Sunday, 15 March 2015

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard - Review

Title: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published by: Harper Collins (in 2015)
Content warning: Violence, mild language
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
My Rating:  ★★★★
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 initially didn't want to post this review up so early but my reading of Rebel Belle has been way slower than expected so here it is! (I really want to like Rebel Belle, but the first person POV is ticking me off a little gahhh. More on that next time)  Red Queen was released just last month on Feb 10th. Assuming that there are a lot more humans who have yet to read this book (hard for me to imagine why not because the of the HYPE), this review will be ~SPOILER-FREE~ right after my howl *evil chuckle*.

This is what I howled to the wind:

(oh yea I went there)

          Red Queen centers around 17-year-old Mare Barrow who lives in a dystopian society where the differentiation of status is based on a person's blood color. There are two blood races: The Silvers, who have silver blood running through their veins and the Reds, who have red blood. The Silvers are the superior race. They are wealthy, physically stronger, powerful, basically those who belong to the privileged upper class in the society. As if there wasn't enough to prove that point, each of them also possess distinct SUPERNATURAL POWERS which gives them the ability to control various elements. (I know a lot of people have compared this to X-men but I kept thinking about AVATAR). The Reds are the normal humans, the weaker race that were not born with any of the abilities the Silvers have, and are thus subjected to exploitation and servitude for the whole of their lives, unable to fight back due to their inferiority. 

          Mare is a Red, and she despises the status quo and how it is leeching her family's happiness one family member at a time. Being forced to become a thief in order to support her family and facing conscription very soon, Mare is the last person you would expect to be a beacon of change for her oppressed people. Until one day a power like no other was accidentally awakened from within her, and revealed for the Royal family and just about every noble Silver there is to see. She is now faced with difficult decisions and her role as the Red with a Silver's abilities are much bigger than anything she has ever imagined.

         While not completely original, the concept of the society in Red Queen is just marvelous and absolutely attractive. It has so much potential to become a cinematographically stunning film (if that ever happened) with its action-packed fantasy plot, the medieval, steampunk-ish setting, the different colors representing different noble houses (ARISTOCRATIC COSTUMES FTW!!!), and SILVER BLOOD. How beautiful would that look being poured out of a Silver!!! (sorry, got a bit gory there) I fell in love with the world that Victoria Aveyard painted with her excellent writing style and the fact that there are other settings besides the ones in the first book that has yet to be explored and elaborated makes me wish the next book would come out TOMORROW. 

         I actually read this book in one sitting so I thought that the suspense was well-distributed throughout the plot. There were some parts that were a bit too far-fetched but I easily accepted it because it is a YA fantasy so these things tend to appear often. Overall, the characters were likeable, with Mare being my favourite as there are many sides to her. (Passive one-dimensional protagonists are my ultimate pet-peeve). I liked that she is level-headed most of the time, and is not easily swept away by the detriment of various events that happened. Usually we get heroines that throw themselves into the fire of their enemies without proper strategy or COMMON SENSE, but I never got that from Mare. The other characters were a little weak, and there were several who were redundant nearing the end. Fortunately, the plot was still able to move along with full speed pass those issues towards an ending that promised epicness in the next book.

         I give Red Queen 4/5 stars for its impressive writing and brilliant concept. Victoria Aveyard has raised the bar for debut novels of the same genre I'll be reading in the future.

p/s: I would like to comment on the COVER. Don't you agree when I say that it's GORGEOUS? The gradient silvery background. The bloody crown turned upside down. This simple image foreshadows so much of the story's conflict. Oooh I got goosebumps the first time I saw the physical book in real life... *flails*


  1. I just wanted to stop in and say hi! I'm a new follower of your blog :)

    I love the look and feel of your blog.

    And I am dying to read the red queen. It looks so epic!

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

    1. Hi Michelle,

      Thanks for the follow! I think you are one of the first few since I started this blog early this month :D

      I remember joining a couple of giveaways on your book blog and I loved it! So thanks for checking me out.

      Hope you enjoy Red Queen when you get to it!