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Friday, 12 June 2015

Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (Red Queen #1)

bookreview Rating:image descriptionimage descriptionimage description
Title:Red Queen
Author:Victoria Aveyard
Publisher:HarperTeen
Publication Date:February 10th 2015
Source:Bought
Format:Hardcover
Pages:383

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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.


MY THOUGHTS

Red Queen is centered around a world in which your worth to society is determined by the colour of your blood. On one hand, we have the Silvers who are rich, noble and afforded the best in life because of the peculiar talents that they possess and then, we have the lowly Reds who bend their knees to serve Silvers and are severely disenfranchised. Our protagonist, Mare Barrow, is Red and she has been all her life, having no unique gifts or so she thinks before she has a horrible accident which should have resulted in her death but actually helps to reveal a hidden power within her in front of a court of Silvers. In order to appease the questioning Silvers and explain her gift to them, the king and queen decide to make Mare pretend to be a long lost princess and she is forcefully thrown into the practised, lavish life of court but soon finds out that the perfect facade is not all it seems.

I liked Red Queen, I didn't love it as much as some people but it was a fair read.

I enjoyed the plot of the novel very much with all its twists and turns, the smoothness of it and the fluidity of the writing but at the same time, it was nothing special. Just another dystopian book about a girl breaking the system, discovering some hidden talent and falling in love along the way. While reading, I was able to draw many similarities between this book and other fantasy/dystopian YA books that I've read namely Shadow and Bone and it bothered me a little. This isn't to say that I did not have fun reading it because I did! It had my heart pounding and it was so action-packed and fast-paced and I did not expect ANY of those plot twists. However, I find myself tired of the traditional dystopian book route. You know, underprivileged girl...or boy (let's not be sexist) is different from the pre-determined structure of society and decides to rebel against it, usually with some poorly crafted love interest at her side. Things go from bad to worse, there's danger and in the end, things either work out fine or they're bitterly killed off by the author (yes, I'm talking about you, Veronica Roth).

I did not appreciate, at all, the inconsistency with Mare's character. I'm not sure if anyone noticed the shifts in who she was but I did. At the start of the novel she is this sarcastic, badass thief who will do anything to protect her family. We move to court and she suddenly loses all skill and needs saving literally every two seconds. She joins the Scarlet Guard, aids in the assassination of people and then bitches about how cruel assassination really is. Something bad happens and she doesn't care that killing is cruel anymore, she wants to do it. Trouble descends on her and instead of being the sly pickpocket that she was at the beginning of the book, she becomes this helpless shell that wants to curl in on itself.

I don't understand...why?! And it has nothing to do with her adapting to changing environments. No, this girl has multiple personalities and instead of starting a revolution, maybe she needs to just take some pills.

At the center of RQ, we have this confusing love...quadrilateral? Because it consists of four people: Mare, Kilorn, Cal and Maven. The reason for its inclusion in the novel eludes me because it is pointless. On one hand, Mare feels for Kilorn, her best friend since childhood whom she would protect with her life. Then, she has this weird relationship with Cal, the boy who showed her kindness but is also slated to marry her worst enemy. Next, we have this awkward developing relationship throughout the novel with Maven and...it was too much for me.

I must admit though, I like the thought of Cal and Mare, even though I wanted to kick Cal where the sun doesn't shine throughout most of this novel.

Even though RQ is as cliche and overhyped as they come, I am still excited to read book two for two reasons: 1)Cal and 2)THE FREAKING PLOT TWIST/CLIFFHANGER AT THE END!! OMG! I would recommend this book to fans of dystopian even though it might just be a regurgitation of everything that you've read before but hey, dystopian's your thing, you're probably used to that.




Final Sentence in the Novel
I will kill him.

Favourite Lines in the Novel

  • It's cruel to give hope where none should be. It only turns into disappointment, resentment, rage-all the things that make this life more difficult than it already is.