Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

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This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart …

THIS IS A SPOILER FREE REVIEW

Why is this familiar?  Haven’t it seen this somewhere before?  Oh, yeah!  Everywhere.  Here is another book that did not live up to the hype at all.  I didn’t see anything particularly special about it, the thing that has apparently captured so many people’s intrigue and respect.  I thought it was just another paper cutout of a story, a story that deviated little from others of its ilk.  I wasn’t emotionally attached to the main character (or any of the characters), the writing did nothing for me, and the world didn’t pique my interest at all.

What Worked For Me

Bits of the Idea  • • • I think the idea of the division between Silvers and Reds (from the color of their blood) was a great place to start, but nothing seemed to really flow from there.

What Didn’t

The Plot • • • This did not rank high in the originality department.  I mean, of course she becomes a princess in disguise and has to be forcibly engaged to the prince.  There were some parts that were shocking to me, but then it was ruined by a completely random scene where Mare is “unknowingly” introduced to a prince.  Beyond the massive inequality between the Silvers and Reds, everything seemed melodramatic and disconnected.

Characters • • • No offense, but is there anything to this girl besides her identity as a subjugated Red?  I didn’t get the feeling that the answer to that question was “yes.”  And the characters beyond that seemed too typical to be of any real interest.

Writing Style • • • Because it was almost entirely telling, with very few instances of showing, the writing style came off more as stage directions, a delayed feed that I had to reconstruct myself.

World building • • • The world of Red Queen says to me that it’s becoming too easy to create worlds that will sell nowadays.  Throwing elements together that are just repackaged copies of what we’ve already seen together seems to work for the general public, but the structure of Red Queen left me unimpressed and frankly just downright bored.

Takeaway

Not a story that lives up to the hype for me.

Book Info

383 pages • Book 1 • Published February 2015 by HarperTeen

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