Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
- genre: sci-fi/fantasy, dystopian
- rating: ★★
Mare Barrow lives in a world that’s separated by the color of one’s blood. If you’re a Silver, you have a cool power and live the good life. If you’re a Red than you’re practically a slave and will most likely be sent to die in the Silver’s war. Mare, a normal Red, steals to help provide for her family but eventually makes it to the King’s summer palace as a servant. However, in a near-death accident she discovers that she is a new breed of Red–she also has powers. So the king tries to hide her and disguises her as a long-lost Silver who will marry one of his sons. Oh and in the middle of this there, of course, is a rebellion taking place.
**My review will have spoilers.**
Red Queen has over 4 stars on Goodreads and I honestly don’t understand why. I would say because it’s just an easy and fun read, but it was a bit boring to me so I just don’t know. After a while I had to skim the rest of the book because it was just boring. I felt like there were some scenes that I was getting into and then they were over. There wasn’t a lot of follow through.
From the very beginning of this book I wanted to put it down (and I should have) but my interest was sparked again so I kept reading but then I wanted to put it down again. It was very back-and-forth. It was okay then it was exciting and then it was boring and then it was even more boring and then it was awful. The only reason I gave this book two stars is because of the ending.
Comparisons to The Hunger Games
I’ve seen this book being compared to other series such as Red Rising, but as I haven’t read it, it reminded me more of the Hunger Games. Like, a lot. I won’t go into too much detail, but Mare reminded me of Katniss in the beginning of the book and her friendship with Kilorn was practically identical to Katniss and Gale. Also, the whole rebellion part and Farley even says in the book that Mare will be the face of the rebellion (if only she had a mockingjay pin). Julian was kind of a cross between Haymitch and Cinna. The rebellion had their own base that was “affected by radiation” (District 13). The training that the noble kids go through was also similar to the training before the Games… and so on.
Maybe I’m the only one who’s seeing this, and that’s fine, but I was really annoyed with all the comparisons I saw.
The main reason Mare ends up working in the palace is to save her from conscription for the war. What we know about the war is that different countries are fighting over land. And that’s it. The characters constantly say that Reds are going to die in this unjust war, but we don’t know much about it. Maybe I just missed it, but I wanted to know more about it.
As far as the characters go, I don’t think there was much thought put into them. Mare specifically. She’s very contradictory, especially when it comes to Cal. At one part she says “his presence makes my skin crawl” and the very next page she talks about her feelings for him. Having contradictory feelings about someone is not a weird, unnatural thing. I’d say it’s quite normal. But saying someone makes your skin crawl should not later translate into I secretly love you. I get that Aveyard wants Mare to question her feelings, but this phrase was grossly misused.
There also isn’t a lot of foundation for these “feelings”. They don’t have enough interactions for me to find their “love” believable. I can see maybe Cal hates Evangeline because she’s crazy and so he’s wants Mare because she’s different. But what actually goes on between them does not translate to me love or even deep feelings for each other.
I didn’t connect to any of the characters overall. I guess I could say Julian was my favorite, but his character wasn’t even in the book that much.
This book was such a disappointment to me, especially after seeing the great ratings on Goodreads. The author saved the book from a one-star rating because of the ending. I know a lot of people hated that Maven betrayed Mare, but it was the only part that I was genuinely interested in.
Did you read this book? What is your opinion about it?