Red Queen (Red Queen, Book #1)
by Victoria Aveyard
Release Date: February 10th 2015
Ebook Edition; 400 Pages
Genre: Fiction / YA / Fantasy
Source: Review copy from publisher
3.5 / 5 Stars
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
But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?
Red Queen is the first book in a planned trilogy and basically is the story of two types of people, one with silver blood who control the land and have immense powers, one with red blood who serve the silvers in every way imaginable, and of course, there is the red blood who is discovered to have immense powers and crosses that imaginary boundary that divides the two people. Personally, I thought the book was well-written and enjoyable, but ultimately very predictable.
First of all, I really liked Mare as a principal character, even if she is a bit selfish and self-centered at times, unwilling to pay attention to what is really happening around her. For a character who is portrayed as tough and a bit rebellious, I actually found her to be quite naive and a bit silly sometimes, but she reminds me of a typical person who thinks they know everything until they are dumped into a situation and then realize they really didn't know what they were doing. Or how big the world actually is out there. This didn't bother me a whole lot about her as it gave her character quite a bit of room to grow and develop, and although she's not there yet, I am curious as to how the author will develop this character. As for the other characters, I don't really feel as if the author has given them much of a chance to grow and develop as of yet so I didn't really empathize too much with them. Maven was okay, but his character could be so much more than how he was portrayed in here as he is much more intelligent to be playing the games he played in the end; it was too childish and I'd like to see some real adult politics be involved in his games as it would so much more fun to read about.
That brings me to my next point, the political situation in this novel, which was kind of non-existent. The premise was kind of intriguing and Maven's mother showed some promise at being politically adept, but then it kind of petered out and we were left with more petty political intrigues and under-developed intrigues. I was left feeling a bit disappointed as there seemed to be a lot of hope that the political situation would be more developed than it was, but it was vague and skipped around quite a bit as if the author was trying to decide what to do. The world-building was interesting, and definitely had a dystopian feel to it that I liked, with some elements that I hope are further explored in the next novel.
I still have a lot of mixed feelings about the plot though, as it did move along rather slowly, and it was fairly predictable. While some people might find the plot to be full of twists and turns, I found them quite bland and easy to figure out what was coming. And Maven - could have spotted that one a mile away. Like I said, Mare is pretty naive and pretty trusting for a rebellious red. I am glad however, that the author didn't really develop the romance too much as it didn't really seem to suit the novel; while I am curious to see what happens in that department, it can wait for future books to develop although I know who I am rooting for already and you may be surprised by my choice.
Red Queen was a fairly interesting novel when it came to world-building and the premise was certainly intriguing. I did enjoy it quite a bit, but found it predictable and a bit on the shallow level. I would like to see the political intrigues and the character development taken to deeper levels as there is a lot of potential to really explore those depths without being the same as everyone else. It could be very intense at times, and there were some gritty sections in here that I enjoyed. And I really enjoyed the conclusion, a perfect set-up for the next book in this series, Glass Sword, to be released February 2016.