rachel • typed truths's Reviews > Red Queen

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
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Jun 08, 2014

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bookshelves: read-2015, 3-star, paranormal-fantasy-uf, own

Many things led to this day, for all of us. A forgotten son, a vengeful mother, a brother with a long shadow, a strange mutation. Together, they've written a tragedy.


3.5 stars

I was hesitant going into this book. Big time. It is quite over-hyped, but also has a plethora of negative reviews surrounding it as of late. I had no idea what to expect. But I'm glad that I did pick it up because I found it surprisingly entertaining. I know that a lot of people found it cliched and a bad mix of previous written YA novels. Unfortunately, I have to agree that it was a little bit too much like The Hunger Games (the romance, dystopian elements and rebellion) and Bitterblue (political situation and fantastical elements).

So what did I like?

1. The begging and how Victoria Aveyard manages to create this world that I, despite knowing that it wasn't exactly unique, manage to easily feel enraptured by. I desperately wanted to learn more about the Reds and the Silvers, their history, what led to their divisions, how the Silvers powers worked etc. This aspect, for me, just worked.

2. How Mare responded to the romance. The romance itself wasn't great for me but I loved the way that Mare didn't get gushy or big-headed over the princes' attention. It could have turn into a swooning-fest but it didn't. Yay!

3. The elements of family that became such a strong subplot. Normally family, especially parents, get glossed over in YA novels. No-one really knows why but its made us truly treasure the books that make sure to include familial elements. I particularly enjoyed the relationship between both Mare & her siblings and Maven & Cal.

4. The writing was just gorgeous. It was poetic but didn't try to hard to be. It just flowed and I found myself wanting highlight passages left, right and centre.

5. Despite everything I would have to say that I found it really easy to fly through and actually rather addictive.

What did I dislike then?

1. Like I said, the romance was a major let down. It was practically the same situation as The Hunger Games but with an extra little dash as well - not good. Luckily the book didn't make Mare a completely ditz. She didn't completely led the two characters on and in the end it all worked out okay. But it was just plain old unnecessary, and if there's no point for it then it just becomes a distraction for the reader.

2. Most of the plot. I don't want to spoil anything but there were many elements of the plot that just didn't work, and were plain old ridiculous. They had me rolling my eyes or, at one point, laughing out loud at the absurdity of what they were about to do. I couldn't get on board the whole Red Guard thing. For one, they just let anyone join up? It was so easy to find out about them (for Mare and Maven). Why would they let a Silver in like that - so easily. And their plans... by God, were they stupid. Most of them were hardly likely to go right at all. They relied almost completely on Maven's information and were just ludicrously risky. Why would the leader directly participate? Wouldn't they want someone to be out, safe, in case something went wrong?.

Overall, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this since I could obviously see and reason that there was a lot fundamentally "wrong" with this novel. I'm still going to pick up the sequel, Glass Sword, and I'm intrigued about this proposed prequel, Queen Song.
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