As of late, the books I have wanted to read have been far from my comfortable bubble of YA. I’ve gone from Cassandra Clare to Du Maurier… and it’s a transition I couldn’t be more enthused for. I took a break whilst reading ACOWAR to read some other books, so when I went back to it, it was with the knowledge of a whole other league of writing in mind.
I gave this book 2 stars on Goodreads.
Spoilers for ACOWAR
You can’t read something as masterful as ‘A little life’ or as thoughtful as ‘Rebecca’ and then read ACOWAR, expecting to still enjoy it. I truly loved ACOMAF simply because of Rhysand and the introduction to his squad but those were the only redeeming aspects of the series for me, now that I’ve gained some perspective.
Rhys character offered a satisfying romance during the second book, however in this book it offered me nothing. The exciting sexual tension lived and died within the second book, making this book seem empty of purpose for me.
Perhaps it’s because of my excessive reading of YA fantasy and urban fantasy, but nothing throughout the book thrilled me as many things were predictable. I began to notice little things like Feyre repeating herself, stating the obvious. I found her dull and in a way weak, only important to the other characters (excluding Rhys and his heavily emphasised love for her) because of her title as the ‘Lady’. Feyre as a character does nothing for me. In general, all of the characters conversations, their actions, felt very drastic and melodramatic. Every situation they found themselves in was ‘life and death’ but I knew nothing important would occur to the characters. Even at the end, when Rhys scarifies himself… so does (SPOILERS FOR VA, LUX SERIES, SWEET EVIL) Rose Hathaway, Katy Swartz, Anna Whitt, Feyre herself… and they all live. I hate this trope the most, where the main character attempts to sacrifice themselves for the greater good but lives to tell the tale. Either bite the bullet or don’t try it at all.
Rhys and Feyre’s relationship bored me as it embraced the YA trope of excessively stating how much they love and appreciate one another, which is nice once in a blue moon, but bloody hell it was every other page. They had no confrontation and Rhys never called Feyre out on her shit. Likewise, why does Feyre have the fierce need to be involved in everyone else’s love life? I just wanted to hit her, the way she would pry and needle her way into everyone else’s business. All the other characters respect her and Rhy’s privacy, even go so far as to leave a room just so they can have a quick fuck! Yet she acts incredibly entitled, which was very irritating.
Also, I found my patience with Nesta’s character to be completely worn out by this book. Instead of being the ‘cold, stunning and scarred older sister’, I found her incredibly naive and just plain stupid, resulting in no respect for her. Perhaps that was what Maas was doing, trying to highlight how ignorant she truly was in comparison to Feyre, making Feyre the more knowledgeable individual, yet leaving me simply aggravated. They were both acting as idiotic as the other.
Elaine infuriated me too, in how even through she was considered the gentle, thoughtful’sister, she had still followed every act of Nesta’s her entire life, treating her baby sister like shit. I felt I was supposed to feel protective and endeared towards her… alas I simply felt irritated.
Again I didn’t enjoy Mor in this book either, especially when Feyre didn’t reprimand her for her decisions to repeatedly hurt Azriel. I get she doesn’t want to come out to her family, but she should grow a pair of ovaries and at least tell Azirel instead of stringing him along. It felt wrong and not like a real issue. I felt no chemistry between Cassian, Azirel and Mor so the whole misunderstanding felt stupid.
My favourite aspect of the series was the slow build up to Rhys and Feyres relationship, but that takes place solely in ACOMAF. This book was dull and devoid of any fun.
In regards to my own physical reading experience, I definitely wasn’t invested in the story like I once was when reading ACOMAF. Stepping away from young adult really changed my perspective, so when I went back to reading this book I instantly felt the book was missing the layers of intricacy I had been reading previously.
Sarah J Maas’ characters on their own doesn’t satisfy me and I felt this way when reading Throne of Glass too. I found Celeana, Dorian and Chaol separately where all lacking depth and felt incredibly stereotypical, which was again the case with this book. Despite my love for Rhys, I’ve enjoyed his character before in Warner from Shatter Me and Daemon from The Lux Series. There are only so many times you can fall In love with the same trope and YA today feels like a lucky dip of them. It’s as if that’s the only way authors can write YA these days. It doesn’t feel authentic or original.
Like I said, really noticed the issues in Maas’ writing this time around. It’s not crafted with particular care, which in fairness is only something I’ve recently started to appreciate, but nevertheless I’m becoming more attuned to the quality of what I’m reading. I’m starting to enjoy more complex literature (something I’m really excited about it) and this book just so happens to be taking the brunt of my criticism – what I’ve been interested in recently and thus what I’m reading is straying far from YA and my tastes are definitely changing.
Whilst I may continue to read the YA I stil have on my shelves, I am consciously making the effort to explore other genres, books that challenge me. Unfortunately for this book, these thoughts took place whilst I was in its midsts of it and I generally was unsatisfied with how the story went.
Whilst I truly did love ACOMAF, which I gave 4 stars, my mindset had changed a lot by the time I began this book. Perhaps if I was thinking as I am now during my read of ACOMAF, my review would of been more critical, harsher for that book too, which I think is the truth. All I know is now I ‘m having a long break from YA and I cannot wait to do so.
Now that I’m off college for the summer, I’ll be writing a lot more reviews! So please follow me if you enjoyed this discussion and comment! I’d love to know what you thought of this book.