Red Queen Book Review


Title: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Series: Book #1 in the Red Queen trilogy
Publisher: HarperTeen – an imprint of HarperCollins
Publishing Date: February 10, 2015
Genres: Young Adult – Fantasy, Dystopian, Romance
Pages: 383
Format: Purchased Hardcover

“Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard is a book about a seventeen year old girl named Mare who is a thief in her town. She’s born as a Red – that is, a red-blooded person – and they are viewed as peasants, workers, the lowest of the low. The other class of people are the Silvers – silver-blooded people – and they are the elite because they have superpowers, whether that be the ability to control water, fire, metal, ice, turn themselves into stone, read and damage minds, and more. Though they have these powers, they are only able to draw their powers from the elements around them.

One day Mare gets caught up in a plan to help her family and ends up destroying their dreams of a better future. And then she meets a stranger who helps her get work in the Hall of the Sun┬áto work among the Silvers she hates and that’s when things become electrifying.

Mare has the ability to control lightning, despite being a Red, and suddenly she has a huge target painted on her back.

This book was an interesting read and definitely super hyped up. I enjoyed reading about the powers and their world and how even though there are some forms of technology such as guns, TVs, and other such things, there’s also a sense of the past in the way the caste system works and how there are kingdoms in the world.

Before I continue, there may or may not be spoilers strung throughout the rest of my review, so if you haven’t read the book yet, please do. They won’t be heavy spoilers, but maybe there will be something that is said that tells too much.

Mare is a character that is strong willed, stubborn, very opinionated, and quick witted. Those are really the best terms to describe her in this instance. For a lot of the story I read about a girl who continually questioned and doubted herself, but then would proceed to raise herself up. Sometimes she would figure things out a little too fast or a little too easily, as if everything came to her as a revelation and that’s one of the things I didn’t like about her. I enjoy when the main character has to go along to figure things out for themselves. I guess she did at the end, though, with the big “plot twist” I believe people talk about. Overall I thought she was an okay character, but she definitely could have used more of a character arc to help her develop more, in my opinion.

Cal, the older prince, is a Silver who wields fire. He’s a strong soldier who’s trained and trained to not only wield his power, but to also be physically capable in any battle he’s thrust into. When we first meet him he’s hiding undercover as a common Red, but later, when Mare starts working at the Hall of the Sun, she sees him as the prince, the heir to the throne and an enemy. Though there are many layers to Cal, I still found that I liked him most out of the secondary main characters. He’s gentle, but tough, and he knows what to say when he can say it. I was rooting for him the whole time and I can’t wait to see what he brings in the next book.

Maven is the younger prince who is thrust into the situation to marry Mare as a way of concealing her identity and ensuring that they are able to use her later on down the line. He is quieter and not as strong as his older brother, but where he lacks strength he makes up for in intelligence. On more than one occasion he has proven to figure many things out and deceive a lot of people. For a big portion of the book, I didn’t trust him. Even during the plot twist, I half-trusted him. He was sort of growing on me, but he was just too perfect to be good.

The Queen, Elara, I don’t like her. She makes a good villain, really, and her power to go into someone’s mind, search through memories, and even possibly destroy that person, is frightening. But cool. I still don’t like her, though, and hope she dies at some point.

The Scarlet Guard is kind of like their own character all together, and is made up of several people (Farley, Kilorn, among others) who try to fight for the Reds and bring justice and peace to the warring countries. They want freedom and more equality between Reds and Silvers, and though their means may seem a bit harsh or extreme at times, they need to take drastic measures in order to see any change happen.

Now, as for the romance in this book, it was very subtle and few and far in between, which made my inner romantic sad, but at the same time I was rooting for someone. And though there was a sort of love triangle, it didn’t really flourish because of how twisted one character became at the end. I’m still rooting for Cal, I will say it, but I’m feeling there’s going to be another love triangle to come in the second book.

The plot itself was intriguing and I think that’s what’s going to keep my reading the trilogy. I feel like I want to know more about this world and the war and how everything operates because we only get a slighted view from Mare’s point of view, so I really want to see what more of this world is like and how everything unfolds. I felt that maybe there could have been a bit more depth in the way the setting was delivered, but at the same time I feel like it was done as well as it could have been.

Overall, I rated this book 3.5/5 stars and though for a big portion of the book I let other reviews decide how I was reading it, I still managed to kick out those voices and enjoy the book for what it was. Will I continue? Yes. I hope it gets better as it goes.

January & February 2015 Collective Book Haul

I seemed to have acquired more books than intended over the last two months, but hey, that’s what happens when you’re a book lover, right? Well, here’s my haul from both January and February!

  • Rebel Spring” by Morgan Rhodes. This is the sequel to “Falling Kingdoms” and I figured I’d just get it so I have it to read when I’m ready.
  • The Selection” and “The Elite” by Kiera Cass. I don’t think I ever hauled the first book, so here are the first and second books of this series. It’s about a girl named America who is chosen to take part in the Selection where 32 girls try to win the heart of the prince, Maxon, but only one can win. It’s a YA romance type of novel series. I’ve already read and reviewed the first, so I’ll be moving onto the second soon.
  • Scarlet” and “Cress” by Marissa Meyer are the second and third books in the Lunar Chronicles series. They follow different characters than the first (Cinder), but they are still fairy tale retellings (one of Little Red Riding Hood and of Rapunzel). I’m very interested to see how the stories unfold in the next books.
  • Unravel Me” and “Ignite Me” by Tahereh Mafi. These are books two and three in the Shatter Me trilogy. I read and reviewed the first book last month, and so I want to continue on with the series because I felt that I wasn’t satisfied enough in the first book and I hear it gets better as it goes.
  • Alienated” by Melissa Landers. This is an alien book (if you couldn’t guess) that follows a human girl, Cara, and how her family was picked to share their house with an “exchange student” – an alien boy named Aelyx. Things start getting dangerous, though, when threatening notes appear in Cara’s locker and police escorts have to be used for her and Aelyx. I started reading this book to get a general idea of what it’s about and I love the voice of Cara: very snarky and funny. Can’t wait to read this.
  • Steelheart” by Brandon Sanderson. This is the first in a new series(?) by Sanderson that tells the story about a boy, David, who’s father was killed and how everything was essentially taken away from him. He has to defeat Steelheart and needs help from the Reckoners, a group of rebels trying to keep justice. And the Reckoners might just need David’s help, too. It sounds thrilling and action packed, so I’m excited to read this (and hopefully my husband will read it, too).
  • Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard. This was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and I got my hands on it. There has been so much hype surrounding this book, I hope I enjoy it. It’s about a girl named Mare who lives in a world where you are divided by blood – literally. If you have silver blood you’re an elite, essentially, and if you have red blood you’re a common peasant like everyone else. And silvers have powers. And Mare, a red blood, isn’t supposed to have powers… DUN DUN DUNNNNN. Anyway, I’m excited to read this. I think it’ll be the first book I read in March.

I also have one more to haul, even though I’ve ordered it, it just hasn’t come in yet because of international standard shipping stuff. Anyway, that is:

  • The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson – UK edition – which consist of “The Final Empire,” “The Well of Ascension,” and “The Hero of Ages.” (It’s actually a seven part series, but it’s originally a trilogy?) I love the covers of these books so much more than the American covers, and so I had to get it. It’s an adult fantasy trilogy that follows a “troublemaker and his young apprentice,” and they’re trying to save their world through the use of Allomancy, a magic of metals. It sounds intriguing and there’s a big hype surrounding it right now, so I’m excited to read it.

I’m pretty sure that’s all of the books I’ve gotten in the last two months… 13 books, woo! I could be missing something, I’m not sure. I’m just excited to read them all eventually.

Accompanying video: January & February Collective Book Haul

Have you read any of these books? What do you recommend I read sooner rather than later? What did you think of what you read? Are you going to read any of these soon? Let me know!