My Greatest Shame (Review)

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Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the colour 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

 

***

Alright I confess, I did not finish this book and I hate myself for it. The completion part of me loathes the fact I didn’t just grin and bear it but no, I’m not doing that to myself. I refuse to read a book that makes me roll my eyes this much.

I always feel like I am to blame for disliking a book. Am I not reading it properly? Am I too old? Do I not like the genre?

No, I have come to the belief that it is because I’ve suffered through this exact same plot a hundred times and I don’t want to torture myself again.

But I still thought I might be wrong to hate reading this book so much and so I turned to the internet and now can safely say I’ve read more reviews about this book than pages of the book. And I’m glad to say I’m not swimming alone.

 

God-Complex

Both the main character and the author seemed to have this idea stuck in their heads that they are bigger than they are.

Now that’s nothing against Victoria Aveyard, I do like the majority of her writing style. Aveyard has a twisted way with words that teeters on the edge of being over the top but mostly comes back to sensibility. But I feel like she’s trying too hard to make memorable lines and dramatic proses. It just leads to repetitive lines and ideas to the point of cringing. The writing definitely becomes eyerollingly bad at the end of most chapters. It’s of course about leaving a hook that brings the reader back for more, but that does not mean it needs to sound like Dun-dun-duun should be playing over it.

And Mare…I have SO many issues that I will cover at a later. But mainly she is so overpowered in this compared to the last book, it’s just annoying and lacks tension. At least in Red Queen we saw her train and gain some control over her power. Now she just can do EVERYTHING. And yet…

 

“I am a weapon made of flesh, a sword covered in skin. I was born to kill a king, to end a reign of terror before it can truly begin.”

~Okay calm there Kanye West

Where is the plot??

The reason I gave up on Glass Sword was because I found the characters essentially floating. Not going anywhere with the plot. Oh, they talk constantly about starting their quest i.e. the plot but it takes forever to get there.

I made it to Chapter eleven, annoyingly I’m pretty sure this is where the plot gets started but I honestly couldn’t continue with Mare and Cal and their inability to stop thinking with their dicks and NOT FOCUS ON THE PLOT.

 

God-Complex: Counter Point

In the last book I saw Mare as weak and passive. Now I just think she’s a bit simple. Despite being constantly (to the point of laughable behaviour) betrayed, she continues to be surprised, unable to change her own ways nor work out who’s actually trustworthy. Which would add tension if she wasn’t a God, and in the end, it just becomes exhausting.

Cal is a much more interesting character than Mare who he is a fool for following everywhere, given how badly she treats him. The pair of them need to have a respite conversation to talk out what’s happening between them, because I am sick of this ‘will they won’t they’ plot thread. Honestly just kiss because there is a war going on people!

“Anyone, anything, can betray anyone. Even your own heart.”

~WE KNOW! You won’t stop going on about it!

 

And everyone else I hate

I find the rest of the characters just as annoying. I think I’m just not invested in anything they do, they’re either too dumb or too serious like they are trying to audition for Batman.

I couldn’t get attached to any of them and I think that is down to the characters’ actions seemingly only there to serve the plot without any regards to their actual character traits or motivation.

 

Conclusion

Surprised to say I didn’t like this book. I found it predictable and its characters annoying. And hey maybe it does get better by the end, but I do not care. If it failed to grab me in eleven chapters, it’s not for me.

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Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Does a plot twist make up for bad writing? I’M NOT TOO SURE.

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Blurb: The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to seventeen-year-old Mare, a Red girl from the poverty-stricken Silts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

But Mare possesses a deadly talent of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of her potential, the Silvers hide Mare in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess. Knowing that one false move will mean her death, Mare must use her new position to bring down the regime- from the inside.

Now Mare has entered a game of betrayal and lies.

Review:

Okay I’m start out by saying I am gonna get into spoilers for this. But I’ll give a summary of my thoughts first.

Red Queen’s okay…it’s fine…it’ll do. The environments pretty immersive, though I’ve never personally liked story trying to mix royal life with the modern day, because I think they are too jarring, but that’s just me. Most of the protagonists I liked and I empathised with, which is something I rarely do. And the story…well that’s my problem.

Okay spoilers now:

Our main character Mare finds herself liking both of the princes in this book Cal, someone she has genuine feelings for but think’s he is on the wrong side and his younger brother Maven who’s she’s fighting in the rebellion with.

And we all know what this is, the dreaded love triangle and Mare comes off pretty stupid and weak for even thinking about letting these people, who hate her Kind, gain any control over her.

Plot twist though, Maven’s actually evil and using Mare.

This shocked the breath out of me. I had to put the book down when it happened.

But there’s the question:

Does a twist make up for bad writing? It’s not terrible writing by any stretch but it’s predictable with a bloody love triangle and a meek protagonist.

I didn’t hate Mare at all. I thought she was alright. But the twist actually made me more aware of how stupid she is. She’s meant to be this pick-pocketer, quick on her feet and hater of the Silvers. But as soon as she comes into contact with pretty boy’s she’s swooning and dumb as a brick. It’s cliqued and overdone but the twist seems to think it can wash that away.

I’ve hated books more than this one (Legend by Marie Lu actually made me cry with anger), and it’s harmless, if overdone. Perhaps the next one will be better.