I have a rule for authors that none of them obviously follow, since... none of them probably know me. But this rule is-
If you keep continuing a series that you already said was finished, the rest of the books are going to suck.
After reading The Heir, I still stand by my rule. However, I am willing to make a few exceptions. There were some parts that, in fact, sucked, and some that did not suck. Here is a list:
Things that Sucked
When reading some other reviews on Goodreads prior to picking up this book, I found that Eadlyn, the main character, was receiving a lot of hate. However, when I first started reading it, I really, really admired her. Almost more than I admired America. (Let's be honest, most times America got on my nerves. I basically only read The One so I could gobble up the parts with Maxon.) America was okay, she was tolerable. But she was so indecisive about everything that it drove me CRAZY. Eadlyn knew what she wanted, and she was determined to get it by herself. Finally! My inside happiness screamed, Some girl power!!! She had spunk and bravery and I thought everything was going well.
Until things started sucking. There are many problems with Eadlyn, mostly:
She let all her power go to her head.
Through the entire duration of the book, she holds herself like she is the queen of the world. She is disrespectful to her maid (who is a total sweetheart, by the way) and Josie.
WHY DOES SHE FIND JOSIE SO ANNOYING??
I must admit I do not understand how Eadlyn gets so pissed at Josie about everything that she does. Oh, what, Josie is trying to make a conversation with you? Because she sees you as a friend? But how dare she treat you like an equal even though
SHE HAS ALSO LIVED AT THE PALACE HER ENTIRE LIFE.....
Of course she is going to be caught up in your glamorous lifestyle. Of course she will want to wear a crown every once in a while. If I lived in a palace all my life, I think I would want to try on the tiaras and at least pretend to be royal.
"Kile, could you please go talk to your sister?"
The contentment in his eyes quickly turned to frustration. "Why? What'd she do this time?"
"She's taken yet another one of my tiaras."
"Don't you have, like, a thousand of those?"
I huffed. "That's hardly the point. It's mine, and she shouldn't be wearing it. When she walks around like that, she gives the impression that she's royal when she's not. It's inappropriate."
Sheesh. Cut her some slack. So she's wearing a tiara. Nobody is going to start bowing down to Josie instead of you. Calm down.
Instead of being grateful for this power, more than half the time she actually complains about it.
Maxon and America gave their daughter one of the greatest gifts that they could... the right to rule the country even though she is a woman. Do you realize what a big step this is? How incredible it is? I thought this was a lovely show of feminism, that they were willing to give their daughter something which, up until that point, had been controlled completely by the male gender. That is amazing. She should be proud and grateful for this opportunity.
But is she?
No... instead she complains over and over about how unfair it is that she was given the right to rule. She thinks those rights should have been passed down to Ahren, her twin brother, instead. She talks constantly about what "kind of queen" she will be.
Didn't they know who I was, what they'd trained me for? I was Eadlyn Schreave. No one was more powerful than me.
Yet she spends most of the book whining about how she wishes she didn't have to be queen. Oh, poor me, one day I get to rule as the first woman leader in history, boo hoo hoo.
She is cruel, has little regard for other's feelings, and utterly selfish.
"Prince Nathaniel looks like a zombie, Prince Hector dances like a zombie, and if the prince from the German Confederation doesn't learn to embrace personal hygiene by the Christmas party, he shouldn't be invited."
Eadlyn dismissed the feelings of almost everyone in the book like they were absolutely nothing. The one that bugged me the most was definitely how she was unable to see how tired her father is. One of the Selected tells her, "Your dad is super tired all the time," and she thinks... "Oh really, he's tired? I didn't notice." Yeah, no worries, he is just trying to handle tons of rioting against the monarchy and restore peace to his country. I'm sure it doesn't make him tired at all!!
In the original Selection series, one of my favorite qualities about Maxon was how kindly he treated all of the girls. He had genuine interest in their feelings and was sure to let them down easy. Eadlyn, however, did nothing of the sort. A handful of quotes to demonstrate:
"This is strange," I said, picking up one of he applications. "I don't want to be judgmental, but look at this. I caught three different spelling mistakes for this one."
Mom took the form. "It's possible he was nervous."
"Or an idiot," I offered.
[As it turns out, the "idiot" who filled out this form barely speaks any English, as Illea is not his native country.]
"My father used to be a Two."
"Is that all?"
Undeterred, he went on. "I think it's pretty impressive."
"Not as impressive as having a father who used to be a One."
[Sure, he's a little prideful, but you are guilty of that as well... suck it up, princess.]
He took a breath. "You are so beautiful."
"So I've been told. You can go now." I swept my arm across my body, pointing to the Men's Parlor.
[Yikes. So the guy wants to pay you a compliment. What the heck is wrong with that?]
"Why were you so harsh? For a few you simply said 'no' or flicked your hand."
I tried not to let the worry show on my face. At the time those things had seemed kind of funny.
[Oh yes, because whenever someone cries after you leave the room, it's hilarious!! Let's all go to dinner and laugh about it, hahahahaha!! So funny!!]
Seriously, if you are going to be a host for all of these men, the best way to uphold a good image is to be kind and gentle in sending them home. You aren't supposed to be the evil villain here! You can let them down easy! That's much better than just dismissing them by saying things such as "The longer you stay, the more embarrassing it becomes. You should leave."
I am not kidding. She seriously said that. On camera.
One thing that I actually found sort of funny is that she acts surprised whenever the public doesn't agree with what she is doing. She seems surprised that they don't like her when she is a selfish brat. What's not to like, right?? I mean, during a parade, those standing in the streets throw vegetables at her, and the girl can't catch a hint!! Seriously, she sucks at being kind to a whole bunch of teenage boys, and if she can't handle that, who knows how she will treat her subjects? No wonder they are upset that the country is in her hands. She'll probably ruin it if she keeps up the freaking attitude. Luckily, Ahren, her twin brother, figuratively slaps her in the face and finally wakes her up when he says:
More provinces are protesting the monarchy than you could guess. Not all of them, but plenty. And while it pains me to tell you this, the problem people have with the monarchy stems from one person: you.
YES!! THANK YOU AHREN! SOMEONE FINALLY UNDERSTANDS HOW WE HAVE BEEN FEELING DURING THE ENTIRE BOOK!!!!
You're probably getting the point. Eadlyn is a horrible main character with way too much confidence and power. I think Cass may have been trying to start her off as a horrible person so we could watch her change through character development, but the truth is that all it did was make me hate her even more. She's a horrible person!! Ugh. Just. No.
Moving on to the second thing that sucked.
Seriously, there was literally no actual good romance in this book. Nothing that gave me the butterflies. She kisses one guy that gives her "the sparks" and suddenly for the rest of the book they start making out at the most random times. Just.... why???
I think there were definitely parts thrown in there to try and make us helpless romantics over here melt. But that's exactly what they felt like... thrown at us.
Sure, were some of the boys likable? Yeah, of course. But I could not feel any romantic tensions between them and Eadlyn.
Seriously, the book was three hundred pages, and she doesn't even feel like marrying any of them!! She hasn't even fallen in love- not even a tiny bit!!!
Things that Actually Managed NOT to suck.
Maxon and America
The only reason I was super excited to read the Heir was simply because I loved The Selection series. I was head over heels in love with Maxon. America had plenty of flaws, but by the end of The One I actually liked her. My OTP had finally reached their happily ever after, and I was content.
Yup, twenty years later? Still adorable.
Ahren and his French girlfriend.
I think Ahren, overall, was my favorite character. He was open to new ideas and much more generous than his twin sister. I loved his girlfriend, too. Their romance was super cute. Guess who didn't agree with me? Eadlyn.
I swallowed, daring to say what I'd been deliberating over for a very long time. "Look, Ahren, she's a great girl. There's no denying it. But maybe she's not the one."
His smile finally faltered. "What do you mean?"
"Just that you might want to consider other options. There are so many eligible girls in Illea that you've completely bypassed. Don't rush into something that you can't undo. If you and Camille broke up, it would be nothing. If you got divorced, we could lose our alliance to France."
Ahren stared at me. "Eadlyn, I know you're hesitant to fall in love, but I know how I feel about her. Just because you're scared--"
"I'm not scared!" I insisted. "I'm trying to help you. I love you maybe more than anyone. I'd do nearly anything for you, and I thought you'd do the same for me."
So, that was a pretty long rant... If you've come this far, congratulations! Thanks for sticking with me. I hope you don't hate this book as much as I did. If you loved it, I apologize for any feelings I may have damaged. :) Overall, this book was nowhere near as good as The Selection.