Monday, February 16, 2015

Red Queen Review

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Release Date: February 10, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 383
Keywords: royalty, rebellion
Format Read: ARC via publisher (thank you!)
Goodreads | IndieBound
Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood--those with common, Red blood serve the Silver- blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.
To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard--a growing Red rebellion--even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.
   THE COVER
Do I really need to say anything? I am absolutely into the cover, it's gorgeous. Even my ARC is extremely pretty, and if the finished book looks the same inside, I love the typeface as well.

   WHY I LIKED IT
It was fast-paced and always twisting, and I felt like there were 10 different things always happening, which was a good thing. I never felt lost or confused, and I enjoyed the quick pace. I think it all depends on the kind of reader you are—I've heard a lot of people say they think it moves slowly. However, if you read fantasy a lot, this one does move quickly for a fantasy.
I also liked the different elements in this story, blurring the lines of genre. I feel like it mostly fits into fantasy, but because the Silvers' powers are based in genetics, and they can manipulate water or fire, or they have super strength, or they can control others with their minds, it vaguely leaned toward the science fiction category. Books that challenge these lines are always fun to read, and I never quite know what to expect, which is a good thing.

   THE SHOCK VALUE
This is what made the book, in my opinion. The slow getting-to-know-the characters and then in an instant everything changes. This happened multiple times, and I have to say, even though I was warned along the way (by the book) I refused to acknowledge certain things and was still shocked toward the end (if you've read it, you know). I think it was a totally big switch, and I don't quite buy into how quickly it happened, but it was surprising and made for an interesting twist nonetheless.

   RESERVATIONS
I have a couple minor hesitations about this book. The main one is that everyone seems to feel like it's a story they've read before. For me, it definitely screamed the Selection series. While it was more war-heavy, it was still about a girl from the lower part of society thrust into spotlight and royalty, and she's got to learn everything from scratch. The dystopian trend in this one was heavy, and I could definitely see where the book was headed generally.
I also didn't buy into a lot of the relationships. I feel like Mare and Maven were the only ones to spend enough time together and to actually talk when they were together for me to believe in their relationship. Kiljorn, the warrior from her home, was an old friend, and I loved their friendship (and wanted it to remain just that, but I'm always all about platonic relationships). I didn't buy into Mare's struggle with Cal simply because he wasn't in enough of the book for me to get that.
But even with my minor questions, this was still an extremely solid book, and I can for sure say it's on my radar for books two and three.

   FINAL THOUGHTS
This was a really good one, and I was incredibly angry at the end because I was NOT AWARE this was part of a series (can we talk about cliffhangers and now I have to wait until NEXT YEAR to read the second?). But it's one I'll keep on my radar and definitely recommend to others.

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