War Storm (Red Queen, #4)by Published 15 May 2018
|War Storm (Red Queen, #4).pdf|
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.
"War Storm (Red Queen, #4)" Reviews
What do you expect from a book called War Storm?
Heart-pounding battles? Jaw-dropping showdowns? Mind-boggling alliance shifts? Devastating losses? I know I expected all those things, and some more. Sadly, that was not the case with the last instalment of the Red Queen series.
“I will not be a red queen.”
The kingdom of Norta is divided, surrounded by vultures ready to devour her dying body. The forces of the coalition, the unlikely united front of Silver nobles, Red rebels and Newbloods are considering their next move, Maven tries to maintain his feeble grip on the throne and the Lakelands, his temporary allies, plot their revenge. There are many decisions to be made; the next conquest, the next battle plan, but never, never a change in the status quo. Cal chose his crown, and he is not willing to give it up. Mare chose a better future for the oppressed, and she is not willing to give it up, even if it means betraying the boy she loves. The boy who betrayed her. Even though her heart bleeds and her chest hurts, Mare Barrow is destined
“To rise. And rise alone.”
And lightning has no mercy.
“My only fear now is losing the throne, the crown, the reason for all this misery and torment. I won't destroy myself in vain. I won't let this all be for nothing.”
I reall wanted to love this book. Red Queen has been an explosive (albeit occasionally frustrating) series, and even though most of the characters tended to turn me indignant, I always enjoyed the plot, with its intensity and vivacity. However, there was something off with War Storm. Simply put, it was bland. There was no flavor to stimulate my taste buds. No sound of frantic heartbeat to make my ears explode. I did not smell the blood and the smoke, nor felt the salty sea water on my skin. The battle sequences were too long, colorless and dull. The endless scheming and discussions about battle plans laced with veiled threats and innuendos made me huff in frustration. I found myself skimming the pages, waiting for the sparkle that would turn my world ablaze, that would made me cheer and scream and clap and live in the story, fight next to the coalition, ravage and burn and destroy, eager for the final confrontation that would steal my breath, but everything, even the ending, was underwhelming. It was a case of quantity over quality, and I can't help but think that perhaps a forth book was not that necessary.
“I am different from what my world demands I be. And I am not worse for it.”
A strange thing happened regarding the characters; I didn't hate Mare. I didn't want to murder Maven. I didn't worship Cal. I was simply indifferent towards them all. Mare finally became a decent person I could root for, her development was apparent, a pleasant surprise, but she never stopped being a special snowflake (and if I drank a shot every time someone said "lightning girl" I would suffer from cirrhosis of liver by now). Cal was always my favorite, and even though I forgave him for his (many) mistakes, my connection with him somehow faltered. Maven shed his cloak of wickedness and became just a petulant child who threw tantrums because he didn't get what he wanted. Iris, whose PoV was rather tedious, could vanish into thin air and I wouldn't give a darn. The only silver lining was Evangeline, I loved her sarcasm, her spirit and the reluctant camaraderie, if not friendship, that bloomed between her and Mare. The girl power was truly something to behold!
“Love can be exploited, I guess, used to manipulate. It's leverage. But I would never call loving someone else a weakness. I think living without love at all, any kind of love, is weakness. And the worst kind of darkness.”
War Storm was by far the weakest instalment of the series. It left me empty, with the tang of bitterness and disappointment heavy on my tongue. The climax I so desperately wanted never came, the feelings didn't drown me.
In the end, Mare rose with the dawn, but her story did not.
Review also posted on BookNest!
I don't know what it is about these books, but I always finish them within a few days. Even this 600+page book.
I think this is my favorite book in the series. And a lot of it had to do with the different POV's. In this story we get Mare (duh), Evangeline, Iris, Cal, and Maven.
Mare- I had saw reviews for the previous books stating that they didn't like Mare and that she was annoying and stuff. And I didn't notice it in the first two books, and not even in the third book, but damn I was so annoyed with her in this book! She was so petty that I didn't want to be petty anymore-and I love being petty. Like honey, sweety, it isn't that deep. Her POV was my least favorite and I was always looking forward to the other POVs more.
Evangeline- Her POV was definitely a highlight for me in King's Cage. And one I looked forward to in this book. It was interesting to see her relationship between her family, her lover, Mare, and Cal. I do wish we got more background information about Elaine, since we don't know much about their history. But Evangeline's POV provided some pretty cool action scenes. I think it was her chapter where there was a Silver duel out on the Harbor that was so intense and one of my favorite scenes from the book.
Iris- MY FAVORITE. She was so facinating to me! She's a Silver princess from the Lakelands. So that makes her a double threat-one against the Scarlet Gaurd and Norta. She was cunning, wicked, clever, but also a little remorseful. Her chapters also provided some awesome action scenes. Not gonna lie, I did ship Iris and Maven... That one scene where Maven said they made a good match MY HEART
Cal- Now I do like Cal, I used to love him. He didn't do anything wrong in my eyes, but I lost interest in this series in the past year so for my love for him faded away. But nothing much really happened in his POV. It was pretty much thinking about his mother (aw), Maven (aw), and his role as king. I think he only had about 2-3 chapters. I don't think his chapters were really needed. We do get a little snippet from the prequel novella to the series, Queen Song. You don't need to read that novella, but I loved that novella so much and have read it a few times-one of my favorite novellas ever!
Maven- Maven, Maven, Maven. His was also a POV I adored, but like Cal's, we only got about 3 chapters from him. I hated him in Red Queen, mainly because he was the rival to the Mare/Cal ship and he just had to face my wrath. Plus, he seemed too nice and too trustworthy HAHAHA ya girl called his backstabbing ass!! Anyways. It wasn't until KC where I actually liked him and in this book he became my baby. And it was really depressing to read his POV. He's really messed up. He's also a good actor, able to hide his emotions and draw raw emotions out of others easily. Sometimes I was impressed, other times I was sad.
I also want to give a shoutout to Julian Jacos. I feel like he's one of those characters that was always forced into the background, but he had his chance to shine in this book. And I think a lot of that had to do with the fact that we got more Silver perspective in this book. We're always told how cunning Silvers can be, how they always have to appear deadly around court. So I think that's why we saw a more wicked side to Julian, because he had to be scarier than the other Silvers. He was always one of my favorites, so I'm happy to have seen more of him.
So I took a half star for two reasons. 1). Mare and 2.) the ending
To me, the ending was really predictable. I honestly knew it was coming for years (which probably explains my hopes for the series, you just got to scroll down if you want to see it). If you feel like you know what's going to happen... Then you're probably right. But I did like how the ending was kind of an open ending, I feel like that's the best way for dystopian books to end, especially when dealing with overthrowing a form of government. Rebuilding takes years, and I don't think anyone wants to read another four books about how Norta is rebuilt. Though I wouldn't be surprised if there is a spin off, especially if it deals with the Lakelands.
what was the point of Kilorn?
And thank you to anybody who has ever liked the review I wrote below over the last two years. I never expected for 700+ people to like it. It honestly blows me away on how many people have liked and left a comment. So thank you!!
2/1716: I hope by the end of this series that Cal gets to be the King. That him and Mare end up together and rule the kingdom in the right way. I would be super happy if the book ends like this: Cal is my Silver King. And I am his Red Queen.
. : ☾⋆ — 1.5 ★
[SHARP INHALE] I’M FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
i never have to think about this series again. i know that sounds harsh but these books have brought me so much unnecessary anger and frustration that it’s truly a relief to finally FINALLY be done with the series once and for all. i can finally put these books down and be DONE with the characters and the story and v*ctoria av*yard’s nasty ass personality
i actually didn’t completely hate this book (which was a very pleasant surprise!! i’m not gonna lie!!) but it was still uselessly long and very poorly plotted out and the final battle + the end was so UNDERWHELMING i genuinely wanted to claw my eyes out. like!!!!!!! @v*ctoria DID I REALLY JUST GO THROUGH 650 PAGES FOR THAT?????????????? i’m not gonna go into much detail about that since it’s very clearly a spoiler. however i WILL MOST DEFINITELY TALK ABOUT EVERYTHING ELSE THAT I DIDN’T LIKE
● unrestrained pining: mare and cal spend the first 40% of the book going off about how they CAN’T be with each other despite the fact that they’re ~~ so in love ~~ because???/?????? because cal????????? is gonna be king of norta??????? BITCH THOSE ARE NOT EXCLUSIVE TO EACH OTHER THEY DON’T MATCH UP AT ALL!!!!! like being honest for a second cal and mare don’t need to be married to be together???? they don’t even have to make it public????? EVEN IF CAL MARRIES SOMEONE ELSE (EVANGELINE), MARE CAN STILL BE HIS LOVER?????? JUST AS ELANE IS EVANGELINE’S LOVER DESPITE THE FACT THAT SHE’S GONNA MARRY CAL?????????????? the worst part about this is that evangeline, in canon, in text, brings up this idea and she’s like “hey like u can be lovers lmao i don’t care i’m a lesbian i’m gonna hang out over here with my lesbian lover” and mare is like “I CAN’T BE WITH CAL HE CHOSE THE CROWN OVER ME :(” god i’m so fucking angry i don't even like mare and cal together but this was just so beyond STUPID
● strategizing/war stuff: this book was trying way too hard to be the hunger games with all the surprise attacks and battles between the countries ON THAT NOTE when the FUCK did so many countries show up in this universe????? and why doesn’t the book have a map????? v*ctoria i’m a tired college student and i can’t keep up with all these useless countries. anyway the battle scenes didn’t make sense at all, and i feel like v*ctoria had all these sequences perfectly played out in her head but when it came down to writing them she kinda got a little excited and forgot to put some stuff in because spatially i could not for the life of me make sense of what was going on
● iris + the lakelands: USELESSSSSSSSSSSS. DIDN’T DO ANYTHING. WASN’T EVEN ON THE EPILOGUE BECAUSE V*CTORIA HERSELF DIDN’T CARE. NEXT.
● cal and maven:
“I swear, these Calore brothers are trying to out-idiot each other.”
this is an actual quote from the actual book and truer words have never been spoken, god bless. even though i love maven with every piece of my heart, he did some dumb shit in this book. cal also did some dumb shit. mostly cal did dumb shit. this boy can’t be king even if his life depended on it??? he’s awful at politics???? and no offense but maven in particular felt really out of character to me in the scenes where politics were involved because he just??? sucked??? when he was otherwise brilliant in the previous books???? why did u do my boy like that v*ctoria. why. i’m also extremely mad that we didn’t get the redemption arc we deserved because no OFFENSE but maven had the potential to become a new warner from shatter me and yet here we are :(
● zero character development: THIS BOOK WAS ALMOST 700 PAGES LONG V*CTORIA WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY
anyway i had zero hopes for this book and was still somehow disappointed even though i did like some parts of it lmao bye bitch you best believe i’m never reading anything by v*ctoria av*yard ever again!!!!!!!!!!!
I have finally finished the Red Queen series and... meh.
My thoughts on this book?
I knew from the start that I would not enjoy War Storm based on so many flaws I had with the series. I actually checked on both amazon and goodreads and I saw a lot of people not being happy with how it ended. And I can say that they were right. The ending was so disappointing, especially since we had to read four books to get where we are now in the finale.
This "War Storm" was nothing more than a light drizzle that lasts for 5 minutes.
If you've seen my previous reviews on the Red Queen series, you would know that I lean more on the meh to downright hating the series. I sort-of liked Red Queen, Glass Sword was somewhat tolerate but still had flaws, I did not like King's Cage, and surprise surprise, I did not like War Storm. This has got to be by far the most mediocre series I have read. I am not holding back on my thoughts on this review. I am unleashing my inner Khanh and spilling all the tea.
I will be splitting my review into two parts. Part one is my thoughts on War Storm and the second part is my retrospective thoughts on the series as a whole.
War Storm is like a gymnast performing a routine. Their routine is flawed at the beginning and at the middle. But they fail on the end. That is what I pictured War Storm as I read it. We're talking about a book that is nearly 700 pages and this is the best it could come up with. Disappointment after disappointment, especially with the plot and characters. There's no shock that Mare is her usual annoying, bratty self along with the other characters being boring or just annoying. I had to endure over 657 pages of slow pacing and annoying characters.
It was a miracle I even bothered to finish this considering how much I despise Mare. Even most of my friends gave up after Glass Sword because they could not stand Mare. But I'm finally done.
This review will be spoiler free.
Now, let's talk about this dumpster fire of a series.
Part 1: The Review
War Storm is the final book in the Red Queen series. Mare along with the Scarlet Guard is preparing for war as Maven and his army will try to kill Mare and Cal and also rule supreme of Norta. The stakes are high since this war could mean dismantling the monarchy or result in the Scarlet Guard failing.
Sounds promising? Wrong.
The threat of war is there but it was mainly about each character going through an existential crisis that took up a good chunk of their chapters. It was drama after drama combined with uninteresting characters and unnecessary chapters.
The one only one good thing to come out of this book is Evangeline, our sapphic queen. She is by far, the best character to ever grace this crap series. Along with Cameron, she is my favorite character because while everyone is running around being stupid, Evangeline keeps a level head and acts logically instead of with her feelings. She's sarcastic and straightforward with her thoughts. No sugar coating from this queen. I really did like her arc in this story. She is the sole reason why I didn't give this book a 1-star. Everything about her is just good. I may not have liked her at the beginning of the series, but she definitely grew on me. Her and Cameron.
Mare: Annoying, bratty, love, annoying, bratty, love, love!
Evangeline & Cameron: Shut the fuck up. *slaps Mare*
Now onto the bad things.
Excluding Evangeline, every other character in this book are just not good. If I had to make a list of worst being at the bottom and the best being at the top, it would look something like this:
Mare by far is the most annoying and bratty character I have ever met in my life. I could not stand her whining and complaining so much. I didn't have a good opinion on her at the beginning and now I just hate her. She remains static throughout the series, never changing. If I had to describe her in 3 words, it would be: Bratty, annoying, and bland. I always think of her as a horse in my head because that is what mare means, a horse. A dumb, annoying, horse. It got on my nerves of how much she pines over Cal to the point where I just stopped caring about their romance. I wouldn't even call it a romance to begin with. She could die and I wouldn't care less. In fact, I will go to my rooftop and scream Halleluja at the top of my lungs.
Cal. Oh, Cal. My sweet, sweet Cal. I don't hate him, but my opinion on him went down after King's Cage. I wouldn't say he's a bad character, but like Mare, he did annoy me in the romance department. I still think of him as this boy king who only wants to do what is right. As flawed as his ideas were, I still rooted for him. I especially cheered for him when he decided to pursue his goals instead of pining over Mare. Granted, he pinned over her in this book which only hindered any development he had going. We also get to see from his POV in this book and to be honest: They were completely unnecessary. There are only 4 0r 5 chapters with his POV and they offered nothing to the story. If they weren't there, the book would be slightly shorter and nothing would change. Cal isn't a bad character, but I wished he wasn't so diluted in the last two books.
Iris. Hmmm. I'm not sure how to feel about her. I get why she was involved in the plot because of her marriage with Maven, but I did find her POV to be intriguing. As a character, she's cunning and deadly while being devoted to her land and her family. But there was something I found lacking in her. She's a cunning person, but that's about it, not much of a personality. Like I said, not a bad character, but not exactly compelling. The best way I would describe her would be colorful wallpaper. You know she's there, but not exactly something worth looking at again.
Maven. Victoria didn't do him justice here. I often find myself comparing him to the Darkling from the Grisha trilogy. But looking back now, I find Maven's character to me smothered down by everyone else. We do get his POV in this book as well and they offered more insight into what goes in his mind. Not a lot of development for him here, but at least I got to see what he's actually thinking. But with how Victoria wrote his arc, he didn't get to shine much. Which is disappointing because I really wanted to get to know him more.
"You know, maybe this rebellion would be further along if they didn't rely on teenagers so much."
That quote pretty much sums up my entire thoughts on the series. I would actually change it by adding "love-struck idiot teenagers" to it and that would sum up the Red Queen series. The plot for War Storm was slow and dragged on for so many pages. It didn't help that Mare's chapters were too long. As if I need another reason to hate her. The main issue with the series is the pacing issue and how sometimes the plot goes all over the place. Whether it be the Scarlet Guard or the other royal families, I could for the life of me not keep up with how the plot went everywhere and nowhere.
I won't spoil the ending, but I will say that is was disappointing and underwhelming. I was expecting much more for the ending. But when I had 50 pages left of the story, I knew it would be a rushed ending. It reminded me a lot of the ending of The Fate of the Tearling where it also ended in a bad way.
Had the characters been written well instead of being archetypes, the plot be more fast-paced, gotten rid of the unnecessary scenes, and the ending was this could've been a decent finale. Instead, we got War Storm.
And I swear, if Victoria decides to make a spin-off series or continue the series, I'm gonna be fucking pissed.
Part 2: Retrospective review.
I’ve been with this series from the start when Epic Reads hyped up the hell out of Red Queen. When I first read it, I knew it would be the generic story of rebellion and power. The Red Queen series brings nothing new to the dystopian genre and is a basic series. And I think that’s where the problem lies with how Victoria didn’t try to make this series stand out among the other dystopian books. What’s worse is that it follows the same tropes most paranormal/dystopia novels have: Love triangle. When putting into consideration of how the Red Queen series is built upon, it’s just average, to say the least.
Mare, in particular, was what made the series all the more generic. As mentioned in my review, she is nothing more than the generic protagonist who for some Godforsaken reason is the beacon of the rebellion while struggling to figure out her love life. If you take away her being the image of the rebellion and the love triangle, there is nothing remotely interesting about Mare as an individual. You could argue that she wants the best for her family and the other Reds, but that’s pretty much every main character of a dystopia novel. She has no strong characteristics other than being a stubborn girl.
There is also the issue of the love triangle. From the start, the shipping wars began with people wanting MarexCal and MarexMaven which as the series progresses, becomes less and less interesting. With how bland the series was, the one thing I saw that was prevalent in the Red Queen fandom was who Mare was going to end up with. And if you did complete the series or finished the 3rd book, then you know who the love interest will be. It’s painfully obvious who she would choose. This love triangle was nothing more than a plot device for drama between Mare, Cal, and Maven. There shouldn’t even have been a love triangle to the story if it was going nowhere.
I will give credit where credit is due by saying that parts of the series were entertaining. Granted, a majority of each book has slow moments but the parts that shined were what stood out to me and I liked those parts. As scarce as they may be, they did help me with finishing the series. But they were scarce in the void of pointless plots and characters.
The one thing I noticed in book 3 and 4 was how this book was trying to be political. It failed on so many levels that I wouldn’t even say this is a politically heavy series. Especially since it doesn’t go into detail about the structure of each country. Given how the structure of the Reds and Silvers are in class, it’s difficult to dismantle such a status quo. There will always be fights among the Reds and Silvers over power. I see no change in this power dynamics. There are two series that are politically heavy and they did a much better job than what King’s Cage and War Storm tried to do. They are the Winner’s trilogy by Marie Rutkoski and the Powder Mage trilogy by Brian McClellan. I highly recommend those two if you want a much better political story.
Is this a bad series? No.
Is this a good series? No.
Is this a generic dystopian series? Yes.
My overall experience with the Red Queen series was disappointing. Not a terrible series, but not something to write home about.
A disappointing ending to a generic book series. If you liked the Red Queen series, then I'm glad that someone found enjoyment out of it. This series just wasn't for me and I won't exactly be missing it after a few years.
Thanks for reading my review.
Rise. And rise alone.
Red Queen was the book that fully immersed me into the YA book world. Taking me from an occasional reader to a full-on bookaholic. For that, it will always have a special place in my heart.
Let's start with saying this book is monstrous in size compared to its predecessors. But fortunately, it never feels excessive and it doesn't needlessly drag on. This series has been a tumultuous journey and this book is no exception.
She did it. Mare did exactly what I had hoped she'd do. She chose the revolution. Though I do question some of her other choices later in the book she continually stood firm when it mattered.
How I felt about Cal most of the book
It's important to note, Cal is not a bad person. He is just so rooted in his beliefs, and the way for his people that he is unable to fully embrace the change, the revolution, his country needs to undergo. He does ultimately do the right thing though so I guess I have to give him some credit for that. But I can't escape that linger feeling that if the tides had been in his favor he would've ridden that wave and stayed the course.
I know it’s completely irrational, but I still had this desperate hope that somehow, someway Maven would redeem himself. Show some sliver of goodness, of the person he could’ve been if his mind hadn’t been poisoned. But instead, Ms. Aveyard just doubles down on Maven's villainy.
Honestly, it almost felt like a bit of a regression in terms of his character development. In King's Cage, we had Mare seeing Maven as a broken young man. A victim of mind manipulation, with which he had no say, who felt completely and utterly alone. And honestly, it made me feel for him. He was a monster, but not one of his own making. However, in this book, despite the addition of Maven's POV, rather than further establish or understand his brokenness. We are lead to believe, at least in some instances, that Maven chooses to remain this monster? It doesn't make sense. If Elara mind manipulation is so complete and irrevocable there shouldn't be a choice.
Never thought I'd say it but...
Honestly, it's amazing what some perspective can do for a character. I never cared for Evangeline in the first book, but as the series went on her actually become one of my favorite characters. Like most of the others, she was a product of her environment. Being able to see things from her point of view gave me a much greater appreciation of her and everything she has been through.
What can I say, she's the enemy. So hating her is a given.
Mare & Cal
I think a lot of people will be disappointed, but personally
Maven & Mare
This relationship has always been my favorite. From friends, to love interests, to enemies they always had the most interesting dynamic. But I don't think I alone in saying that I found their end disappointing.
Cal & Maven
We finally got Cal and Maven's perspectives in this book, yet we did not get a single brother only discussion or confrontation? I call BS! Ugh...such a missed opportunity.
Mare & Evangeline
This friendship, or at least cease-fire, was unexpected but rather delightful. Two strong women who have been deeply shaped by their circumstances, coming together against all odds and developing an understanding and appreciation of each other. I'm here for it!
Cal & Evangeline
These two have been thrown together time and time again. Two high houses of Norta looking strengthen their hold on the nation with a political marriage. Neither of them ever wanted the other. It was simply what was expected of them by their families. But by books end, I think they did have a mutual respect for one another and how similar they really were.
The ending was not what I expected. In a way, it's what I thought I wanted. And in many ways, it is a fitting end. But it also doesn't truly feel like an ending? It feels like the sort of end that actually marks a beginning. As though this story is not actually over. Does that make sense?