Review of Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

RedQueenRed Queen
By: Victoria Aveyard
Release Date: February 10th 2015
Publisher: Harper Teen
Format: E-ARC
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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?

My Thoughts:
There was a substantial amount of hype surrounding this title and I think that lessoned my enjoyment. I went into this book with high expectations. I expected something epic, blood soaked and ultimately different than what I got. With that tiara dripping blood and the title, Red Queen, I imaged court politics, gruesome violence and an all out battle for power. Yes, that isn’t anything really like the summary. I should have not expected something based on the cover but it happens.

Red Queen played out like so many other dystopian books… heroine fighting for her life in an impoverished society only to realize she’s something more. I was still able to become immersed in the first section of the book because of the strong visuals and strong writing. Sadly, as the story progressed my enjoyment waned. I wasn’t at all impressed with the action sequences and felt that the god-like powers weren’t all that original.

I’ve got to mention the similarity I saw between this novel and Pierce Brown’s Red Rising.

Or so it appears, until the day Darrow discovers it’s all a lie. That Mars has been habitable – and inhabited – for generations, by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. A class of people who look down on Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

Until the day that Darrow, with the help of a mysterious group of rebels, disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside. But the command school is a battlefield – and Darrow isn’t the only student with an agenda

I think you can see just from the summaries that there are similarities between the two books. I felt that Red Queen veered off a good amount from this common plot but it did feel a bit like Red Rising light to me. Where Red Rising was brutal and incredibly detailed on its character development I felt that Red Queen sort of felt stunted. I didn’t connect with the characters and though a good amount happened to our lead I wasn’t ever to really gain an interest in her story.

There were hints of a love triangle for those sensitive to those…but it wasn’t too big of a deal. As for the romantic interests I never felt chemistry between either pairs. I think it all comes down to my disconnect with Mare. If I’d been able to have that I think the book would have worked so much better for me. From the early reviews I’ve seen this one is loved by many people so I seem to be in the minority.

Final Thoughts:
Sadly Red Queen was a disappointment to me because I was not able to connect or get invested in the main character’s story. I felt that this book didn’t bring anything all that new to the genre. I think it’ll be a hit for many readers because the writing was well done.

Stacking the Shelves

Finally, finally I received my copy of The Mime Order. I’ve been waiting (impatiently) for what seems like forever for this book to land on my doorstep. This week was made so much better by that addition. I also decided to FINALLY download a couple of books from Edelweiss that I’ve been putting off because they don’t release for awhile. I couldn’t resist any longer. I have the urge to read fantasy and retellings so by golly, I’m going to.

Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews is a weekly meme where you show what books you’ve purchased, gotten from the library, received from giveaway, as gifts or for review.

For Review (Thank you Bloomsbury!):


The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon

I felt like I was waiting ages (ok weeks) for this book to show up. I kept seeing more and more people receiving their copies and I started to get nervous. Was it lost? Did my mail person decide to borrow it? Finally, it arrived and I rejoiced. Turns out my address wasn’t printed correctly so that caused the delay. I would have been devastated had it not arrived. Whew. I am shocked I’ve not thrown all my other books down to pick this one up but somehow I’ve resisted. It seems that some books I’m able to hold off on if I know it’ll be incredibly dense and epic (looking at you Mortal Heart). I am also planning on rereading The Bone Season. We’ll see if I can hold off that long.

For Review (via Edelweiss):

 Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)A Wicked Thing0

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard and A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas

How have I resisted the urge to download you my pretties? I have no clue but I couldn’t resist any longer. I downloaded these babies and I hope to start one or both this weekend. Both look so amazing.

Posts from Last Week:

In case you missed it…that was two giveaways going right now. Be sure to check them out.

How was your week?