance, and no heart but the one I broke for him. Another monster, waiting to take true form.

One to death, the other to an evil hidden under the perfect disguise. And where did it all start??? It started the moment he met Mare and invited her into the castle. I mean…I can’t even. Why does this little tidbit excite me so?? She, the girl he (loves??) has fallen for, is the reason for his misery. And yet, this whole story, we see how much he is willing to do for her, how he is still willing to risk it all, willing to stand beside her….even as she begins (*Scoffs* When wasn’t she?) to turn into a monster right before his eyes. It kills him to see her this way, to see her falling apart and ripping at the seams in the face of danger and losing more and more friends and family. My soldier, my beautiful broken boy….he’s falling apart. But he never stops relying on his military skills, intelligence, and heart to keep him afloat, even as the darkness begins creeping in at the edges. Oh….and his loyalty….did I mention it never falters??

And we share an alliance-an uneasy one forged in blood and betrayal. We are connected, we are united-against Maven, against all who deceived us, against the world about to tear itself apart.

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Even with all this beautiful win, that’s not to say I didn’t get annoyed. Mare’s constant back and forth and longing for the old Maven (WAH, cry me a fucking river) and her smacking Cal, my dear soldier, repeatedly in the face was enough to make anybody crazy. I grew tired of her constant use of lightening girl to refer to herself, her misplaced sense of self-worth, and, like I said, how she treated Cal. She thought she was the most important thing on the planet, and eventually that began to grate. Even with all of this being said and my constant repeat of the word ‘even’ and ‘constant’ (did you notice how many times I used these??), I do still like her. I don’t believe for a second that three boys would be into her, the nasty little skank, but I don’t hate her-Far from it. She has her issuesbut she is the reason this story exists-and her and Cal together? They please me…they make me very, very happy. I can deal with some idiosyncrasies (like self-importance and NOT ADMITTING TO CAL THAT SHE HAS ALWAYS LOVED HIM) if she learns from her mistakes and grows as a person…and that ending…the one right before the end end?? Ahhh. I might die happy.

But still, somehow, I feel a pull to him. I remember the burdened boy who gave me a silver coin when I was nothing. With that one gesture he changed my future, and destroyed his own.

So, you know, there is so much more I could ramble on about (I bet I helped so much with your decision to read the book, yeah?? ALL DEM FACTS!), but I grow tired now that the fangirl has been extracted from every one of my pores. It’s clear I fell hard for this story, and it’s clear as to why. I even wanted to throw in that Kilorn, a character I wanted to kill in the last book (haha), became someone I really liked. Filled with angst and broken hearts and action-packed sequences, there is much more to love in this book than even the first. I did really love the first, and it might even be my favorite, even if my ratings don’t reflect it, but there was just something special about this book that took my breath away. I don’t know. I’m a sucker for a forbidden and tortured romance…but what does everyone else think??? I need to hear what people are thinking! I NEED TO GUSH! Argh!


The door swings inward as the first soldier rounds the corner, but my thoughts are only of Cal.
It seems princes make be blind.

Me too, bitch. Me too.

CAL!!!!!! I will ALWAYS LOVE YOU!!!! AGH! EPIC EPIC EPIC. Can I keep him??? Please???


View all my reviews

BOOK REVIEW: Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard

BOOK REVIEW: Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria AveyardRed Queen (Red Queen #1)
by Victoria Aveyard
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads


The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of
those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?

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Anyone can betray anyone 
As I sit here and stew over what I should rate this, I am faced with many indisputable facts: I can’t say it’s original, because it isn’t. I don’t know what it’s comparable to and I don’t even know if it’s truly that great of a book. In all reality, I didn’t fall for this book for quite a while. I can’t even decide what an appropriate rating is. Hell, I didn’t even like Mare that much-at least until the end, that is. But even faced with all these convoluted facts, one thing was consistent from the beginning:


Cal Cal Cal Cal Callllll….Every time, even from the beginning, when he was around I had so many feels I was choking on them-Okay, okay-the choking feels began around the middle of the book (You’ll see why) and then near the end they consumed me. So….I’m torn. And this doesn’t happen often. The end was explosive and Cal stole my heart-but I didn’t become fully engrossed until the middle. So I am faced with my fickle ways-shaky beginning (though, I was in a dark place for the first 30%, so maybe that effected my enjoyment?), heart-stopping boy, and a truly astonishing and epic end, leaving me to focus on what made me the happiest-the end and a boy…doesn’t it always begin and end with a boy?

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The world is Silver, but it is also gray. There is no black-and-white.

So, I guess it’s time to talk about the bad. I’d rather get the nasty out of the way first…if you please. As I started this story, I had a hard time, hmm, connecting? And it wasn’t because it was boring, nor was it slow…it was more that I had a hard time seeing why this was so popular. I think the biggest fault in highly anticipated books is the hype. Hype can be a magnificent thing-creating excitement and nervous energy about a big up and coming author/book. But there’s also a darker side to hype-I like to not so subtly call that twisted, evil twin the ‘hype monster’. Soooo original, yeah? But it’s also true: Had no one said a word about this story to me, and I had found it all on my own or through word of mouth by a close friend, I wouldn’t have thought twice about the unoriginal beginning of this book-because there was also that. I felt like I was reading another book, and I’m not sure what, but it put a not-often-found sour taste in my mouth at the beginning of the story. Near 30%, after my aforementioned dour mood (Hmmmm ironic), I started to find more and more enjoyment with each passing page. Oooh, orrrr, errrrr, hmm…that might be because we started seeing more and more of Cal…but that’s neither here nor there!

“You better hide that heart of yours, [Mare] Lady Titanos. It won’t lead you anywhere you want to go.”

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And Mare. I think she’s a two-part explanation. I like her….and I also disliked her, quite a lot. It came and went in spurts. In the beginning, she was pretty uninteresting and a lot repetitive-side note-she stays repetitive-but I never….hated her. Near the end? I wanted to PUNCH her at one point-ACT SMARTER, BE SMARTER, SHOW THOSE DECEPTIVE SKILLS YOU THINK YOU SO HEARTILY POSSESS-but then she surprised me with her ferocity, in the end, and I felt a sort of awe and respect blossoming. In short? I have high hopes for Mare. And Maven…I won’t even go there…because…no. Not worth it. He will never be as good as Cal. End. Of. Story.

They’ve pulled me inside out, swapping Mare for Mareena, a thief for a crown, rags for silk, Red for Silver. This morning I was a servant, tonight I’m a princess. How much more will change? What else will I lose?

But here we are-there was just so much good. I really can’t say I saw it at the beginning, but I had hope, and I was never once negative. Like with many dystopians, it was building up to something greater, something bigger, something life-altering….and that leaves me with the same question it always does when a dystopian doesn’t start as fast as I’d like-Was it worth it?

Silvers are different, I remind myself. Their scars don’t last. They don’t remember pain. With skin healers waiting in the wings, violence has taken on a new meaning for them. A broken spine, a split stomach, it doesn’t matter. Someone will always come to fix you. They don’t know the meaning of danger or fear or pain. It’s only their pride that can truly be hurt.

It’s an easy answer: The end justified the means. And it’s as simple as that. I had to get through some things. I had to deal with my uncertainty and everything leading up to it, but, in the end, I loved it. And I just decided that. I loved this book. If I were to go back and re-read this, knowing what I know, I would love it even more the second time around. There would be no uncertainty, no doubts-just a good book laying groundwork for something greater. No, it wasn’t what I expected and no, I can’t help my initial doubts, but it became something I can love and admire-And I am so so happy for that…I hate rating poorly. Oh, and PS, people touting there’s a ‘huge twist’ and ‘OMG THAT ENDING’ almost always ruin a book for me. See, I have high expectations, perilistically speaking, and I am one that likes to just enjoy, not know that there’s something coming-It’s much more shocking when you don’t know…right? It pisses me off when this shock is taken from me. And with that, people took my shock away-I guessed every twist from the beginning-Thank you, guys, really.

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But here is where my praise really comes in-it takes a truly astonishing author to make me sick to my stomach, to gasp, to beg for mercy, to plead and fangirl…even though I saw everything coming a mile away. Yet, that’s exactly what I was doing….I was wholly invested when the shit hit the fan, and no one could burst my bubble once we hit the point of no return. That, my friends, is the reason I have upped my rating…it deserves every star for blind-siding me like that-rarely am I so happy with an ending people have played up and that I have guessed. Kudos…really.

As much as I want to stand still, to stop time and let this moment last forever, I know it’s not possible. Whatever I might feel or think, Cal is not the prince I’m promised to. More important, he’s on the wrong side. He’s my enemy. Cal is forbidden.

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AND CAL. Ahhhhhhh my lovely Callll! I have found something out recently…not only do I love my dark, brooding, tortured heroes….I also have a thing for soldier boys. So let’s just say I was in heaven. But it wasn’t just that, naturally. It was his kindness, his big heart, his willingness to help Mare even though he didn’t know her from Adam…and then it was his slow fall for his brother’s betrothed. Can anyone say forbidden romance?! Not only was she betrothed, to his brother, no less, but he was betrothed, as well. Oh, and did I mention he was a high class silver and she a lowly red??? Just…yum. I love love LOVE this. AGHHHHH. And it never mattered to him-he was always there for her, always saving her, always her warmth….and when it mattered most…he never let her burn (wink wink). His beautiful soul and soft-heart where Mare was concerned touched something deep and fangirlish inside me, and I never want it to end. I just, I could go on and on and on for him. He would do anything for her, and let’s just leave it at that. Even though I have much much much much more I could say.

His lips are on mine, hard and warm and pressing. The touch is electrifying, but not like I’m used to. This isn’t a spark of destruction but a spark of life.
As much as I want to pull away, I just can’t do it. Cal is a cliff, and I throw myself over the edge, not bothering to think of what it could do to us both. One day he’ll realize I’m his enemy, and all this will be a far-gone memory. But not yet.

So, you know, this book wasn’t without it’s faults, but I’ve never been that type of reader. Yeah, I’m human, I have my rules and things that annoy me. But no matter what, the ultimate question and what matters most, at the end of everything, was if I enjoyed it. And enjoy it, I did. There were faults, there were parts I wish I could have skipped, but I loved it…and that’s the only thing that matters in my book. I cannot wait for book two…I’m waiting for you, my fiery Cal. Just…ugh…OBSESSION. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

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