Monday, 25 May 2015

Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Book: Red Queen

Series: Red Queen #1

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Publisher: HarperTeen

Pages: 383 Pages

Format: Hardcover

Source: Given to me as a gift

Graceling meets The Selection in debut novelist Victoria Aveyard's sweeping tale of seventeen-year-old Mare, a common girl whose once-latent magical power draws her into the dangerous intrigue of the king's palace. Will her power save her or condemn her?

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.

Red Queen was not at all what I expected it to be. The word that was thrown around so much was 'epic', and I just didn't get that. I think that Red Queen is a perfect example of how over hyping a book can ruin it for someone. Red Queen came with this label of 'epic' and 'the best dystopian in a long time' and it fell flat for me. That being said, I did like some of it, just not all of it.

I found the plot, while moving very quickly, to be quite lackluster, and a bit too convenient. Everything in the first 3/4 of the book were predictable, and the world wasn't as complex as I think it could have been. It was simply laid out so that no questions were asked - Silvers were high up, and Reds were lowly. And this war? I felt like it overpowered the other elements in the story. All the elements were battling for dominance - the romance, Mare's self discover, blending in, and this war? I don't know. It was like nothing made sense.

Speaking of things that didn't make sense, the ages of the characters. I'm fully aware that this was my fault, and it kind of ruined the beginning of the book for me, but I totally thought that Mare was 16, Maven was 14 (I honestly don't know where my head was at), and Cal was like, 19-20. I went through most of the book being like, WHY IS THIS GIRL WITH A 14 YEAR OLD?! I know. I'm kind of an idiot who obviously wasn't paying attention. But thanks to Victoria Aveyard for clearing up those ages for me over Twitter :P

Mare was probably the only saving grace in this book, and even then, I wasn't on her side 100% of the time. While she was extremely honest, and I could see a lot of myself in her, I still found myself getting irritated at her for a lot of the decisions she made. I mean, I understand that she's got the best intentions at heart, but she was written as smart and cunning and clever, yet she made these stupid and rash decisions that just had me so frustrated. 

And just how convenient was this book? I don't want to spoil anything for anyone, but I was just shaking my head, wishing for a crazy plot twist that would make me rethink everything but nope. She wants to do something? Well, there is this one way and it's crazy convenient and anything will be fine. She doesn't want to be somewhere? it's okay! There's someone here who sees who she really is and is going to make sure she's safe. I'm working myself up even thinking about it.

I felt like this book was, and I know i'm going to get a lot of hate for saying this, but I felt that it was a little juvenile. It didn't know what it was, and I don't think that it knows what it is even now. It felt like too much, and the writing was too simple. Had the writing been more complex or had the book been a bit longer, I think it would have been better.

I'm giving this one a 2 stars because while it was entertaining and fast paced, I thought that it was overhyped and nothing to rave about. It was just Meh for me.

2/5 Stars.

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