Here’s your one and only warning: This review/rant contains spoilers for War Storm and pretty much the whole Red Queen series. So if that’s not your thing, then away with you – because I have a lot to say and I can’t say it without spoilers.
As you can also probably tell – this is not going to be a review that shines a positive light on this book, this series or even the author – so if you’re a fangirl/boy I’d highly suggest you leave because you won’t like what I have to say.
So let’s get to the obvious point out the way with first: this was a LONG way to come for a cowardly and lack-lustre pay off. I mean…really?! HOW did THAT take nearly 700 pages? Let me challenge myself to say something good about the story before I continue ripping it a new one: this book was not as bad as I thought it was going to be.
There, I said something good. Now let me back that up with this: yes, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be – but that does not mean that I liked it. Let me try an analogy – getting punched in the face sucks, but I would sooner choose a punch in the face than getting shot. I don’t want either to be honest, but War Storm was a punch in the face where Glass Sword was a bullet. So was King’s Cage too to be honest – or at least a flesh wound.
Let me start with the writing itself before getting into the character and stories. There’s no getting around it – most of this book (and series) is filler. That’s not an exaggeration – you could probably cut 65% of this book out and we’d not lose anything of value.
The writing is clunky and my god was it repetitive. The ‘twists’ were laughably predictable and there was, as always, non-existent to weak character development. But one positive for the writing –more POV’s! Now were they all good? Absolutely fucking not. But the fewer times I have to read a ‘Mare’ chapter the better.
“Not Barrow, though. She hasn’t returned yet. Probably still wailing over her lost prince.”
The whole book was kind of…dull. Even the final ‘big battle’ was utterly boring. The only moment of pure action was Volo’s death and, although gloriously violent (I’ll admit it) it was only 2 sentences long. TWO! Is that all we’re worth? The bloody book is called War Storm for fuck’s sake. WAR. STORM. And there was barely a hint of either.
Maven’s POV was useless. He was built up to be a monster but he was de-fanged for this book. He became a male version of Mare and I absolutely detested all of his chapters. I do not need another Mare in my life –ever! No one does. Mare is a selfish, stupid whiny little bitch who may very well earn the title of most annoying character in all of YA. The hilarious thing is I’ve heard that Aveyard doesn’t understand the Mare hate from the readers (I refuse to use the word ‘fans’) – she actually thinks Mare is a good character and inspiring. Urgh.
What I will say is that Maven deserved better. In previous books he wasn’t that bad of a villain, he actually had some bite, even if it was one that would barely break the skin. But in this, he’s weak, whiney and annoying (Mare) and his death was utterly anti-climactic.
“Cal is built from his father’s dreams, and Maven from his mother’s nightmares.”
He was killed by a letter opener. Let that sink in. A letter opener. In this world of supposed fantasy, with characters with incredible powers he is killed by a letter opener. I can’t even.
Actually – whilst I’m on the death point, there was no significant loss of life in this book. I mean, it’s war between people with essentially super powers. And practically no one died! Aveyard wasn’t even brave enough to kill a main character/good guy.
And speaking of characters that deserved better…Evangeline. Oh Evangeline, I’m so sorry that you had such a boring role in this book. You were legitimately the best thing about this whole series, and you were robbed. Don’t get me wrong, yay that you got what you wanted – I wanted that for you too. But damnit if that wasn’t a boring exit for you. I would have much preferred the epilogue to be from your POV.
“I can only guess as to his motive, but i think it rests solely on one Silver prince and one Red lightning girl.”
Iris had a POV in this too, and whilst I was nearly bored to tears by her, any break from night-Mare was a welcome break.
Cal became one of the weakest characters I’ve ever read about. He was weak-willed, weak minded, an abysmal leader and a fucking idiot to top it all off. Mare (for all of her weaknesses) was actually pretty fucking clear that she was going to kill Maven and Cal is upset when she actually does it. Moron. Tell you what though; Cal and night-Mare fucking deserve each other.
After all of this, there’s no real resolution to the plot or the ‘main’ romance. It was a fucking stupid ending. But really, what did I expect from an author that I have repeatedly said that it feels like she’s only in this for the money and not for the love of storytelling?!
And actually, after doing some research, I’ve decided that I don’t like Aveyard as a person. Usually I try to separate art from artist and I’m normally quite good at it, but the more I dig the more I’m pairing the two together this time. As well as her seeming inability to grasp why her characters aren’t good (like I mentioned earlier with Mare and good role model) she seems completely full of herself in interviews that I’ve watched/read.
I’ve also read about cases where she’s lashed out at reviewers who criticised her novels in any way. Aveyard – if you’re reading this (or anyone who represents you) let me give you some advice:
If you put something out into the public space, you have to be able to take the good WITH the bad. If you put something out, people will have opinions and they have a right to their opinion. If you have to lash out or try to silence criticism/negativity (like on your Reddit AMA thread) you are NOT ready for this and you should stop. Facts are facts – that’s life.
In my honest opinion, War Storm was Aveyard realising she might have gotten in over her head and just put anything together, as there’s genuinely no pay off after 4 quite lengthy books.
“Reading it feels like pushing a stone through mud. Sluggish, difficult, foolish. The words pull at me with inky fingers, trying to hold me back.”
I think this is her going “Fuck you, I have your money anyway”. Needless to say I won’t be giving this author another chance (like I did with Veronica Roth) – I’m fucking done with her. Come at me bro.
“With a last embrace, Mare finally finishes all her hysterical nonsense.”
I’ve no idea why you’d want to, but if you’d like to add War Storm to your library, you can buy it here. At the very least the cover will mean it will make a pretty addition to your shelves.
[PLEASE NOTE]: I was not paid or sponsored to write this review – all the opinions are honest and my own.