Monday, January 19, 2015

Highlights / Lowlights: RED QUEEN by Victoria Aveyard

Title: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard (@VictoriaAveyard)
Published: February 10th, 2015
Series: Red Queen #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
POV: 1st person
Pages: 400
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: electronic ARC
Source: Edelweiss
Rating: The Royal Library, Middle Shelf

Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood—those with red and those with silver. Mare and her family are lowly Reds, destined to serve the Silver elite whose supernatural abilities make them nearly gods. Mare steals what she can to help her family survive, but when her best friend is conscripted into the army she gambles everything to win his freedom. A twist of fate leads her to the royal palace itself, where, in front of the king and all his nobles, she discovers a power of her own—an ability she didn't know she had. Except . . . her blood is Red.

To hide this impossibility, the king forces her into the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks her new position to aid the Scarlet Guard—the leaders of a Red rebellion. Her actions put into motion a deadly and violent dance, pitting prince against prince—and Mare against her own heart.

From debut author Victoria Aveyard comes a lush, vivid fantasy series where loyalty and desire can tear you apart and the only certainty is betrayal.

Highlights:1 It's refreshing to read a book where romance is barely on the protagonist's mind. Instead, in Red QueenMare simply wants to live and survive. As a character, Mare is imperfectly intriguing. Nothing about a royal's world comes easily to Mare, and every single day is a struggle filled with mistakes, missteps, and if she's lucky, the correct move. Mare's life becomes a game of chess, where if she loses, she dies. Aveyard develops this dangerous world through Mare's eyes, displaying the slums at their worst and the royals at their most excessive. Throw in some epic, X-Men-like supernatural abilities and Red Queen easily manages to become a highly entertaining story. Simply put, this story is exciting, thrilling, and difficult to set aside. 

Lowlights: Aveyard, you killed my favorite side characters and significantly injured another favorite side character in the beginning of the novel2. On another note, a few aspects were incredibly predictable and familiar regarding a few characters and "surprise" moments in the story, but I tend to guess plot twists early on. 

Rating: The Royal Library, Middle Shelf: Highly Enjoyed, 4+ out of 5. Deadly, surprising, and completely captivating, Red Queen is a thrilling read that will keep you turning the pages. I recommend checking it out, because this is one outstanding story. 

1 Also a highlight, the Obi-Wan Kenobi line. I hope it stays in the finished book.
2 WHY ARE YOU SO CRUEL, AVEYARD?! It's like the YA version of Game of Thrones, where everyone I love dies or becomes seriously injured....I'm kind of afraid to care about these characters.

I received an advanced copy of this novel from the publisher for review consideration. 
This is no way affected my opinion of the novel. 


  1. I'm so glad to hear that you liked this! I have it on my upcoming TBR pile. I'd heard that people thought it was derivative of The Hunger Games and X-Men but I'm willing to give it a chance and it helps to know that you thought it was outstanding. Thanks for your review!

  2. Great review, Lea! I am currently reading this book and you have me a little nervous with the comments about people being killed off. Oh no! I agree this book is captivating, but I am finding it, like you said, a bit familiar. So far, it is reminding me a bit more of The Selection/Shatter Me than I thought it would.

  3. Oo magical abilities? I don't know why but I didn't think this one was going to have a lot of magic. Given the summary, I should have assumed.

    And call me morbid but I LOVE when an author isn't afraid to kill off their own characters. Mind you I'll probably still cry, but I like that not everyone gets an HEA.

    I'm happy you enjoyed it Lea!

  4. I'm not sure about the fact that a lot of characters die. That can be good though, so I guess I'd have to see for myself. I was curious about this one but I think I want to see a few more reviews before I decide if I'll get it.

  5. Love X-men, so I'm sure to love this! Awesome review :)

  6. Oh man, this sounds AWESOME! I'm glad you weren't disappointed by this one with all the hype surrounding it because I really, really want to like this one. Not really sure what I will think about my favourite characters dying - I will either dislike it or respect the author for it, heh. But either way, I'm really curious to read this one! Really great review!

  7. The hype for this book is staggering! But it sounds like the story is worthwhile! Great review 😊

  8. I have heard a lot about this one and glad to hear you enjoyed

  9. Aw, yay :D Amazing review sweetie. <3 I'm so so glad you enjoyed this book so much. I have heard good things, and bad things about it.. so I'm nervous :p But I will be reading it very soon, I think :) Hope I love it too. But aw, I do wish there was more romance :( I want romance in my books, lol. And aw, sorry she killed your favorite character :\ HOW MEAN. But glad you still loved it :D Thank you for sharing. <3