By Victoria Aveyard
Goodreads Community Rating: 4.08
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: February 10th, 2015
Format Read: Paperback
Goodreads Summary: 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
I bought this book quite a few months ago, at the BTAF, solely because i went to a panel that Victoria Aveyard spoke on and absolutely loved everything she said. To be quite honest i don’t really remember any of it now (it might have been on perspectives in writing???), but I do remember being totally drawn into her world and wanting to know more.
And then the book sat on my shelf for months.
But here we are now, book read! Honestly, the world building, character development, and pretty much everything about this book were amazing. I’ve already told my little sister that when i come home for spring break i’m bringing the book and she has to read it right then (both because i want to be there as she reads it, and because i got it signed so there’s no way i’m letting it out of my immediate possession). So basically, it’s overall an amazing start to the series.
Mare Barrow is such a great character. She’s super well developed and relatable, which (since the story is told from her perspective) helps SO MUCH. There’s some love triangle stuff that goes down, and the fact that Aveyard manages to do this in a way that surprisingly doesn’t feel cliche is a testament to Mare’s character development.
One thing that i didn’t really like about the characters were that they sort of felt copied from The Hunger Games??? Not their subtle characteristics that make them come alive, but the overall character arc of “badass female cares about family before anything else, except for maybe taking down the patriarchy”. But i guess this is an overall dystopian theme, so I can’t complain too much about it.
The love interests were so well developed, and I think that added a lot. They felt real, and we learned about them as Mare did, which was super powerful imo.
Also, MAJOR PROPS FOR POWERFUL FEMALE VILLAINS. I don’t know why this makes me so happy, but it does every single time.
The essential plot is that Mare gets swept up in this royal/super elite world that she isn’t actually a part of because she has superpowers, and the royal family has to lie about her birth in order to keep everyone else happy. And then, obviously, there’s the revolution/rebellion aspect as well. I’m sure y’all saw that coming.
Everyone had super cool powers like controlling elements and moving metal and electricity and things and all I want to be able to do is move water or be super strong like the silvers in this book, is that too much to ask?!
What I liked about this book was that the above DROVE the plot, and the romance-y part was there as a companion feature that felt very natural.
My one major issue with this book was the ending, i thought it felt a little bit forced, but I can’t say much without giving stuff away, and since it’s a series Aveyard has plenty of time to recover. I still want to read the next books in the series even though I got annoyed by the end.
This is very much a YA book, and I would recommend it for 7th-10th grade. (please keep in mind that everyone can enjoy YA, i’m just talking about the target audience!!). The writing was simple, all told from one perspective (i think that changes in later books) with more of an emphasis on plot driven actions than descriptions.
Pacing was fairly rapid– you won’t get bored at all in this book. But it worked for this novel, and it made it a much more addicting read than it would have been had Aveyard gotten lost in the small descriptive details.
I really enjoyed this book, and would highly recommend for people who are into the fantasy/dystopian combo. It did a really remarkable job of combining the realistic dystopian fears of hunger games and those franchises with the fantastical aspect that has become more popular in the past year or so.
I’ll certainly try to read the next books in the series, although they’re not particularly high on my TBR
Did you love this book? Is the rest of the series worth reading? What similar books would you recommend for people who enjoyed Red Queen? What are you currently reading?
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