Thursday, January 29, 2015

Book Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Pages: 320
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pub. Date: February 10, 2015
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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 center of house 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? 

There are two types of people. There are the Reds, who obviously bleed red and are the lower-class  Then there's the Silvers who are not only the upperclass, but they also possess supernatural powers which pretty much keeps everyone else in line. Mare Barrow is a Red and she's in the middle of a rebellion. A group of Reds, called the Scarlet Guard, are rising up against the Silvers. In the middle of this chaos, Mare discovers that she can summon supernatural powers, just like a Silver, but she is in fact a Red. The royal family wants to understand how this has happened, so they hold Mare captive and have her masquerade around the royal court as a long lost princess. They even go as far to say that she is betrothed to their second born son, Maven.  Mare wants to support the Scarlet Guard, but how can she do that posing as a Silver at the royal court? Victoria Aveyard's debut, Red Queen, is a fast pace dystopian. While I admit that parts of it were extremely entertaining; overall, it felt too familiar and derivative, so I wasn't able to fall in love with it as I was hoping.

Mare is a familiar heroine in Red Queen. She is the underdog who finds out she is more than just a girl; in fact, even though she is a Red and possesses a supernatural power. Her power garners the attention of the royal family and then Mare's life is catapulted into craziness. She befriends the prince, Cal, and then is betrothed to Maven. Things get hectic and very action packed as the Scarlet Guard, (people she actually knows!) start an uprising and Mare feels torn. 

The world that Aveyard created in Red Queen didn't feel very unique to me. It reminded me of The Hunger Games (with its dystopian elements and televised fighting) and The Selection (competing to marry a royal). There are even moments where I was reminded of Shatter Me (a seemingly normal girl finding out she holds supernatural powers, etc.). So, needless to say, Red Queen didn't feel unique or new to me. This is one major reason why I couldn't award it more stars. 

What I did like about Red Queen was the action and ultimately that is why I finished the book. The plot speeds along at a fast pace, so that definitely kept my attention. There are a few twists in Red Queen as well, which I thought were well done.

If you love dystopian fiction and are looking for an action packed adventure, check out this debut. But I will still recommend The SelectionShatter Me or even The Winner's Curse over Red Queen because I felt those books were done a bit better. 



  1. There certainly hasn't been a shortage of buzz for this book, and while I'm glad that you found it enjoyable enough, I can tell that I'll probably echo the same misgivings you have. Sill looking forward to reading it, though.

    1. I can't wait to hear your thoughts on this book. There are a lot of mixed reviews for it…either people love it or are sort of "meh" about it. I hope you enjoy it. Thanks for visiting!

  2. Based on the description, I thought about adding this book to my to-read list. But if it's like other more successful books that have already been done, I think I'll pass. I actually haven't read The Selection yet, despite seeing it everywhere. Would you recommend it?

    1. I loved The Selection, especially if you want something fluffy and very mind candy-ish. But if you want something a little more serious and stronger in the fantasy department, then check out The Winner's Curse. Thanks for visiting, Allison.

  3. I liked Red Queen more than The Selection but I agree that it definitely reminded me of other books I've read. Ellara is like Cersei Lannister with magic (scary thought) and a certain character reminded me of Joffrey.

    I liked the book even with its flaws. I kind of figured out the twist ahead of time but I am looking forward to the next book to see what the author does with the story. I agree that The Winner's Curse is a better book. I have the sequel The Winner's Crime and I am hoping to read it soon.

    Great review!

    1. YES! Your comparisons are on point, Christina. I completely agree. I loved The Selection (more than this) mostly because it was mind-candy and pure fun, but I agree Winner's Curse is a better book. I can't wait to hear what you think of The WInner's Crime. Thanks for visiting!


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