Title: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Publish Date: February 10, 2015
My Rating: ♥♥♥
Graceling meets The Selection in debut novelist Victoria Aveyard’s sweeping tale of seventeen-year-old Mare, a common girl whose once-latent magical power draws her into the dangerous intrigue of the king’s palace. Will her power save her or condemn her?
Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood–those with common, Red blood serve the Silver- blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.
To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard–a growing Red rebellion–even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.
I didn’t like this book as much as I thought I would, which is why I gave it 3 stars. Maybe it was the hype surrounding it, the lady who read the audiobook, or maybe something else, but overall I didn’t quite grasp what the hype was about over this book. I have been wanting to read it since before it came out officially.
That’s not to say that it was a bad book, but I guess I’m just not the right audience. I felt like I had read the book before, seeing as it incorporated a lot of dystopian tropes. For me, it didn’t feel overly unique or attention grabbing.
I am interested in knowing what happens next, but I’m not clamoring or dying to find out, so in time, I’ll probably pick up the second novel. As I continued to listen to the audiobook, I kept hoping that there would be a twist in the plot or something, but I never got that. Mare Barrow is a girl who comes from nothing, is a thief, and then in a turn of events she is given the world. As a reader, I learned a lot about Mare, and I felt that the constant insight into who she is, was repetitive and occasionally unnecessary. I found myself liking her brothers, more than I liked her.
The final battle scene was pretty epic, and well written visually, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact, it was probably my favorite moment of the whole book – the moment Mare truly comes into her own.
As a debut novel, it wasn’t bad, and I have no doubt that the story only gets more interesting and engaging as the books go on, but as for Red Queen, I feel like it was way overhyped, and ultimately I set my expectations too high, and they could have never possibly been met. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a good dystopian fantasy, who likes stories of a heroine working to surmount seemingly insurmountable odds.