Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Rating: 4.25 stars
Buy the Book: Amazon
Summary: "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?"
Review: I have been looking forward to reading this book for a really, really long time. I was so excited to finally have it in my hands, and started reading it within three seconds of picking it up from the library.
About forty pages in, however, I started getting nervous. A severely unfair caste system where Reds are at the bottom... one Red going undercover among the elites... I've read all this before in Pierce Brown's Red Rising. Once I realized that the basic premise wasn't as unique as I'd hoped, I was anxious. I wanted this book to succeed, but was worried about the lack of originality.
Happily, this book got better. To be honest, there are definite comparisons to Red Rising. And I love Red Rising. But this is its own book. Mare is not Darrow (for better or for worse) and this world is not Darrow's world. (Darrow lives in a more SciFi world, Mare in a more Fantasy world.) Actually, Red Queen is a little easier for me to swallow than Red Rising, because it's not quite as cutthroat or as ruthless as Red Rising. I feel like there's room for compassion in Red Queen, whereas in Red Rising compassion is a liability.
Not to say that there aren't ruthless moments in Red Queen. The phrase "anyone can betray anyone" is repeated multiple times in the book, and the story lives up to that threat. There are deliciously evil antagonists working along side good people on both sides of the rebellion, and none of them are safe. The beginning was a little slow, but after about fifty pages I became fully engaged, and loved the rest of the ride.
I found the book to be captivating and very entertaining, and very much look forward to reading more about our little lightning girl.
Review in a GIF:
Bottom Line: There was a bit of a slow start, and there are definitely parallels to Red Rising, but on the whole I loved reading this electrifying book. (Excuse the pun.) Recommended to fans of light fantasy, X-men, and/or Pierce Brown.