Title: Red Queen [Red Queen 1]
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Rating: 5 Star
This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.
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.
Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
This review comes after my second time of reading the book. I thought I reviewed it in the past but apparently not! I did it in audiobook form for the second time around and I really enjoyed the audiobook. Lets move on.
I’m an accident. I’m a lie. And my life depends on maintaining the illusion.
I want to say going into this book knowing how other people feel about it, saying that it wasn’t original and predictable, I was sad. I was so looking forward to the book and then I see all these really negative reviews, I had to drastically lower my expectations. Coming out of the book I can see what they were talking about, the story in a written world filled with dystopian books or hard done by characters who sort of become a chosen one, it was not original and yes at times predictable. But in a way now I am grateful for the reviews I saw going into this book because if I had gone into it thinking how new it was going to be I might feel the same way as everyone else, except I loved it.
The unoriginalness didn’t really bother me, specially the second time around. I decided to reread because I had not read the rest of the series and I am planning on meeting the author this month so now was the time to re-enter the world. Part of me expected to like it less and I think I ended up liking it more. I cannot believe how much I was enjoying being back in the world.
I loved the characters, even when I hated them. They were for the most part really well written and developed. The only ones I think could have used some more flushing out were the King, and maybe Mare’s parents. But that is a tiny gripe in a see of characters I liked.
I loved Mare. She was a flawed human being, but nothing she did in this book that ended up badly for other people was intentionally bad for those people. She is pushed as a very manipulative character a lot, and yes she is but she doesn’t really want to be. She doesn’t start her interactions with people with the mindset of stuffing them over most the time. Something will happen, and then a situation she is already in becomes a solution or involved in something else she is doing. I worry for the way things will go for her. I love the imagery of her power coursing through her, but she is surrounded by people who act first without really thinking about how using that power may affect them or anyone else later on. She is in a world were winning is really the goal in anyones minds and I worry about how that will affect her.
They trained me for this. It’s their own fault. They helped make their own doom.
I liked both princes’ for the majority of the book. Cal and Maven are very different people but I thought they were both very similar at the same time. They are both very moody, dramatic, and powerful. But all these things come out in different ways and it makes them sort of at odd with each other. I felt bad for Maven at times because being compared to the golden child that is Cal, and then also having a whisper for a mother would really mess with his head. I loved and didn’t love Cal. He seemed so good to Mare and wanted to help her but had no interest in helping of the millions of other people like her. I can see why, he didn’t want war, but I couldn’t really get over that.
SPOILER – I knew how the book was going to end the second time obviously, but towards the the last third of the book I was really starting to doubt if I remember right. I remembered from the first time round that you are lead to believe that Cal is actually the more ‘evil’ brother and Maven is sweet and pure, but then Maven is the one that betrays Mare in the end. I knew this, but as I was reading I started questioning this knowledge. Is Maven actually going to betray her? Or did I get them muddled up in my head and its actually going to be Cal? I really loved that about the second time round. Aveyard had written it well enough that after some time between the two reads and already knowing what was going to happen, I had to question my own memory. – END SPOILER
Side character wise I wasn’t too interested what everyone else was doing, but I can appreciate the characters the same. I thought Kilorn was so damn stupid. A well written stupid but oh my god I just wanted to smack him. Stop making bad decisions because you are sulking that Mare in an attempt to save you from being conscripted is now in a life and death situation that isn’t all about you! I can see myself liking Farley more as I get to know her and she doesn’t just seem like a pushy person. She has some guts though, I would have broken for sure going through what she did in the book. Queen Elara was just scary, Julian was lovely and I pray that he is as lovely as I think he is, and just thinking about Lucas breaks my heart.
Anyone can betray anyone.
I know this review ended up being more about the characters, and thats because I liked that development the most. I really liked the world building and the idea of what is going on in this world and why everyone is at odds is so good, but the plot isn’t anything new that we need to talk about here. Despite that though I loved this book, and I cannot wait to dive into the next book in the series. Go into this one with lowered expectations and you may come out like me, a huge fan. If you are looking for something ground breaking then this isn’t the book for you.
Till Next Time. . .