Red Queen AND Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

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Pure poetry. I can’t get over this quote, and it seems that I’m not the only one. The internet is littered with reviews, fan art and reposted quotes from Aveyard’s sensational novels.

I was worried at first when I picked up Red Queen, thinking that it would be  another Hunger Games wannabe. I was pleased to discover that even though it has the basic storyline of a lowly girl fighting against the futuristic, oppressive system while juggling her feelings for two guys, Aveyard gave us something unexpected by giving her characters super powers! It was like throwing the x-men into the hunger games; I enjoyed every arena battle in the first novel and rebellious attack in the second novel.

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I really enjoyed Mare as a character, especially by the end of the second book. In Red Queen, she plays up the love struck, marryred teen who is trying to decide how to balance what is right and wrong. This is fairly typical of a futuristic, dystopian style heroine. But in Glass Sword, she begins to accept her dark side without fear of consequence. She also drops the love triangle for a bit, keeping the boys in mind but focusing more of her time on finding New Bloods.

My other favourite characters include Farley, Maven and Sh-…
Apologies. I can’t give away the last name for fear of ruining the twist for those who haven’t read them yet. Although most readers found it predictable, I was actually left pleasently surprised for once! I’m normally really good at predicting plot points, but this one somehow flew right over my head! In fact, the entire ending of Red Queen just baffled me; my jaw dropped and the horrified shrieks began.

I loved Farley. She’s the kick-ass character everyone needs as a friend, and in Mare’s case, as an ally in this war. I love her quirks, fiery banter, her drive, and of course her dedication to a certain someone.

Maven… oh, Maven.
Don’t read the following if you want to avoid even the most subtle spoiler!!!!
You are the perfect character. You fooled us all. You start as the surprisingly approachable guy who may be worth loving, and then you stab EVERYONE in the back… I had to reread this passage a couple times to make sure I wasn’t mistaken. Again, some say this was obvious, but I didn’t have a clue! And then you become the best antagonist, killing anyone who gets in your way while still holding a soft spot for Mare, hoping she will *vadar weeze* rule the dark side *vadar weeze* with him. I love a good villain with a heart. Characters like Maven are so complex because we get to see how contradictory they can be; he is not a two dimensional character with one feeling, thought and motivation. Maven isn’t as heartless as he pretends to be; he has a heart, it’s just mostly black. The 10% that’s still good is trapped beneath his mother’s influence and his own greed for power. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book of the series. I hope we get to see more of Maven,  because the second book was lacking.

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Big spoiler over! You can keep reading if you’re okay with my usual basic details that don’t give plot away.

The idea of the silvers having powers was a little odd at first, but after the pageant where the silver girls showed off their abilities to Prince Cal (did this remind anyone else of The Selection?), I began to enjoy the gladiator aspect of it all. The chapters where two silvers fought in the arena were my favourite because I got the chance to test my imagination with Aveyard’s descriptions. It was fun to try predicting the outcome of each battle based on their powers. I’m just a sucker for novels with plenty of action/ fighting.

Aveyard is appropriately vivid when it matters most, but she also knows when to hold back for a surprise or to give the reader the chance to build the scene themselves. She gave us a world that seems both enticing and terrifying; I would love to see the clothes, the palaces and the wars. Rumour has it that Elizabeth Banks already bought the movie rights, so I might just get my wish!

Enjoy these two wonderful YA novels, Book Babies! And make sure to give her novellas a read too! Hopefully the third book in the series will come out sooner rather than later.

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