Hello happy readers! So I finally finished the final book in the Red Queen series War Storm by Victoria Aveyard. Now you may remember that I went to a signing for this book last month and got to meet so many amazing people, including Beth Crowley who writes original music based on books she read and this one for Freysand of ACOMAF is stuck in my head! Anywho at the event Victoria mentioned that people seemed to be split down the middle about her final book they either love it or hate it. I was a bit concerned by that but now having read it I kind of get it. I took a bit of time to process after finishing before I could sit down and articulate my thoughts. But here they are fully digested and ready to share, spoilers for the previous books in the series. Reviews to previous books: Red Queen, Glass Sword, & King’s Cage.
When we left off things were not in a happy place. Not like book two where Mare is taken captive bad but Cal just agreed to marry Evangeline and basically just broke Mare's heart choosing a crown over her. So not a happy place. Plus he messed up Evangeline's happiness which thanks to book three I now want. But on more important news Cal's decision to fight for the crown has caused a hidden split with his Red allies as they don't plan to put another Silver in charge of them again. But first they must remove the current king and go from there meaning Mare must continue to work with the boy who broke her heart. Maven is a force but he is driven by an obsession deeper than any realize as he and his brother have more in common than they realize. Allies that want to overthrow them. It is all out war involving Silvers and Reds alike both on the same side and against one another. Who will win? Who will make it out the other side alive? What will Norta end up?
So this is a story of split war. I loved that we got so many new POV's. As I mentioned I was a bit leery of Evangeline getting a POV in the last book as I hated her but then I went and grew to like her. I didn't full on love her like some of my others as she was still kind of a witch but I understood her so much better. I even grew to want her to find a way to win, though only if she didn't mess with any of my others! Which is huge progress from the first two books. I looked forward to her story and seeing what was happening. I felt bad for her and the whole love situation she was in, seriously I almost cried at some parts. It was so messed up. She ended up being one of my favorites of the series so huge kudos to the author for making that even possible! We also got a new POV in Iris, the Lakelander princess / Maven's new wife. That was very interesting to see how things are on her side, we got both the Lakelander perspective as well as one so close to Maven seeing him with a new outside light. I liked getting to know more about the Lakelanders as they have been background for the first few books with new information constantly coming up. She/they were also a villain different from Maven and seeing the pair side by side was very interesting.
And for other new surprising POV's that don't happen much and start late we do get a couple chapters from Maven himself! I nearly swerved when the audiobook chapter stated "Maven" as the POV like what when did this happen??? The chapters while brief and limited are very enlightening. His mind, warped as it has been from childhood is a very captivating place to me. I can understand why the chapters are placed sparingly as too much from him would have taken away from him. Small glimpses was a treat and more than enough to see just what has been hinted at. On the flip side we also get to see a few chapters from Cal's POV which I enjoyed though as much as I enjoyed him, I didn't find them as fascinating as Mavens. They didn't offer as much new insight for me. I understood his reasons well enough as he is an open type of person who shares and is readable. I already knew his reasons and motivations he was easier to read. Still it was nice to have his own thoughts of his mother and brother that was a nice balm to the crazy going on.
Of course we have Mare as the main POV. I have some slightly mixed feelings on her. I did feel at times she could be a bit wishy washy but she made a choice and she stuck with it. She never wavered. She hoped for a difference and took time for her when possible but she didn't waver in the overall choice. I respect that. She had some bad choices throughout the books sure but I think she held firm on the important parts. I was with her in this, even as she struggled with her broken heart, her PTSD, and more she kept pushing forward. That is impressive no matter what anyone says. I enjoyed as she got to know more Newbloods like herself. Knowing she wasn't the only one was a sweet moment not only in solidarity but in that they can teach her more of herself.
There are so many side characters who really came to life in this story. Some stepped into new lights like Jullian. We got to see more of Evangeline's family which again is crazy and Cal's granny. We also got to see more from the Premiere and the world he lives in and wants to help spread. The world we want! The time spent there was beautifully written and impacted so much. And of course General Farley was up front and center because she has come a long way since we first met her and she has struggled through so much on her own. I really wished we had a few chapters from her. Some of the others we spent so much time with in previous books were less focused in this one like Cameron and Kilorn to name a few.
Overall the story was well done for me. There was action and intrigue as we expect and lots of political espionage happening in all corners. The character building and even world building as we tear down one part. It had a lot going for it in this book and series overall. The end had parts I expected and parts that shocked me. I was unsure how I felt at first having finished it just in shock of it all but it makes sense. It won't be a perfect happily ever after for anyone there was just a massive war both internal and external so lots happening there. That can't be solved or wrapped up in a little bow. It gave the open ending we needed to believe it was possible. Some relationships were broken but some have the possibility of rebuilding just like the world and I love that. I love the parallels there. At first I wanted a quick instant fix but then I realized that wouldn’t have fit with the epic journey we had just finished. So I am very satisfied with the ending. Even if I wanted more as soon as I finished!
Until next time…