Book lover. Stephen King Fanatic. Will try anything once. General Lover of Fiction. Reviewer Everywhere. All views my own. Mostly.
Publication Date: (Sorry anyone who’s dying to read this!) March 26th 2015 From Orion
The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.
To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.
Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.
But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?
Another new YA series and one that has had a lot of buzz in the book community, I was dying to get into it as I am a real sucker for this type of tale – The Hunger Games, Divergent, and the rest – all highly entertaining, terrific fun to read and often thought provoking and intriguing. So how did “Red Queen” measure up?
Well personally I loved it. Adored it even. The truth is, it is not unique. Some tried and tested plot devices are here – The evil dictatorship, the downtrodden portion of society, one girl, a heroine in the making who gets embroiled in it all, a love triangle, plenty of action and adventure and everything else you expect from this genre. But there is a reason why this sort of novel tends to do well, it is because it works when done right – and Victoria Aveyard for me, did it absolutely right. Spot on.
So we have Mare, a terrific character and one you can get behind immediately – she knows that the world is not fair but never dreams that she could do anything about it – until a chance meeting and an inadvertant discovery throws her right into the centre of the turmoil – isolated from everything she has ever known, she must fight for her survival and that of everyone she loves.
Some brilliantly inventive world building and some truly great characters are what made this for me. Mare is a perfect main protagonist, those surrounding her are terrifically well drawn and often mysterious and Ms Aveyard manages to make it all the most tremendous fun, very addictive, definitely thought provoking at times and occasionally very emotional. I would say this book takes the saying “Absolute power corrupts absolutely” and turns that into a rollercoaster ride of a read – definitely gets the heart going on more than one occasion.
I liked that the romance angle is low key and does not intrude unneccesarily into the action and adventure portion of the plot – it was also for me, very believable – Mare is not one of those fainting over good looks girls that can be very annoying, she is focussed on the problems at hand. The themes woven into the story of family ties, parental influence and self image are cleverly done, along with the idea’s of subjugation and servitude for those who are considered “less than” in the society created. All tried and tested themes as I said, but in this case written with flair and its own little flourish which makes this eminently readable and entirely its own thing.
Motivations are murky, not everyone is as they appear, the plot twists and turns its way to an amazingly thrilling conclusion that sets the reader up for the sequel with pitch perfect delicacy and this is one of those times that I REALLy wish I hadnt read it until I had book 2 in my hands – Lovers of YA Dystopian fantasy everywhere will know exactly what I mean.
There are comparisons to be drawn to other YA series, so whether or not you love this one will absolutely be subjective – but this reader enjoyed every last minute of it and found a lot to love. Roll on book 2 – as soon as possible!
Highly Recommended for fans of YA Dystopia
Happy Reading Folks.