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Red Queen

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  276 ratings  ·  59 reviews
Shannon and Rohan Scott have retreated to their family's cabin in the Australian bush to escape a virus-ravaged world. After months of isolation, Shannon imagines there's nothing he doesn't know about his older brother, or himself – until a stranger slips under their late-night watch and past their loaded guns.

Reluctantly the brothers take the young woman into their fold,
Paperback, 268 pages
Published August 31st 2009 by Penquin Australia (first published 2009)
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3.62  · 
Rating details
 ·  276 ratings  ·  59 reviews

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Jan 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Brothers Rohan and Shannon Scott have been hiding out for months in a family cabin ever since a virus hit Australia. The cabin was built by the the brothers father and was to be used in an emergency. Sadly Rohan and Shannon mother and father died due to the virus. The virus spread quickly killing many and for those who were lucky enough to escape it they were left trying to find somewhere safe to hide. Rohan and Shannon had to keep their wits about them every day for fear that someone would come ...more
There are several excellent reviews on the Goodreads page, which describe in detail the plot lines of this remarkable story. No point in me rehashing them. Read them, they are all good.

This is a tense psychological thriller, very cleverly crafted by a talented writer.

My reactions to this book were quite visceral - I felt very anxious at several points throughout the book. This is a sign of a darned good bit of writing. I was totally sucked into that claustrophobic setting of the cabin in the rem
Jul 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“We did not touch. It had become automatic the minute the virus had landed on Australian soil. It wasn’t a spoken rule; arms could brush, shoulders could bump, and accidental skin contact was repellent but forgiven, but conscious touch – fingertips, a warm hand, a face too close – it just went without saying. Personal space had shrivelled to a hard nut so far inside each body even your own hand on your skin could seem unwanted”

Red Queen is the first novel by Australian author, Honey Brown. Shann
Jul 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was my first experience of Honey Brown's work on the recommendation of GR's friend Mish but will definitely not be my last and after meeting her today at the Melbourne Writer's Festival I have become a fan!!! It took me a while to warm to the story but once I did there was no turning back and the story really did take off. There were twists and turns I was not expecting and it was a very clever plot. Again another book that crosses over a few genres.
When the highly contagious virus hit the shores of Australia, working its way through the country with a speed that stunned, the people who didn’t die immediately sought refuge wherever they could. They were called the survivors; Rohan and Shannon were two such people. The brothers had lost their parents to the disease, and were fortunate to have a cabin deep in the woods which their father had built for such an emergency.

Day and night they kept watch – they couldn’t trust a soul, knew that if a
Jan 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
RED QUEEN was Honey Brown’s debut novel and walked off with the 2009 Aurealis award for best horror novel. The Aurealis Awards were established in 1995 by Chimaera Publications, the publishers of Aurealis magazine, to recognise the achievements of Australian science fiction, fantasy and horror writers. Now I have to confess that I have always associated the genre of horror as books that contained horrific people-killing monsters of various types; but found out horror is actually defined as inten ...more
Thought this book was amazing. I was hooked from the very first chapter. Looking forward to reading Honey Browns latest book "The Good Daughter"
May 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shannon Scott is sick of looking at his brother’s face. He and Rohan have been living in the remote Australian bush since the plague broke, and Shannon is growing more and more irritated with Rohan’s quirks and dominance – from his nicknaming him ‘pup’ to the way he resignedly wins at poker.

But since their parents died of the Red Queen Virus months ago, Rohan is all Shannon has. And, thanks in large part to their paranoid father, they have a well-stocked, veritable fortress to live in and wait o
This wasn’t what I expected. I liked the premise of the book (a virus threatens all of humanity and the only way for brothers, Rohan and Shannon, to survive is to withdraw from society and live self-sufficiently somewhere in rural Victoria which works well until a woman finds them and wants to throw in her lot with them), however there were some graphic descriptions of sex scenes that were a little disturbing. I generally think less is more when it comes to sex scenes, with a wink often being as ...more
Jul 26, 2010 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jack Heath
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Every time you think you've got Red Queen figured out, the author proves you wrong in the following chapter. There are essentially only three characters, and at various points you will love, hate and be suspicious - even frightened - of each of them. The post-apocalyptic bushland setting also shines, as beautiful as it is convincing.
Apr 28, 2013 rated it liked it
Apocalyptic novels are normally not my thing, but I love Honey Brown’s writing and still needed to read a dystopian novel for my 2013 Eclectic Reader Challenge, so I thought I would give Red Queen a go.

After narrowly surviving falling victim to the deadly Red Queen virus which claimed the lives of their parents, Rohan and Shannon Scott are living in isolation in a remote cabin in the Australian bush. Having been in hiding for months they have had no news from the outside world, which is in chaos
Jul 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Apocalyptic scenarios are not my favourite thing. To be frank, a pandemic world-wide threat from a mutant viruses wasn't making me feel a desperate urge to read RED QUEEN. I've been shuffling other books over it in the priority queue for quite a while. But eventually, you've just got to stop sooking about these things and get on with reading.

There was some confusion in my mind about exactly what "category" this novel falls into. It won an Aurealis award for Best Horror Novel, but I'd heard comm
Two's company, three's a crowd. Especially when those three are two brothers and a beautiful woman, holed up in a bush cabin away from a virus-infected world. I remember seeing this book when I was at Sydney Airport seven years ago waiting for an international flight. The premise sounded really interesting and if I'd bought it then it would've been a good plane read, although the sex scenes would've been awkward! Coming to it now, I perhaps appreciate it more. I've read snippets about the author ...more
Dec 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
4.5* Shannon and his brother Rohan have survived a killer virus and live hidden away in a remote region of the Australian country side. Their routine and their lives are thrown into chaos and confusion with the arrival of a woman, Denny. At first suspicious and wary of her, she soon changes everything for them. The suspense in the story builds and the reader finds themselves drawn deeper into the story. Uncertainty about Denny (who she is, is she trustworthy, why are they acting the way they do) ...more
Paula Clark
Jun 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
My library had this categorised as a "mystery" however I think "psychological thriller" would be more apt. What an amazing first novel from Honey Brown - I will definitely be searching out more of her work!

Compelling, thought provoking, intense and yet also "real". All three main character were well explored and the reader had a good insight into their minds and situation, although the whole story was told through Shannon's first person narrative.

It really makes you stop and think how you would
Mar 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
After having read the author's second book first I was expecting lots of tension and a thrilling, but probably very disturbing, read. I had the Red Queen sitting here for a week before getting the courage to read it. Once started I couldn't put it down & read it in an afternoon. I found myself holding my breath at times. I'm amazed that this is a first book. Honey Brown you are a brilliant writer and this is a brilliant book!
Jan 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
I really admire what the author did with this book but I found it terribly disturbing and unsettling.
Dec 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, new-to-me, fantasy
Love, lust and rivalry...

The time feels much like the present, but society has been destroyed by a lethal virus. The narrator, Shannon, is a young man living in isolation with his older brother, Rohan, in a well-stocked house prepared by their now-dead father for just such a contingency, since he always feared that one day disaster would strike humanity. It's been months since they saw another person, but one day a young woman, Denny, appears at the farm and throws herself on their mercy. Suspic
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
In April I finally read a Honey Brown novel, which I'd been trying to find the time for ever since I got back to Australia in late 2013 and was able to get copies of her books (they weren't available in Canada). This Australian psychological thriller writer came highly recommended by other bloggers, and in many ways Red Queen did not disappoint. It had the additional intrigue of an apocalyptic setting, which I love. In this case, it's a global breakdown of society following a contagious, plague- ...more
Mar 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aussie-author
Slightly dystopian story - by that I mean it was dystopian, but nothing science fiction involved ... and no zombies or anything similar which was a relief.

It's set in the Australian bush after a virus has wiped out a lot of the world's population. The author doesn't go into much detail about the virus and I didn't feel the story needed it. The story revolves around two brothers who have retreated to their bush hide-away and are waiting out the threat to humankind. They guard their space to keep
This was a decent read but it seemed to lack emotional depth or something, in the sense that none of the characters seemed to suffer angst as the consequence of activity that in other circumstances would fuck with one’s head. But maybe that is an accurate depiction of the status quo during a viral apocalypse. Also there was an editing error in the edition I read where the word “clamoured” was substituted (twice!) for “clambered” during a tense scene and it kind of ruined it for me.
Sallyann Van leeuwen
Wow! Taut thriller that had me hooked. Shannon and Rohan are brothers isolated in a forest of an infected world. This book doesn't lay it all out, you have to piece it together yourself. What has happened to the world? What happens when a woman arrives, desperate for assistance?

I didn't know where this was heading and I loved the power plays back and forth. The writing is excellent and I look forward to reading more from this talented author.
Jul 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Wow this is not my normal type of read, I liked it until the middle then the relationships started getting weird, however, it was a believable scenario. However, then the story became very predictable. Would like to read another book from this author to see if her other writing is different from this first book.
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
One word: depraved
Jun 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Written by Australian Author Honey Brown.
Shannon and Rohan Scott have retreated to their family's cabin in the Australian bush to escape a virus-ravaged world. After months of isolation, Shannon imagines there's nothing he doesn't know about his older brother, or himself – until a stranger slips under their late-night watch and past their loaded guns.

Reluctantly the brothers take the young woman into their fold, and the dynamic within the cabin shifts. Possessiveness takes hold, loyalties are sp
Graham Clements
Jul 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I decided to read Red Queen, by Australian author H.M. Brown, after reading a review of it in The AGE. The review was positive and said that the novel had won last year’s Aurealis award for best horror novel, but that is not what had me wanting to read it, it was the prospect of reading an apocalyptic novel set in Australia that raised my interest.

The novel is set after a virus has decimated the population. Two brothers, Shannon and Rohan, are hiding from the virus in a very well stocked cabin i
Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum
Feb 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Red Queen is the debut novel for this author - a woman living in country Victoria. Her novel begins with two brothers living in isolation in a self contained cabin in the Australian bush. Their survival depends on their isolation from the populace as a deadly virus is killing people in cities and towns and is highly contagious. But don't worry, the book isn't about the virus, it solely focusses on the the two boys, Shannon and Rohan.

The brothers have been living together for so long the dynamic
Dec 23, 2011 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Maggie by: Brenda
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
I have been meaning to read this book for ages, and so glad I finally did. I couldn't put it down. Beautifully written, it reminded me of other disturbing books set in the Australian bush - 'Picnic at Hanging Rock' comes to mind.

You are never quite sure of any of the characters - who are they? what are they really thinking? what will they do next? And it's the 'what next?' element that drives the book. Brown has an almost casual way of announcing devastating new plot developments - you don't see
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Honey Brown lives in country Victoria with her husband and two children. She is the author of four books: Red Queen, The Good Daughter, After the Darkness and Dark Horse. Red Queen was published to critical acclaim in 2009 and won an Aurealis Award, and The Good Daughter was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award and shortlisted for the Barbara Jefferis Award in 2011. After the Darkness ...more
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