Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Friday, February 20, 2015

Title: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen Trilogy
Release Date: 10 February 2015
Pages: 388
My Rating: 4.5 Stars

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?

Wow, Red Queen. First of all, I try not to buy books at their full price, because, even though I like to support the author, I can't frivolously spend between $18 and $25 for a new hardcover book. That being said, I had seen previews for Red Queen and I was so excited to read it, so I treated myself to it (on Valentine's Day…Happy Valentine's Day to me). In between classes, studying, and reading for school, I snuck in time to read to Red Queen and I was not disappointed. If you like Hunger Games, Divergent, and other dystopian novels, read this one.

Although I had seen from other reviews that the premise is similar to Red Rising by Pierce Brown (now on my to-be-read list) and although I have read quite a few dystopian young adult books, I was still blown away by the originality. While I will admit that the original plot points are mixed in with parts that are not so original- such as people having powers, forcing people to watch violence in order to keep them from rebelling, and other themes- I found the plot original enough to be shocked and enthralled. The author, Victoria Aveyard, is also a screenwriter, and I could visualize the story as a movie the entire time. I am sure that it will be a movie soon enough, joining Divergent, the Hunger Games, and Harry Potter on the big screen.

As readers, we have grown used to the "Love Triangle" of the guy she should be with, the guy everyone wants her to be with, and the guy she wants to be with (two of these labels being attached to one of the two boys in the triangle). However, is Red Queen it was like a Love Rectangle and I couldn't keep track of my emotions. One minute I loved Cal, the perfect prince and future King. The next minute I adored his younger brother, Prince Maven, the shadow behind his "perfect" brother. And then I would find myself drawn back to Kilorn, the Gale to Katniss, the Mare had known forever and secretly saw herself growing old with. I won't spoil the book for anyone, but CRAZIEST PLOT TWIST EVER.

I thought the ending would be predictable- the typical good guy wins over bad with the love of their life. Boy, was I wrong. The plot twist was so shocking, I'm still shocked. It was almost a "Jace is Clary's brother" revelation and I couldn't help myself from gasping (thankfully not loud enough to wake my roommate). I thought I would explode and then I thought it must be a joke, a trick, that it was all just a misunderstanding.

Obviously, I can't wait for the second book to see what happens next. Sadly, it only came out last week, so I have a long time to wait. This book was not only a fantastic read that kept me on my feet, but it by seeing how young the author is, I was shocked into thinking that maybe I could be a writer.
I definitely recommend reading it! But seeing that it has already reached #1 on the Young Adult New York Times bestsellers list, I have a feeling that people don't need me to tell them to buy it.

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