For part of our wedding anniversary this year, my husband and I went into a book store and picked out a book for each other. We wanted to go to the local used bookstore in our area, but they closed super early that day, so we had to go to Barnes and Noble instead. After looking around for an half hour, we met up again. I chose Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson for him, and he picked out Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard for me. It’s funny that he chose this one because I’d wanted to read it for quite some time and had just put my name on the wait list for the ebook from my public library. After I finished it, I posted about it on Facebook and a friend told me that the author was going to be at the North Texas Teen Book Festival this year! So I’ve been trying to read as many books as I can before we go, and I’m looking forward to meeting her and getting her to sign my anniversary present.
Now, on to the review:
“In school, we learned about the world before ours, about the angels and gods that lived in the sky, ruling the earth with kind and loving hands. Some say those are just stories, but I don’t believe that. The gods rule us still. They have come down from the stars. And they are no longer kind.”
Just seeing that quote again reminds me of how much I liked this book. This is the story of a society divided between the red bloods and the silver bloods. The silver bloods who are the ruling class have superhuman powers that range from awesome gardening to controlling someone’s mind. They use these powers to treat the Reds as slaves. The story follows a Red, Mare, who goes to work in the castle. While working there, she discovers that she has powers, in front of the entire court. The king decides to have her live as a Silver to hide the impossible truth that a Red has powers equal to a Silver. While masquerading as a Silver at court, she uses her position to help out the rebellion, the Scarlet Guard.
Things I liked:
1.) The whole premise. The idea of super powers tied to blood is really interesting. Also, I love a good dystopian novel. A lot. It’s probably my favorite category of young adult fiction. This is convenient too cause these are super popular right now.
2.) Queen Elara – She is definitely a villain I love to hate. On one hand, her wickedness came from an understanding place, but on the other hand, she was super wicked! I’d love to learn more about her relationship to Cal’s mom.
3.) Jason – I really liked Jason. I thought she was going to try to make him a love interest, which I would have preferred to Maven and Kilorn, but it’s fine that he wasn’t. I also like that he was grounded. Mare did something that upset him, but he didn’t just move on and forgive her and play nice.
4.) The throne room scene at the end. I can’t say too much about this because of spoilers, but I really liked this scene. It was very intense and I think it will look great on screen when this is made into a movie. It will probably be my favorite scene in the movie.
5.) Shade – Also can’t say much here cause spoilers.
Thing I wasn’t a huge fan of:
1.) Farley. I’m not sure if I like Farley. Maybe reading “Steel Scars,” will change my feelings towards her. I understand that she is the leader of a rebellion, so she has to be hard. I also understand that she can’t trust everyone and go with what everyone says. I just don’t like the hostility between her and Mare. Why can’t they be friends? There is no reason they can’t be; Mare isn’t opposing the rebellion. It is possible for two strong females to be friends. Hopefully in the second book their relationship will change.
2.) The love triangle/pyramid. I just really didn’t buy the relationships here. Let me explain:
Maven. I know there are several people who are very fond of Maven. I’m sure I would have been a bigger fan if I had the right mental picture of him. When he was introduced as Cal’s little brother, combined with the struggles to get out of his brother’s shadow, it pained him as a much younger boy in my mind. So whenever he and Mare would have “moments” together, I would be taken aback because I kept thinking he was twelve instead of seventeen.
Kilorn. I don’t buy this relationship. I know he is there to create the “necessary” love triangle between him, Mare, and Cal, but I didn’t feel that this relationship was flushed out enough for me to buy it. I think that Kilorn is her best friend and those love/friend feelings are being mistaken for love/partner feelings, which happens.
Cal. I really like Cal. I think he is a very flushed out character. I really feel like he is just trying to do the right thing with the hand he has been dealt. I think he honestly cares for Mare (Maven may or may not), while he also cares for his kingdom. And that scene with him and his father towards the end? That just sealed it.
That being said, I’d give this book a solid 3.5 stars, and I’ll give it 4 stars if Glass Sword is good too. (I know it seems wrong for a different book to effect the rating of this book, but if the next one is bad, it will make me like this one less.)
If you’re interested in what I’m reading, or seeing my other reviews that may not make it to the blog, check me out on Goodreads. Have any of you read Red Queen? Leave what you thought about it in the comments!