Saturday, March 5, 2016

Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard: Book Review

Title: Red Queen
Series: Red Queen #1
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Publication Details: February 10, 2015 by HarperTeen
Copy: Paperback bought from Power Books


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...

Plot
A story about identity, trust and power.

Red Queen follows Mare Barrow as she plunges into the world of power, where great abilities are both security and a threat; and trust cannot be given freely to anyone.

The story started with the usual introduction of the characters and the world they are living in. Then followed the events that would break the monotony of Mare's life. The progress of the story was quite slow, especially in the beginning, but picked up pace especially toward the end.

Most of the plot elements are very much known to YA dystopian books, but even so, the way they were threaded together make up for an entertaining read. I especially liked the separation by blood plot element, as it depicts the separation of society classes in the real world. Though the concept of class separation is not new, I liked how it reminded me that not all dictates of the society is true, and that norms and status quo can be changed.

Though there were predictable bits, there were also unpredictable parts that made my reading experience enjoyable. I think the dynamics between the characters played a huge part in this, as well as the flow of some events pushing the story into a quite refreshing path.

Plot-wise, Red Queen is a good read. It can be cliché at times but the flow of the story will make up for it.

World-Building
I liked how the author sets everything up. Their world is believable and quite realistic, making it easier for me to dive into the story. One thing I wish for though, is a map. I think it would be easier to picture everything with a map. :)

Characters
As I have mentioned previously, I liked the dynamics and interactions of the characters. Most of them are easily relatable; and I was able to feel the "right feelings" for most of the characters. Though I had a hard time connecting to Mare, I, at least, was able to understand her circumstances. She already has a strong character when the story started, but I can still see rooms for her character development, which made me look forward to the next book.

The other characters, though not explored well yet, are okay too and thankfully, no one annoyed me. Haha! I also had a hard time choosing between Cal and Maven until later in the middle toward the ending. :) (If you have read Red Queen, do you know which part I'm talking about? Haha!)

Anyway, I think the characters are all well-written and am looking forward to knowing them more.

Writing
I really liked the writing style of the author. Told in a first person perspective (Mare's POV), the story was easy to understand and follow. The story-telling and the plot itself seemed to be just the usual YA way, but I saw some diversions. Despite the cliche parts, the author was still able to inject twists to the story, creating a gripping read.

-o-

It took me a while to finish the book, but overall Red Queen is an entertaining, quite addicting read. I am very much looking forward to reading Glass Sword, and read more about Mare's fight.



After growing up in small town Massachusetts, Victoria attended the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. She graduated with a BFA in Screenwriting, which is exactly the degree being sought after in a recession.

She tries her best to combine her love of history, explosions, and butt-kicking heroines in her writing. Her hobbies include the impossible task of predicting what happens next in A Song of Ice and Fire, road trips, and burning through Netflix. (Source: Author's blog)

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