Book Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

February 4, 2015 Young Adult Book Reviews 2 ★★½

Book Review: Red Queen by Victoria AveyardTitle: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen #1
Published by: HarperTeen on February 10, 2015
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
Source: Edelweiss
Format: eARC
Pages: 320
Click it: Goodreads | Amazon

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?

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

One Line: I gave it my best shot, but it didn’t wow me like I was hoping.

In My Opinion: Worth a try!

Oh, how I wanted to love this book. While I can appreciate the interesting tale of Silvers and Reds and I can even look past the cliched tale of the lower class rebelling against the upper class, I just couldn’t get over how incredibly slow and boring this book was. There was just so much detail put into the scenery, the history, the characters – it was just too much. The pacing was so slow and there was more of a “tell” rather than a “show” of any kind. You get a bit of action here and there, but nothing exciting happens until way after the halfway mark and even after that action scenes are scarce. I didn’t even really see much of a fantasy aspect and felt like this was more a dystopian than anything else.

Like I said, I enjoyed learning about the Silvers and Reds, with the Silvers having mutant powers, making them the dominant class. The Reds are just common folk. The main character, Mare, however, is something else entirely and I wished the author had explored her powers and her mystery a bit more. Much of the book revolves more so around the castle’s social politics and what is clearly an inevitable betrayal, there’s not much in the way of anything else that really matters. Probably some of my favorite moments were the arena battles and I wish there was more of those kinds of scenes or just more of the characters using their powers and of the author exploring the mutant powers in general.

The romance left a lot to be desired. There’s more telling us about the couple as opposed to watching the couple actually fall in love. Sure he does things to show he cares, but the fact that they have little-to-no interaction with each other to justify a substantial romance, I felt nothing for them as a couple. I especially couldn’t see why she would “love” him except for the fact that he has his charming moments, though those got more and more scarce as the book progressed. He did save her quite a few times, so I guess she fell for that hero complex of his. There wasn’t much I really liked about Mare, except that she did as much as she could to protect those she loved. She was pretty clueless to the things and people around her, but she has a good heart and means well, so there’s that. Besides that, I didn’t really care for her. As for Cal, Maven, and Kilorn – yeah, I didn’t care for any them.

I feel like all the elements the author wanted to include in this book just didn’t mix well. It’s like she didn’t know which aspect to make the central theme and bounced back between action/fantasy, dystopian, and romance; never really giving us enough of any of them. Yes, I know first books in a series are supposed to set the scene and questions aren’t supposed to be answered, but I just need a little bit more and for the love of all things holy, there did not need to be that much frivolous detail where it causes the story to drag and drag and drag and drag. So yeah, as much as I wanted to love this, I barely liked it. Just another case of “not for me”, I guess.

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