Published by Hachette Australia on February 9th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Science Fiction
Amazon | Book Depository | Publisher | Angus & Robertson
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If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.
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?
The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.
I’m not entirely sure what happened here, but Glass Sword felt very different to Red Queen. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still a lot of angst in the romance and it still feels like it’s based off Xmen, Hunger Games and Red Rising. While Red Queen built up to it’s peak and had some great twists in the end, Glass Sword was just long-winded and boring.
There were times when it felt incredibly forced – when Mare talks about her hair drying or what colour the roof was, you know you’re grasping at a plot. All the way through, Glass Sword was incredibly frustrating to read and I felt like pulling my hair out at how slow it was.
While she does goes through a lot more character development, her self-talk really annoyed me. She constantly talks about how special she is and how important she is to the cause. That lightning girl, that powerful girl who needs to achieve things by herself, the girl who is underpinning the revolution, it’s all in Mare’s head. She becomes quite an unlikable anti-hero throughout the book and I felt very detached from her as a believable character.
Most of the novel is devoted to Mare and Cal’s angsty conversations with one another and her reminiscing about the past. While their romance seems to have happened as a matter of circumstance, I hated how they constantly judged each other, did not confide in each other and and held things against each other. This is not a healthy relationship guys, nor will it ever will be, with Maven between them.
There’s more world building here compared to Red Queen, as we find out more about the newbloods and witness the world beyond the palace. It was interesting seeing the Silvers join her crusade, and the interaction between the reds and the silvers. Meeting different people with powers was fascinating, but soon it became a repetitive blur of faces with very limited character development. Everyone in Mare’s crew felt flat and one-dimensional, from Cal and his conflict, to Spade and his protectiveness, and Farrah and her disdain. I can’t say I cared about these characters, especially with Mare’s judgemental point of view inflating her importance above them.
If I am a sword, I am a sword made of glass, and I feel myself beginning to shatter.
There were times when I thought Glass Sword had potential, particularly with the sci-fi/fantasy mashup, but with the slow pacing and the frustration with Mare’s character, it just fell flat for me. It’s a shame that the excitement has already fizzled out for this series after Red Queen, and I don’t think I’ll continue with it.
Rating: 2 out of 5
Thanks to Hachette Australia for sending me a review copy of the book!