Fantasy · Ida's English Reading Corner

Why I won’t reread the ‘Red Queen’ series | ‘War Storm’ Review

I love you is a promise we both made, and we both broke. It should mean I choose you above all else. I want you more. I need you always. I cannot live without you. I will do anything to keep our lives from parting.
Victoria Aveyard | War Storm | p. 4

S P O I L E R    A L E R T !
This review might contain spoilers for the books of the ‘Red Queen’ series. If you’d like to read about the first book, ‘Red Queen’, or the second and third book, ‘Glass Sword’ and King’s Cage, follow the links I inserted in the titles.

Early in April this year I started to read ‘Red Queen’, the beginning of a four-book series by Victoria Aveyard that also marked the start of a rollercoaster ride of reading and feeling a lot of emotions. While I wasn’t blown away by the first or the second book, at least the ending of the second book as well as the third one somehow managed to capture my heart, even though they had their faults, too. And then I finished ‘War Storm’ and questioned why I started to read this series in the first place – yes, dearest readers all over the world, in my opinion, this series is a hot mess.

The story of a world divided by blood and therefore separating those with astounding abilities from those who are ‘ordinary’, was one I was excited for. I think that this is the main reason why I continued to read each and every book out of this book series: I wanted to know more about a world where those genetic mutations are possible – if it even is a genetic mutation, who knows? I certainly don’t, not even after finishing the last installment of the series.

More battles will come. More people will die, no matter the color of blood. That’s war. That’s revolution. And others will be caught in the crossfire. To forget is to doom them again, and doom others to come. –
Victoria Aveyard | War Storm | p. 14

After liking ‘King’s Cage’ so much, I really, really wanted to love ‘War Storm’. I was anxious to learn about all these aspects that the author has left us in the dark with until now – I was full of anticipation and couldn’t wait for a finale that would hopefully blow me away. So let’s talk a bit about ‘War Storm’, shall we?

I can hardly say how this final book has made me feel. Mostly, though, I felt underwhelmed. It simply didn’t meet my expectations. Just take the fact that what had bothered me from the beginning of this series, the question why was there a war in the first place that made conscriptions for Reds essential – is answered via one sentence in the middle of ‘War Storm’. And it is the laziest explanation that could have been found and made me feel quite astounded with such sloppy story telling.

Also, as it is the final book and according to its epic title, ‘War Storm’, I definitely expected it to be more… epic. More thrilling. More action-packed. More betrayal, as was announced in great length since ‘Red Queen’. More anything, really. There were a lot of aspects to the story that only lengthened it but didn’t do anything else for the plot. Adding to that, I found it a tad confusing to have so many POVs in a book. Especially since certain characters, who had their own point of view in the previous book, King’s Cage, seemed to no longer matter that much and were replaced by other characters that only seemed to be a story filler. I mean – this book has nearly 700 pages, and only scratched at the surface of some of the expectations I had! And let’s not talk about the ending, which filled me with fury and also incredulity. Basically, everything that has been built since ‘Red Queen’ comes tumbling down in one great rush.


But of course, it wasn’t all completely bad. There were sequences and aspects I really liked, which made this whole reading experience all the more weird and confusing to me. What I liked most about ‘War Storm’, to be honest, was Evangeline’s point of view. Her sarcasm and her growing relationship with Mare really spiced things up a little, and I enjoyed that. Also, there were some pretty hilarious passages in the book that made me remember why I liked ‘King’s Cage’ so much.

“And what makes this library so … interesting?” she asks, her disdain evident.
I can’t help myself. “Probably the books.” – p. 130

This book has a few moments that made me tear up a little, especially in its beginning, when we get to listen in on Mare’s monologue about Cal or their shared conversations. But as I said before, it all comes to a ruin at the end of the book.

“I thought of you before the end,” he says. “I saw your face in the water.” – p. 369

Since this series has left me with so many questions waiting to be answered and with the memories of a really inconsistent and mostly frustrating reading experience, I can hardly imagine myself rereading those four books. Maybe in a world where I am left with only those four books to read. Let’s hope it won’t come to that. I am sure that there are readers out there who enjoyed this series (good for you!), but this just wasn’t my cup of tea. In my opinion, there are books series out there that are worth being read several times – but this one just isn’t.

Author:   Victoria Aveyard
Title:       #1    Red Queen
                #2    Glass Sword
                #3    King’s Cage
                #4    War Storm
Press:      Harper Teen
Year of publication: 2015 – 2018
Pages:      383 – 444 – 512 – 662
[Genre:     Fantasy]

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