Friday, April 3, 2015

Review: Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard

Release Date: February 10, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Library
Author Links: Goodreads | Website | Twitter

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 Silver control.
But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?

Half of my most reliable book-friends absolutely hated this, and the other half loved it. Some of the complaints centered around the similarities to Red Rising, and I can sort of see where those guys are coming from. Both books feature downtrodden Reds who infiltrate a higher caste's color (Gold and Silver). And the main characters' names are similarish. Darrrow (Red Rising) and Barrow (Red Queen). To me, that's pretty much where it ends, though. There's lots of similar plot points in lots of different books, so I definitely don't think this was some sort of rip-off attempt.
But all the conflicting reviews did keep me from reading it right away. In fact, I put off reading Red Queen till one of my librarians told me to read it. She's scary. So when she puts a book in my face, I just sort of take it and nod my thanks. 
Dear Anonymous Librarian (you know who you are!),
On the off chance you read this review, I'd like to say I'm kidding. Really. You're an awesome librarian, and nothing like that other Dragon Lady!

At any rate, I ended up liking this one quite a bit, but not love-loving it. 
I was fully engaged the entire time I was reading, and I was flipping the pages like it was my mission in life to find out what happened next. So, yeah, it definitely held my interest!
After I finished it, the story didn't stick to my ribs. Maybe it's because it was the first book, and the author needs time to get the feel of the main character, but I didn't really connect with Mare. I didn't hate or love her. She was kinda an ambiguous character to me. 
She's poor but defiant, she finds out she has powers, she has to make hard decisions, she joins a rebellion, she hurts people she wishes she doesn't have to hurt, etc..
Nothing about her or her (maybe) love interests really rocked my socks off.

Speaking of young love...
The one thing that really bothered me? There are not one, not two, but three boys vying for her attention. You might be thinking, Lucky girl!, but the thing is...two of them are brothers. 
{insert disgusted face here}
No. No. No. That's just I don't like it when authors do that. I guess it's just a pet peeve, but I can't think of one time that that's ever turned out well. For anyone. Ick.

I'm definitely going to read the next book, because I do want to find out what happens. 
Besides, it has mutants with powers in it. 
Seriously. You know I can't resist that!
I suppose I end up falling somewhere in the middle of the Love-It-Hate-It groups. And if you're willing to overlook a few things, then I think you might enjoy this one as much (or more) than I did. 


Angelina said...

Yea I keep reading mixed reviews on this book, my sister read it and was indifferent so she hasn't finished it yet. But I keep hearing of the twisty ending so I'm intrigued but not that intrigued, I'm more so indifferent I guess xD

Anne Hannah said...

The ending is definitely twisty, but I read a semi-spoiler, so it didn't have quite the impact for me. Try it, I definitely didn't hate it. But don't read the spoilers! LOL

Maji Bookshelf said...

three guys? REALLY?! why doesn't this happen in real life but happens so much in YA books? i get it's a fantasy novel.. but why aren't authors being realistic when it comes to the romance aspect of YA books… i laughed at the Darrow Barrow naming.. wow.. this books seems way too similar to red rising… even with just the things you mentioned. I don't think i'll be picking it up but i'm glad you at least enjoyed it. great review

- Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

Anne Hannah said...

Thanks, Maji! I did enjoy it, but I'm hoping the next one will be more impressive.

Braine TS said...

The more reviews I read about this book, the more that I want to read it myself.

Anne Hannah said...

Braine, that is exactly what you should do!

Anne Hannah said...

Braine, that is exactly what you should do!

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

lol. So you had a 50/50 chance of liking or not liking the book. Oh boy. Seems you fell in the middle. :D Cool.

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