(Red Queen, Book One)
By Victoria Aveyard
Narrator: Amanda Dolan
Length: 12 hours & 39 minutes
Genres: Fiction, Young-adult, Fantasy, Sci-fi, Dystopia
Take a Peek: Goodreads | Overdrive | Audible | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Story Rating: 3 Stars
Performance Rating: 5 Stars
Overall Rating: 4 Stars
Well dang, that book gave me whiplash!! What a crazy read. For whatever reason, I was totally expecting to hate this book. I’ve seen some pretty hot and cold reviews and since my opinions seem to be of the unpopular variety, I thought I’d dislike this one for sure. Even though I can definitely see why this book annoyed some people, I’ll be damned if I wasn’t entertained by it!
In the world of Mare Barrow, the basis of life boils down to the most basic thing—blood. Normal humans like you, me, and Mare are called Reds for our red blood. Those with silver blood, or Silvers, are gifted with special abilities and held in a high regard. The Silvers are given all the money, power, fame, and opportunity while reds are left to fend for themselves. Most Reds are forced to serve Silvers just to make enough to get by. Any Red that doesn’t have a job or purpose is forced into conscription, serving the military in a war that’s been dragging on for generations.
Seventeen year-old Mare isn’t good at anything except stealing, swiping things for her family to get by until she’s forced to conscript the following year. One day, a group called the Scarlet Guard make themselves known and try to start a Red revolution. By happenstance Mare gets caught up in one of their attacks and her world is thrown into chaos. She meets someone that entangles her in the Silver royal family, changing her life and forcing her to question everything she’s ever known. As she gets closer and closer to the Silver royals while simultaneously watching the Scarlet Guard start a revolution, Mare must decide where her loyalties really lie.
This is a little more vague than my usual summaries, but I can’t say anymore without giving away the whole damn thing.
Oh man, where do I start? This book is so dramatic! There were so many tropes and clichés, it almost made me laugh. First of all, the whole dystopian government-is-selfishly-corrupt thing is basically it’s own trope now isn’t it? Why hellooooooo Hunger Games, long time no see. In the beginning when Mare goes on and on about the suppression of Reds and how Silvers get all the wealth and power, I thought here we go again…
Then OF COURSE she turns out to be the “chosen one,” with a unique ability that no else has and IT’S UP TO HER TO SAVE THE KINGDOM!! A Red with the powers of a Silver?!? GASP!! Mare was plain, boring, and normal, but NOW she’s special and coveted by all!!
And then, there’s a weird love triangle between Mare and the two princes. The two princes! BECAUSE SHE’S JUST SO UNIQUE AND SPECIAL AND DIFFERENT.
Sorry, I’ll try to reign in the sarcasm. Apparently I’m feeling a little sassy today. But sometimes it was all just a little too much. I adore young-adult books, but this one felt especially teenager-y to me. There were several “big” moments that I think were suppose to be shocking, but I was shocked by none of them. Everything was pretty predictable and I saw the “twist” ending coming for MILES. It was so NOT surprising to me, I couldn’t believe Mare was surprised.
Despite ALL of this, I strangely found myself liking this book??? I enjoyed it in the same way I enjoyed the Selection series, like a soap opera or terrible reality TV.
Even I don’t completely understand it, but all the drama was extremely entertaining. Mare has a great sense of humor that I loved and watching her lightning abilities develop was pretty fun. And despite the cliché-ness of it all, I couldn’t help but fall for Maven and Cal just as much as Mare did. And Julian was the best!! He was like the Yoda of Red Queen and I don’t understand why Mare didn’t listen to him more. My man Julian knows what’s up.
Meh. I’m torn in half about this one. If you’re a fan of drama and terrible reality TV, then say I say go for it. This book was good for some entertainment, but it wasn’t really anything new.
TALK TO ME
Have you read this book yet? What did you think??
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If you had Silver powers, what would they be?!
Holler at me in the comments!!