Review: War Storm by Victoria Aveyard

War Storm (Red Queen #4)
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: May 15, 2018
Pages: 662
Format: Hardcover/Own

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.

Review: Well... I finished the series. First of all, this book did not need to be almost 700 pages. We had five POVs. Mare, Evangeline, Iris, Cal & Maven. I feel like a good half of Iris's POV could have been cut out because it didn't provide much to the story. Sure she was interesting, but there was maybe about a paragraphs worth of stuff in half her chapters that was pertinent to the the story. Mare as well. There was fair amounts of her chapters that were just ramblings. She's our main character and I know we're supposed to have the most of her, but there was just some stuff not needed. We could have definitely cut a good probably 100-150 pages out with the ramblings that didn't contribute much to the story. Also, I feel like having more of Cal's POV over Iris's would have been better. He was much more important to the story and went through more I think. It probably would have been more interesting with his replacing all the Iris POV scenes. 

So overall, I felt like the book was a bit of a letdown. Maven was made to seem like he was so smart and knew every little thing Cal would do. Despite the fact that Cal is predictable, it was a bit much to make Maven literally a know it all and constantly be ahead of them. I felt like Maven being captured happened a bit too quickly and easily. Where were his guards? How did Iris get his bracelet? I mean, the guards could have been swayed, but the bracelet? I feel like that was removed from Maven with too much ease. The scene literally lasted like a page and a half with Anabel narrating it. I get she planned it, but it seemed way to easily done. I also have to say, were we supposed to feel bad for what happened to Maven in the end? Because after all he did and continued to do without his mothers influence, I just didn't care. Like I'm not sad about it at all. It seemed fitting for all he did. And then Iris and her mom having the Lakeland & Piedmont armies retreat in the end because they got attack by surprise from below. There was such a big build up for the war but it felt like it was for nothing except to force Cal into a decision over his crown. It was nowhere near the battle it was being built up to be. 

Ok, so Mare. Again, she was aggravating. She choose the Scarlet Guard over Cal. Which isn't bad. She wanted freedom for the Reds more than her happy ending. And then she has the nerve to constantly call his choosing the crown betrayal when she's betrayed him? I just can't. It's just she makes it so annoying. She reverts to calling him Tiberius to pretend like she he doesn't mean anything to her and move on. Spoiler. It doesn't work. She is just so immature. Constantly being snappy and angry at Cal for a few chapters, then being in love and fawning all over him in others. She ends up in his room halfway through the book for most of the night doing exactly what we expect the two of them to be doing. So much resolve for standing against him. And then again at the end. They have this moment before Mare goes after Maven where it seems like everything will be put aside and they'll work things out after the battle is over, and then at the end she says she "needs time" to figure out what she wants. Seriously?? You want Cal Mare. We see it all over your face. All your being is a stubborn annoying mopey teenager about it and trying to punish him for his choices. Yawn. You wouldn't have gone to him multiple times earlier in the story if you didn't. Get over yourself Mare and just be with Cal. If we don't see the two of them get back together in one of the short stories and actually stick it out this time, I'll just be so annoyed. 

Evangeline. I love this girl now. I struggled to get through the first 100 or so pages and this girls POV kept me going. I loved her smirking and giggling over Mare and what she does to the Calore brothers. I love that she didn't want anything she has been given even though we first were led to believe the opposite in books 1 and 2. I love that she just wants Elaine. She wants to be with her love over a crown, and being a queen, and having all the power she could want. She just wants the person she loves and I respect her so much for that. I love that she stopped hating Mare and even kind of considered her a friend. I was so proud of her finally standing up to her dad and jumping off his sinking ship. And what made it pure bliss was the fact her parents acted like they gave her everything they thought she wanted. They acted like they knew better and had every right to choose her life for her because they thought it was better. And Evangeline just shut them down and walked away from it (ran technically since it was during the battle, but you get the meaning). She told them she was choosing what SHE wanted, not the life chosen for her. I love that we find out in the end she is living happy and as a special quest of Premier Davidson in Ascendant. It makes me happy she at least has a happy ending. And I'm assuming Ptolemus too since he made sure Wren escaped with them (and we know he has a thing for Wren). 

Cal. I understand why he wouldn't give up the crown when demanded. He was raised to be king and he also wanted to try and bring the changes Montfort and the Scarlet Guard wanted gradually to make things smoother rather than forcefully and all at once up front. But he was never going to have that chance. Not with King Volo down his neck, or his grandmother Queen Anabel or the impending war with the Lakelands trying to hit them while they were vulnerable. But he wanted to try. I felt so bad for Cal. He honestly only wants Mare. But so much has been forced on him that he has other more pressing choices. And then when he finally does give up the crown and every thing he had with it, Mare just tells him she needs time. He literally has nothing left and just wants to be with the girl he loves, which he does prove he loves countless times, and he gets rejected. Despite everyone knowing she wants him. And Mare had the nerve to say he should take time too to know that he wants her. Yeah, ok. Cal is a big boy and knows what he wants without your attitude Mare. If anything, you shouldn't even question him wanting you after all that happened. This poor guy. He deserves a happy ending after everything he deals with in this series and he can't even have that. 

You know who else I actually enjoyed in the story? Farley and Julian. We finally get to see Julian in the light and see him use his skills more, and actually have a big piece of the story. Helping Cal, still giving advice to Mare sometimes, even giving Cal back a piece of his mom with the diary that really helped him see things differently. I loved Julian so much in this book. He's such a cool side character and I was sad not seeing him much in books 2 and 3 after we got so much of him in book 1. I also grew to like Farley despite not liking her short story before. Becoming a mom changed her. I love how she's considered a part of the Barrow family now since her daughter is also Shades daughter. I also loved seeing her become a strong leader after her promotion in the guard. She was really good at leading and also standing up for the guards interests when diplomacy called, even though she was still kinda snappy about it. It's like having her daughter gave her a new purpose for fighting for freedom for the reds, but also in being closer and nicer to those close to her, like Mare. You can tell she comes to think of Mare more as a sister or close friend now. It's nice. 

I was really hoping for more from this ending honestly. It felt like we just left a bunch of loose ends with Cal & Mare unresolved. Norta just starting to rebuild. No words really on that. Honestly, it felt like a bunch of these were left unresolved just to leave room for the short stories when they could have been resolved. I really wanted to give this book 4 stars, but the unresolved end and the fact I had a hard time getting into it and enjoying certain rambling POV's kinda pushed the rating down to the 3.5.

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