by Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen (#1)
Publication: HarperCollins on February 10, 2015
Format: Hardcover, 400 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia, Romance
Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood - those with red and those with silver. Mare and her family are lowly Reds, destined to serve the Silver elite whose supernatural abilities make them nearly gods. Mare steals what she can to help her family survive, but when her best friend is conscripted into the army she gambles everything to win his freedom. A twist of fate leads her to the royal palace itself, where, in front of the king and all his nobles, she discovers a power of her own - an ability she didn't know she had. Except . . . her blood is red.To hide this impossibility, the king forces her into 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 her new position to aid the Scarlet Guard - the leaders of a Red rebellion. Her actions put into motion a deadly and violent dance, pitting prince against prince - and Mare against her own heart.
After hearing so much praise for Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, I finally hunted down this author's debut novel at the public library. Needless to say, after checking out the book, I stuck my nose in the spine and immediately got cracking to reading on the drive home.
Okay. Before I get on to the real review, I just have to say this cover is gorgeous! So very simple but I love it. A million thumbs up from me. ☺
The main issue I had with Red Queen was that . . . it didn't feel original. Sure, I've never read a book about "Reds" and "Silvers," but I felt like a whole lot of the plot overlapped with other popular YA Dystopia novels. I suppose that it's quite difficult to make up completely original content, so I do understand. However, at the beginning I felt as if I was reading a retelling of The Hunger Games, and during the middle and towards the end of the book, I felt as if I was reading a mix of The Selection by Kiera Cass and Divergent. If any of you are devout fans of those series, then perhaps you will enjoy this book more due to the similar plots. However, I thought of these similarities more as flaws - marks from the creativity factor. And since the books were so similar, I couldn't help scrutinize the text and compare the plots that more closely. I mean, as I said, it felt like I read it all before.
Some parts of the plot were cliché. The big plot twists didn't come as a surprise to me (rather unfortunately.)
However, the writing was exciting, especially towards the ending. Overall I still enjoyed the book quite a lot. The ideas and portions of the book that were completely original, I loved. Many books talk about bloodlines and half-bloods, but I particularly enjoyed Victoria Aveyard's take with "Reds and "Silvers." Oh yeah, and the Silvers' abilities were pretty (if you don't mind me saying) kick-butt. The book was extremely action-packed and kept me intrigued. I felt that Victoria Aveyard more than made up for the areas of her plot that were lacking.
Unfortunately, I have to admit I was expecting a bit more of Red Queen simply because I've heard so many good things about the book. But all in all, I was thoroughly entertained and enjoyed the read. So if you're looking for another YA action-packed novel with similar themes to books like The Hunger Games, The Selection, and Divergent, I'd say go for this one. If you're a stickler for creativity, you might want to stay away.
I'll be on the lookout for the sequel!