Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Friday, August 14, 2015

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Publisher: Orion
Publication Date: February 10, 2015
Pages: 383
Source: purchased
Buy It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
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? -- Goodreads
Red and silver: two colors that mean so much more in Mare’s world.  Those with red blood are forced to live in poverty, working nonstop, most without electricity, and most forced into the military at young ages.  Those with silver blood are royalty, all with money, and all with some sort of magic power—some stronger than others.  These two people are divided.  However when Mare, quite literally, falls into the sights of the royals and shows the powers she possesses, the divided line becomes blurred.

In the first few pages, I was cringing at the predictable-ness of the work.  Really?  Reds are forced to watch a televised event, where Silvers come in an arena to fight.  That sounds very close to The Hunger Games.  And the ones with silver blood have super powers?  Like Vampire Academy, perhaps.  Wait, come on.  At the palace, there is a competition—a fight to win the prince’s hand in marriage.  Did anyone say The Selection?  I would come back to Red Queen and inwardly whine, knowing it was probably going to be like all the rest.  How could I ever have been more wrong?

The characters were so realistic

And thank you, Aveyard, so much! Mare did not choose a single guy in the whole book.  One, I think Red Queen should pride itself on being one dystopian that is not drowning in romance.  Sure, there is some romance, dancing, and kissing (oh, my!) but Mare said so herself that there is no choice [when it came to choosing a male character].  Thank you.  Girls can get through love triangles or whatever that was in the book and come out without a guy.  It is actually the most realistic outcome I have read in a long time. 

But, also, as the reader I chose a male character that I preferred from the beginning.  I even wrote a status update about him on Goodreads because I liked him from that first scene.  Cal is the most gorgeous creature in the whole book.  And like all Aveyard’s characters, he is complex, very real, and totally awesome.  His decisions throughout the novel threw me a bit, having me waver about my choice in liking him but isn’t that what people do in real life too?  Everyone is unpredictable, including the characters of Red Queen.  It reminds me of Aveyard’s constant mantra of “Anyone can betray anyone.”

You know when you are reading and you get swept up in the story—you start to wish and even believe, if only for a few seconds, that the book is actually real.  If Red Queen was real, Victoria Aveyard would be a Silver and her magical power would be writing.  I know a lot of reviews say things like I was on the edge of my seat, her writing kept me up at night, and this book will surely blow you away.  All of that is definitely true.  However to explain Aveyard’s writing concisely, I thought I would use some examples because her writing is genius.  She was able to make readers laugh in one sentence and, yet, suck in a breath in the next.  What Aveyard certainly has is a gift:
“We used to beat each other up as children, but now that we’re older—and he’s a foot taller than me—I try to avoid scuffles.  He has his uses, I suppose.  Reaching high shelves, for example” (3).
“Like my dad, Kilorn’s father was sent off to war, but whereas mine returned missing a leg and a lung, Mr. Warren came back in a shoe box” (4).
It is difficult to write reviews for books I absolutely loved because what is there to say other than: LOVED it, go read it now, please.  Red Queen is one of those books.  LOVED it. You need this book in your hands and should have been reading it five minutes ago.

Red Queen (2/11/15): 5 stars
Glass Sword (2/9/2016): TBA
TBA (2017): TBA

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  1. I like the lighting bolt in his face part :) And this review just reminded me why I loved this book so much! There were so many ways for Aveyard to incorporate love stories and I'm glad she didn't in this one, but I'm worried as it gets more popular she may think she has to (she doesn't)

  2. It's not drowning in romance? Brilliant! I like romance but I think a lot of books I've been reading lately haven't needed it and sometimes love and mushiness get in the way of a good story.
    I've heard a lot about Red Queen lately and I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  3. I hope I'm not too late commenting, but I really liked this book up until the ending. I felt like there was a triangle forming there so I just didn't read the others. I hope I'm wrong. I'll give this series another go.