Friday, June 12, 2015

Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Title/Author: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4/5 stars
Synopsis: 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?


Thoughts on the Overall Book: I'll admit I thought this book sounded interesting when it came out but I had my misgivings because usually books promoted so much so soon turn out not to be that great. However, this one was one that really did deliver.

Cover--Yea or Nay: I do like it. It's a little plain, but the upside down crown dripping blood is really cool.

Characters: Mare was a lovely protagonist. She was partly a victim of circumstance who rose above that to do what had to be done, and yet she never came across with an attitude because of it. She was a very relatable and likable character. The only thing I'm not sure about her, whether I liked it or it bothered me, was her need to protect everyone around her. I do understand this, because I am naturally a protector, but I'm also the eldest of my siblings and Mare was not. It just seemed a little unnatural, and I understood why Killorn would have gotten annoyed at her for that. Men do not like women protecting them, it's just the way it is. And it just got ridiculous with her wanting to protect Cal when he's obviously capable of doing that himself. Anyway, only a little observation/complaint there. I loved the relationship between her and her siblings and I really wish we could have gotten to see more of that. The whole cast was good. I particularly liked Cal and Julian. I think one thing I loved about this book so much is that I really wasn't sure what to think about any of the characters at any given moment. I wish I could say more but I would spoil it. Let's just say that not everyone is as they seem, and the baddies were actually bad and sometimes surprising.

The Romance: This might be the first love triangle that didn't bother me. I hate love triangles, especially ones between brothers, but I think the reason the Maven/Mare/Cal triangle didn't bother me so much was that, one, it wasn't the main plot line, and two, she never liked both of them at the same time and that makes all the difference.

Writing Style: It did actually take me a few chapters to get used to the present tense in this book. Some books it flows better than others, and this one, not quite so well as some. But to counter that, the story itself was amazing, and this book somehow manages to have just the right balance of characterization and world building without lagging. I guess you could say it's a little slow in the beginning, but the plot really goes continuously and doesn't stop until the end. I really loved this unique world, to me it felt almost a combination of medieval and, I know it was supposed to be more modern than this, but I felt like it was maybe 50s or 60s, don't know why, it just felt that way to me. The only thing I was kind of disappointed it were the terms for things. Some of them were kind of lame actually, but it doesn't detract from the story too much. The plot the awesome and the world was imaginative and better still actually believable for the sort of people this was dealing with. It really surprised me.

Accuracy/ Believability: The world was actually believable, and I also really appreciated the rebel group in this. Unlike most books, the rebels were painted in a very realistic light. They weren't put on pedestals, thus making it seem like the author is just ranting and trying to prove some point. They aren't even always portrayed as the good guys really. Their ultimate cause is worthy, but Mare doesn't by any means always agree with their methods and I really liked that. On the flip side I also liked how not all the Silvers were just portrayed as nasty aristocrats.

Problems/What bothered me: Apart from the couple little niggles I already addressed, nothing.

Conclusion: 4/5 stars. The ending, while I kind of saw part of it coming, was still a big surprise and left me feeling breathless and in shock. I was very pleased with that, and this is one of those books I would love to read over to see if I can spot some clues the second time around. Either way, awesome ending, and I really look forward to seeing where the author takes the story next. This one left us with great promise for a sequel.

Recommended Audience: Probably more girl read than guy read. Ages 15 and up. Readers who are tired of the usual fantasy novels would love this because it's still fantasy, but it's kind of a whole new take and setting. 

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