Review: “Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard

I’ve had this book on my shelf for a while now. When I found out that the author was going to be at the North Texas Teen Book Festival, I figured I could finished it in time (I didn’t) so I could get it signed (which I did).

I’ve seen this book floating around on the #bookstagram community for a while, and it won Goodreads 2015 Debut Author Award. One reviewer described it as X-Men set in a dystopian high-fantasy world. Hello, that’s my cup of tea!

Overall, I was glad I read it but I did have some problems with it…

red queen

Title: Red Queen (Red Queen #1)
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: February 10, 2015
Length: 383 pages (hardback)
Genre: Young adult, dystopian, fantasy, romance
Synopsis: (from Goodreads) “The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart …”

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

First off, I want to talk about the cover. It’s unique, gorgeous, and you can tell from just the cover that blood will spill.

The whole concept of the book is a neat idea. It seems that there was (is?) a small trend in the YA genre for people to have abilities (or powers, whatever you want to call them). I’m thinking of the Shatter Me trilogy by Tahareh Mafi, the Darkest Minds trilogy by Alexandra Bracken, and even The Young Elites trilogy by Marie Lu. Ave yard’s series can be added to the list as well since it takes place in a dystopian fantasy world.

Truthfully, I’m not convinced of the dystopian setting of the novel. That’s one of the major problems I had with the book anyways. Maybe it will be explained better in the later novels (like what happened to the U.S. if there ever was one) but for now, it was a bit of a stretch to convince me. For fantasy/sci-fi aspect of it was obvious. Unexplained magical abilities and what-not but I’m more intrigued as to how this all came to be (i.e. the separation of Silvers and Reds).

One other problem I had was:

How in the world did Mare fall in love with the two princes? I mean, it wasn’t insta-love so I let that slide but… is it because they helped her? I’m generally confused all around in that area… I almost felt like Aveyard pushed the characters to have romantic feelings for each other. I understand Mare’s circumstances in the novel and her place in the place and that they made her feel less lonely but… *shakes head* I don’t know. Ugh.

lovethe description of each type of power from the different noble Silver Houses.

Also, that plot twist! I should have known! Alas.

My interest in Cal’s mother is piqued. She seemed to know something and didn’t end well for her. I wonder if it has anything at all to do with Mare’s powers even though she’s a Red.

I’m not sure I like Mare as a character quite yet either.

Overall, this was a quick and easy read. Unfortunately, it did take me longer than I thought to read it. Aveyard writes well and I look forward to reading the next book in the series!

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