Monday, March 30, 2015

YA Book Club Review: Red Queen

For the latest YA Book Club, we read Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. Having read it, I'd describe it as X-Men meets The Hunger Games. And I would say it's far more dystopian than it is fantasy.

Summary (from Goodreads):

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? 

Spoilers in white--so highlight to read them.

Not your typical fantasy:
 The setting for this story felt new and different. We had magic and a king and all the things you typically associate with fantasy, but we also had electricity. That one fact gave Red Queen a different feel from the various fantasies I've read.

The magic in Red Queen also had its own sort of spin. A lot of it was element-based (think Shadow and Bone), but not all of it. The Silvers had a host of different powers more along the lines of X-Men.

Spoilery Ponderings So let's talk about the end. Well, I'll try not to talk to much about the end, because if for some reason the white text didn't come through, I don't want to spoil it--but oh my gosh! I did not see it coming at all.

I was a big Maven fan from the beginning, but I'm one of those people who trusts way too easily (of course, if you betray me I'll only hold it against you forever). Did not see the twist coming. At all.

I liked that Mare didn't choose one brother over the other in the end, but that twist does leave us with a new love triangle for the next book. If I'm honest, I'm not a big fan of either of our options.

As far as that other reveal at the end in the train--you know the one I'm talking about--I did see that one coming, but I'm super happy about it!

kthxbai From what I read, the initial draft had a lot of words that had to be cut. The story felt a little rushed to me (but I read it all in a that could be me), and I really wanted more details. But, if you like fantasy with more of a sci-fi/dystopian feel (which isn't really my thing) check it out.


  1. I'm impressed that you read this in a day. It took me a good week to get through the first 100 pages. I guess that says a lot about how much I cared about the characters. I'm so bummed that this one wasn't for me -- when I saw its cover, I thought for sure I'd love it. Great write-up, Liz... I'm totally with ya!

  2. I sort of saw the twist at the end coming, but mostly because I stumbled across a bit of a spoiler online. It didn't give exact details, but I could mostly figure out what was going on based on that. You are so right about how rushed it felt. There was a large amount of info dumpage right up front, probably because they needed to relay info quickly and with very little page time. This frustrated me a lot. Not gonna lie. I don't know. I was just very, very underwhelmed and just as disappointed by this reaction.

    Thanks for the great review, Liz! :D

  3. I also like that Mare didn't choose one brother or the other. She didn't really have chemistry with either, and I felt pretty meh about both. So it seems fitting she stays single.

  4. I agree that the book felt rushed. It's interesting that the original draft was much longer. I wonder if leaving those words in might have helped clarify the story a bit. While I love romance, I felt in this instance it was a good thing Mare didn't choose between the brothers in the end. Anything else would've sent a terrible message to young readers. Wow, you must be a speed reader! One day? I'm impressed! :)

  5. I was happy about no boy being chosen, but I know it won't stay that way. There will be more love triangles, which normally I'm a fan of, but in this case...


    I read a ton of the book on Sunday because I wanted to finish in time to post - I must admit I did a bit of skimming :)