So, you know how people think most fantasy/dystopian YA is just a thinly veiled allegory for high school ? Well the Red Queen on it's surface is prettSo, you know how people think most fantasy/dystopian YA is just a thinly veiled allegory for high school ? Well the Red Queen on it's surface is pretty much that.
We've got Mare Barrow another brunette YA heroine who hates her hair and wishes she was more like her sister Gisa who is pretty, talented and basically put up on a pedestal.
In Mare's world what separates the oppressed Reds from the elite Silvers. . . is their blood. The Silver's blood silver blood gives them abilities like controlling elements, strength and mind control.
Mare soon discovers that even though she is Red, she has abilities like a Silver. A threat to the Silver way of life, The Silvers whisk her away to live among them until they can figure out what she is.
On the flip side The Scarlet Guard, a resistance group fighting the Silver's oppression, is starting to rise and Mare just might be their way to victory.
Living among Royals, Mare is basically a fish out of water trying to fit in with all the cool Silver kids while avoiding the mean girl whose boyfriend she is crushing on.
One more thing about this book: The Boys
I mean there are so many to choose from. We have the fierce warrior and future king, Prince Cal, Or the reserved and charming second son, Prince Maven. Plus there's Kilorn,that guy-next-door-best friend AND Lucas the understanding bodyguard.
One of the things that bothered me about this novel is that the women characters were either Mare's enemy or put on a pedestal. There wasn't a rang there. I would even argue this for the character of Farley, the female leader of the resistance.
This was my first Amanda Dolan audiobook and she is a very subtle narrator who lets the story come through. She's not obtrusive with her performance.
With all that said I found this to be a popcorn audiobook for me. Yes, it's cliched, yes we've seen it before but Aveyard throws in a few plot twist and leaves the ending open to new adventures. This kind of feels like it could be more than a trilogy.
By the time I finished this book I'd pre-ordered the next one just to see where we go next....more
Chelsea Ford gets the opportunity of her dreams, when she is asked to step in as the lead singer of the rock band Melbourne for their summer tour. WhiChelsea Ford gets the opportunity of her dreams, when she is asked to step in as the lead singer of the rock band Melbourne for their summer tour. While she has chemistry with the band onstage the same can’t be said for offstage. Chelsea’s struggles to be accepted by her three male band members and it doesn’t help when teen heartthrob actor, Lucas Rivers, takes a liking to Chelsea.
Teen drama ensues as the band travels from city to city. The deeper into the summer they go the less sure the band is that it will still be together by the end.
The heart of this story is in the details. I saw on Huang’s website that her husband has connections to the music industry , so she has probably seen so much of what she is writing about. Huang brings to life the landmarks and eclectic venues where the band performs.
Her female characters are allowed to have sexual agency without slut shaming. Huang swiftly subverts the asexual Asian trope by having the band’s Chinese member, Malcolm Ho, be the biggest ladies man.
Soapy, flirty and fun this story of life in the spotlight will have readers ready to rock....more
In a world where global warming is here and territory wars have run rampant, the UN turns to an artificial intelligence named Talis to create solutionIn a world where global warming is here and territory wars have run rampant, the UN turns to an artificial intelligence named Talis to create solution for peace. Going rouge, Talis starts incinerating cities of warring countries via satellite and makes new rules for humanity; each country's leader must give one of their children to him and if that country wants to go war that child will be killed as a sacrifice.
400 years later, 17-year-old Greta Gustafsen Stuart, Crown Princess of the Pan Polar Confederacy (so, like Canada) is one of those children. She has spent a majority of her life in the isolated school with the rest of the hostages. Greta and her cohorts accept their fate as hostages with dignity and spend their days in intense study hoping they won’t be called on to die. That is until Elián Palnik, a hostage from the newly formed country shows up. He doesn’t play by the rules and makes Greta question everything she’d ever accepted.
So, it’s basically Dead Poets Society with a cyberpunk twist.
The A.I , Talis shows up as a character which I didn't expect. He's called the most strategic mind of an epoch but instead of being like a dark serious overlord--he’s a snarky, irreverent Bunny Ears Lawyer who makes obscure movie references. It is all pretty bizarre, but in a fun way I have never seen in YA.
I did this on audio and the narrator is Madeline Maby, who I liked as the voice of Kat in the Burn For Burn books. She has a little bit of bass in her voice so she does well with voicing all genders. I think the biggest stumbling block for her in this book is the accents of Greta’s classmates. Elián has a southern accent that just doesn't work. Her Tallis voice on the other hand works really, really well for this story.
As far as the diversity front, there are quite a few characters of color. Greta is implied to be bisexual but it's never stated. Her main love interest is her roommate Princess Li Da-Xia, but she also likes Elian. I think Bow handles the romance well, but because of how stilted Mabey does Xia's voice it was kind of hard to connect with her as a character
My only criticism of the writing is sometimes is sometimes it felt little long in the tooth and like there were scenes that were stretching on too long. Also some of her metaphors don't land.
This high concept novel took me by surprise and I can't wait to see what happens to Greta in the next book. ...more