Series: Red Queen, #1
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 3.5/4 stars out of 5
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?
First and foremost I will have to say Red Queen was not what I was expecting, in both good and bad ways. I was actually back and forth with what rating I wanted to give it, but it was the overall aspect of the difference between bloods, the idea behind the powers different blood could have, that pushed it (barely) to a rating of four stars.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I did really enjoy this book, but I was expecting a more high fantasy (no technology) kind of world. That is, however, not the case here. The book is a mix of both high fantasy elements with more advanced technologies you’ll get from science-fiction/dystopian based books. In all honesty, I didn’t really enjoy that aspect all that much. The whole different bloods and power element –which had a very X-Men feel to it—was why I wanted to pick up the book in the first place, but the more advanced technological parts didn’t always work for me.
“I woke up this morning as one person, and now I'm supposed to be someone else entirely.”
I did enjoy the characters and felt that Aveyard created a nice cast, both dynamic and intriguing. She created contrasting characters and I enjoyed watching each role they played. Mare, though at times annoyed me, was a good female lead. Though she gets thrown into a very dangerous and deadly role when it’s discovered she isn’t just a normal red. It was interesting seeing her play the dangerous political games, and watching her grow with each development. But I also felt she (I don’t know how to say this without spoiling the book) trusted too easily for my taste, as if she never really thought beforehand.
Cal was probably my favorite character. I enjoyed watching him overcome his statue and role. He too does get challenged like Mare, but in a completely different way. I was sad, but also proud of him in the end.
The romance, of course, was a sublime if not a little predictable element to the story. At times I enjoyed it, but at other times I didn’t. I also hated Maven from the moment he appeared in the book. And about halfway through, I was able to see through the facades of some characters –so I pretty much guessed the turn of events. The plot was intriguing, as I mentioned, if not somewhat predictable. It did move at a decent pace, for me. Some of Mares actions and decisions didn’t feel believable at times, like she wasn’t really thinking.
“I see a world on the edge of a blade. Without balance, it will fall.”
But despite a few things that I, personally, didn’t enjoy, I really liked the book overall. I definitely want to see more the characters’ growth and what is next for them. So I know I’ll be continuing this series.