Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Release Date: February 10th 2015 by HarperTeen
Genres: Young Adult, Science-Fiction, Dystopia
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.
Society divided into social classes? Check. Unlikely heroine who’s fated to save their nation? Check. An exhilarating romance? Not really.
It’s surprising how Red Queen broke the pattern for your typical YA dystopian. I was expecting the sappy and plot-interferring romance to come my way, but it didn’t even leave a significant mark. Sadly, that card trick wasn’t enough to turn this head around.
The world is divided via coloration of blood; Red means you are inferior while Silver means you are superior plus you get kickass superhuman abilities – the only downside about this is it’s confusing as heck. Each Silver is segregated into a house that specialises in a unique ability, and as much as I love the X-Men-like concept, there were so many houses and colors mentioned that it made me dizzy.
Mare Barrow was another surprise. She’s headstrong and won’t take shit from anyone even swoony princes. I’m actually tempted to call her the new Katniss Everdeen, but she’s not as memorable as the girl on fire. Maybe in the next book she’ll make a much more lasting impact on me.
I mentioned earlier about not having an exhilarating romance, and it’s true. There’s little focus on the boys – yep, it’s plural – of Mare’s complicated life. But you know that feeling when you want a little more from them? Like it’s so pushed to the background that the novel sort of lost the essence of having a romance aspect. But I digress, it wasn’t even exciting.
After finishing this book, I was left unsatisfied. It didn’t live up to what I was expecting, and I admit it felt like The Hunger Games all over again in between reading. But my interest is still up there soooooo I’ll probably go check out the sequel. Hopefully, I have the houses memorised by then.
An advance copy was provided in exchange for an honest review. This has not affected my overall thoughts.