Hey everyone! It’s officially summer for me, which means I’ll have a lot more time for reading! This week I finished Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard and I have to say, it’s probably going to be on my Top Favourite Books of 2016 list! I know this book has been out for awhile and a lot of people have read it, it got so much hype so I just had to check it out, and while I was reading it, I was asking myself why I didn’t read it sooner!
As always, I will provide a brief description of what happens in the book (spoiler-free of course), in the event that you haven’t heard already.
In this world there is a hierarchy, the red bloods which are average humans similar to us, and the silver bloods. The silver bloods are the elite, they have powers and special abilities that the reds don’t possess, and they use their power to keep the reds powerless and under their control. The Silvers that are discussed in this book are predominantly royalty, however we get the impression that there may be just as many silvers in the society as there are reds. However, like many dystopian novels you’ve probably read, the main character Mare, who is a red, has a power, much like the silvers.
The plot moved fairly quickly, in the sense that there really wasn’t a dull moment, however there has been a lot of criticism regarding the fact that this book has a lot of aspects from other contemporary dystopians. In my experience, I did find that Red Queen reminded me a lot of the Hunger Games, Divergent, and especially the Selection Series. However, I wouldn’t say that this is necessary a bad thing, because I still think that it kept enough originality that it would be unfair to say that this book is “just like the Hunger Games”. There were also a lot of plot twists, and surprisingly I didn’t really catch on to them ahead of time, even though once they came, I knew I should have seen them coming!
The characters are one of my favourite elements of this novel. For once in a contemporary dystopian, we get the main character Mare, who actually makes wise and intelligent decisions as the main heroine, and who doesn’t let her emotions guide her choices. She’s a strong female lead and I generally really liked her. The Princes, both Maven and Cal I also really liked despite their flaws. Even the side characters I really liked, including Kilorn, as they really displayed their loyalty and dedication to their goals and to the people they care about.
The Writing/World Building:
The writing in this novel was fantastic! Victoria Aveyard is truly talented at ensuring the reader is fully captured into the world she has imagined. However, like others, I still have some questions regarding the world itself, but I’ve heard that the second book will explain this more thoroughly so that is something that I’m looking forward to!
I give this novel 4.5/5 stars and if you haven’t read it, go pick it up! It’s action-filled and a fast summer read!
** as a side note, I would recommend purchasing Glass Sword at the same time, or at least having it readily available for you to read right after because of the ending of Red Queen, I’m definitely going to start reading the sequel right away because I need to know what happens next! **
Some of my Favourite Quotes from the Novel:
“To look powerful is to be powerful.”
“Red in the head, Silver in the heart”
“Are you afraid, Maven?”
“I am. I’m afraid of failing. I’m afraid of letting this opportunity pass us by. And I’m afraid of what happens if nothing in this world ever changes. That scares me more than dying.”
“Sometimes his silence is better than anyone else’s words.”
“But I’m not a princess. I’m not the girl who gets saved.”
SPOILER SECTION – Do not read ahead if you haven’t read the book, or don’t want to be spoiled.
One of the main things that bothered me about this novel, that I just wanted to mention, is the fact that Maven told Mare that Cal will always choose her, and that’s how they planned to advance their agenda of resistance. However, this seemed really unbelievable at the time because I don’t know if perhaps the author did this purposely or not, but there wasn’t much plot leading up to this that indicated there was such a strong love or romance between Mare and Cal that Cal would choose her over his entire kingdom and all of the silvers. I think I would have actually been mad if he ended up choosing Mare just because that seems like just way too much of a stretch for a girl he kissed only once, and danced with a few times.
Another element of the novel that didn’t quite make as much sense to me, and hopefully it will be cleared up in the second book, is the fact that there are all of these silvers with these powers and abilities, and yet they don’t really seem to be fighting amongst themselves to out-power, or gain control over the others, I guess it can be argued that Maven is somewhat doing this, but as for the rest they kind of just seem to understand this hierarchy and accept it. Though this book was political, I would have maybe liked to see a bit more political tension between the silvers themselves (maybe I’m just saying this because I’m a Political Science major 😉 )