Have you ever read a book and not quite understand the logic behind some of the major plot points? I have! In this feature, I’ll explore some of the confusing books I’ve read. There are likely to be spoilers. If you’ve read some of these books and have an explanation or know something I missed, leave a comment! Otherwise, feel free to join me in scratching my head. (Disclaimer: My decision to feature a book in this post does not necessarily I didn’t enjoy the book overall.)
Again: Spoiler Warning!
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard: The Not-Special Specials
Aveyard’s dystopian novel is a warning against discrimination: the people with red blood have been oppressed by the people with silver blood, and we all know that’s wrong. People are equal, no matter the color of their
skin blood. The confusing part? The Silvers actually are different, more powerful. They have superpowers and (most of) the Reds do not. (Yeah, there’s the plot point that the powerful Reds are being murdered to keep the population in check, but that tidbit isn’t revealed until nearly the end of the novel.) Of course the strong shouldn’t oppress the weak just because they can, so the message of the novel should stand, but it gets muddled because there’s more than an difference of blood color at stake in this world.
The Sin-Eater’s Daughter by Melissa Salisbury: The Fake Religion That’s Real
Major plot point of this novel: Religion is fake, the gods aren’t real, and the protagonist isn’t a reincarnated god with mystical powers. Science and technology are real. Faith and magic are dangerous superstition used to control the masses. So…someone explain to me why the novel ends with a declaration that a cursed fairy tale character has been woken by a magic talisman and is coming to destroy the kingdom?
The Night Parade by Kathryn Tanquary: Making Reparations for…Everything?
In this fantasy middle grade novel, protagonist Saki gets in a boat load of trouble after playing a board game in graveyard that calls a death curse upon her. She then meets three spirits who will guide her through the Night Parade, the annual gathering of all the spirits, in hopes she can find a way to remove the curse. …But is this really the point of her journey? Along the way, Saki is accused of general selfishness, of not properly doing a ritual washing, and of welcoming an evil spirit into the world by performing a different religious ritual incorrectly, as well as a host of other things. Her journey should be a way of atoning for her actions, but I’m completely baffled by which action she’s atoning for. I’m also unclear on whether this whole thing is about her death curse at all or if it’s actually about saving the world from the evil spirit. Or maybe something else entirely.