Review: Red Queen

Author: Victoria Aveyard
Date of Publication: February 10 2015
Pages: 320
Source: ARC won in a giveaway!

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 of
those 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?


I confess: Red Queen's premise is a lot like Red Rising's, and that's partially what drew me to the book. I also wonder if that impacted my experience reading Red Queen, because while I saw some reviews where people were gushing like crazy about Red Queen, all I could think was that it was good, but as far as this premise/story goes, I liked the way Red Rising handled it more. Red Rising had some more complexity and it was a lot more unpredictable, for me.

I'll also make it clear that I loved the ending of Red Queen. I thought the ending was so much fun to read, and it also resolved another little issue I had. I kind of felt really uncomfortable with something while reading, and I had certain nagging suspicions. This took away from my enjoyments of some parts of the story, but it was only because I kind of guessed a plot twist really early on. Again, once this storyline ended, I felt much happier with the story. 

Red Queen was such a fun story. I love the super cool powers and it's really the kind of fantasy, a la Shadow and Bone, that is fun. I didn't find a character I liked as much as the Darkling though, although I thought Red Queen's plot was more enjoyable, just because it had a lot more happening because of the length of the story and it satisfies more than any of Bardugo's books. 

I feel pretty shitty for constantly comparing books to Red Queen, but I think it's really because while I liked a lot of the elements of the story, it wasn't a story I fell for. It's still one I enjoyed and I think I will like the sequels even more. I guessed a few of the plot twists and for that it felt a little typical, which was not what I was expecting from a book with this kind of hype. I'm hoping that I'll have a harder time guessing what happens in the sequel, once the author doesn't have to do so much set up. 

The characters didn't stand out too much. I liked Mare because she was tough but a really good person who wanted to do good. Her relationship with her family was pretty great. I wish there was more of that. I thought the princes were a lot of fun, and for some reason I always love brothers in YA. I liked their interactions best. 

I think the most fun part of the story has to be the plot and the super powers. The Silvers are pretty horrible. Their mantra is 'strength and power', and they're really entitled assholes. But, they were also incredibly fascinating. I loved learning about their powers and the conflicts between different houses. I loved training and battles, and I am so into more of Mare kicking ass! The plot was also paced really well and kept me interested the entire time. Some plans seemed a little too easy, so I wouldn't have minded some more details and I'm really looking forward to the theme that everything is 'gray'. 

Also, I really like Cal. Cal could be that one character I really like that makes this entire story click. I don't know if he is yet, but he could be. Cal is fascinating because he is so attuned to his duty. He will be king someday, and that means he always has to consider the needs of the kingdom before his own. He refuses to sacrifice the strength of his kingdom, and he is willing to do whatever it takes to win. He's righteous in a way, and terrible in others. In any case, I don't like all his decisions, but I like who he is, if that makes sense. I've always been fascinated by power and its limitations, and that was Cal's storyline. 

Bah, this review has been all over the place! I guess I'm a little rusty. In any case, I think Red Queen was good, but not as good as I hoped. Still, there were a lot of really fun things that make me super excited for the sequel!


1 comment:

  1. This is one of those books that completely flew under my radar until I saw it start to pop up on blog after blog, after blog. And each time I read a review, even one that was kind of meh, I got more and more excited about this book. I'm a little bummed the characters didn't stand out much, but I am still just so pumped about finding this book. I can't wait to give it a try.

    Great review!

    Michelle @ Book Briefs


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