Red Queen, by Victoria Aveyard

red queenGenres:  Young Adult, Fantasy
Published:  February, 2015
Goodreads | Amazon

“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…”

Katelynn’s Review

Rating:  2* 5
Format:  Hardcover
Started:  January 1st, 2016
Finished:  January 1st, 2016
Wine Pairing:  Vodka.

*Edit: After sleeping on it, I’ve decided to downgrade to two stars because I couldn’t sleep, knowing it was still a three star.

First book of 2016, and I’m disappointed.  There was so much hype over this series every where that I was anxious to get reading as soon as I got my hands on it.  2015 Goodreads Choice reward, raving reviews from reviewers I look up to, and yet I’m left feeling a little cheated and very disappointed.

Don’t get me wrong, the story is fantastic, the premise unique, and I’ll always be a sucker for the surprise can of woop-a** from the under-dog.  But that’s the only reason I’m giving this a three instead of a two – because I had to finish the book and I really enjoyed the plot.

Let me go through what I did like first.

First, the plot.  While laid out in the stereotypical YA Fantasy layout, it played out well and fit the characters and twists Aveyard threw in.  The overall feel of the story that I’m left with is satisfied, like watching a chick-flick.  You know all the twists and turns before the happen, and there’s no surprises at the end.  The skeleton of love triangle, suppressed powers, everyone-turned-against-me-and-I’m-a-raging-idiot, and a complete 180° plot layout for the sequel is homely and welcoming to come back to when you need it.

Second- wait, no.  There is no second that isn’t covered under plot.

So on to what irked me.

Mare.  Okay, I know that she’s only seventeen and I’m probably a little harsh, but the incessant nagging that the reader is put through as she has to keep telling herself that “things are different”, and “she’s doing everything for the people she loves” is draining.  I’m sure that it’s just as much the way she convinces her self as well as how often she does it that I found irritating.  More than once I found myself groaning and thinking, “You’re so hypocritical!  Just get over it!”  She would get mad at the other characters for pulling the same stunt as her, but yet it’s completely okay for her??

Formatting:  Italics.  Everywhere.  I have a new appreciation of the overuse of italics because it was so stressful reading the Red Queen and having words italicized instead of using a different word for emphasis.  And the four words italicized at the beginning of the chapter?  Why?!

Other than the irritating protagonist who must have been dripped in honey judging from the number of boys falling head over heels for her, the nagging first person perspective, and the excessive font formatting, I recommend Red Queen for regular YA Fantasy fans.  I wish you luck with the sequel as I will not be reading it.



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