Friday, April 17, 2015

Book Review: Red Queen

Title: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Genre: Young Adult // Dystopia // Fantasy // Magic
Publisher: Orion
Publication Date: February 10, 2015
Format: Physical
Source:  Purchased (B&N)

The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.
To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.
Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre ofthose she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.
But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win (goodreads)?

With Red Queen, there is not good and evil, just shades of gray.

Plot: There are a lot of  marketing tools that compare this novel to a plethora of other YA books. In my opinion, Red Queen is more like The Selection meets Hunger Games. I say The Selection because the kingdom's highest families compete to have their daughter become the crown prince's betrothed. The only catch is that they all have magical powers. Strongarms, nymphs, if you saw it on X-Men, you'll most likely see it in Red Queen. When Mare is found to have powers she shouldn't, she is thrown into this political world of betrayal and manipulation. I would have really enjoyed this book if it could focus on one plot line. In the synopsis, we see that Mare has to deal with being ~different~, hiding in plain sight in a city full of Silvers, taking part in a secret revolution and as this is YA, there has to be some romantic element. That is a lot going on for 300 pages, and because of that I felt that I was flitting from conflict to conflict. The beginning held my attention as did the ending, but I probably couldn't tell you what happened in the middle. 

Characters: From chapter one I knew that I liked Mare. She's aware that she lives in world where she is always at a disadvantage and she is strong. She pickpockets to help her family survive, she knows how to stand up for herself and she has a strong sense of family value. I was a bit disappointed that she seemed to lose herself once she joined the ranks of Silvers. I didn't see the same fire in her that I did when she lived in the Red slums. There is a bit of a love triangle which surprisingly didn't bother me. To be fair, I wasn't that invested in the love element of Red Queen, but I did like what direction it took at the end of the novel. 

World Building: I enjoyed the different worlds of The Silvers and The Reds, and even though Red Queen takes place predominately in the castle, I felt that I had a better understanding of the Reds than the Silvers. I would have preferred more history that divided the Silvers and The Reds and more interaction with Silver royal families. 

Short N Sweet: Red Queen is not by any means the perfect novel, but it does have potential to be a fun and fast paced series!


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