Yes, I’ve read it already, even after only receiving it about a week ago. But I was so excited to read this book, for some reason a lot more than I have been for a while. The blurb intrigued me, the reviews motivated me, the cover allured me (not gonna lie). And when I got my hands on a copy it flew to the top of my priority list. It seems for Red Queen you either love it or dislike it. So I was very eager to see where I would fall on that scale. Here are my thoughts on the big debut of 2015:
Synopsis: (Though I’m sure you’ve read it)
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 an individuality 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: So when I said that people fall on a bipolar scale for this book I’m very happy to say that I fell on the loved side! And something else, you know how sometimes when you read a book that you really liked and you rate it, post a review blah blah and then you start thinking about it even more critically and start finding problems and then feel like dropping your rating because suddenly it doesn’t live up to how you felt yesterday? (That was a really long, hopefully relatable rant. Please say you know what I’m saying.) Well, Red Queen has turned out quite the opposite. I rated it and now the more I think about it the more I think I liked it. This is so strange!
Anyway, let’s get on with the plot. At first it feels a little slow and typical but at the same time everything is getting introduced and progressing. When you read reviews for this book people often talk about its likeness to other YA dystopian books. I could definitely see where these people were coming from. It felt like the author just mixed X-Men and The Selection in the beginning. But wait! Soon Red Queen starts to develop its own identity. It has betrayal and politics and romance and supernatural elements that completely hooked me. The plot begins to pick up once Mare makes it to the Silver palace. She gets immersed into the scene and I begun to love the direction this book was heading in. Everything really comes together but shatters at the same time once you near the end and the plot just leaves you with you hand across your heart and your lungs desperate for air. The ending added a half star onto my rating just by itself! I was so happy that the plot really kicked on at the end because I wasn’t expecting it to. Very happy!
The characters. Okay, so Mare (could NOT get past the female horse name!) was overall a likeable character though at times she was a bit weak and whiny when it came to her situation. Like, your people are living in poverty, stop thinking about yourself. One thing I really liked about the author’s characterisation of Mare is in the way she portrays her to be really cunning and sly but in the end the reader realises she was a little naïve, completely changing the game. Signs of good writing! The love triangle initially annoyed me however I got over it especially towards the end (no spoilers) as relationships are tested and developed but also sprout from unlikely places. I ended up quite enjoying the romance. The male leads were very typical dystopian males (warriors, protective, caring) but this didn’t take away from their identity as they reveal their true colours over the course of the novel. Side characters such as Farley, Elana and Evangeline were special highlights as they were multi-dimensional and just very entertaining, conniving characters. I really enjoyed most characters in Red Queen.
The writing was probably where my main problems lay. Not that it was bad, because it wasn’t, just that it wasn’t very refined or special. And I know it’s unreasonable to want special writing every book but it didn’t spark something with me. The issue was that the author would write a sentence about Mare stepping into a grand hall but then wouldn’t describe it very well, just saying it was a mixture of marble and steel. If you’re going to write about grand places I want to know about their details! However the writing was easy to follow, well-paced and nice enough that it gave me a picture and kept me engrossed so I was overall quite content.
That is basically where my complaints stop because I absolutely adored the world. Obviously not the injustice and poverty but the uniqueness of it. People often complain about how it just seems mixed up and silly but isn’t that what fiction specifically fantasy is? I loved the mixture of ancient Rome/Greece and the technological era of the future. I thought it made for a very original world that was very well presented (maybe a map would have been good, but isn’t it always?) as we travelled through various districts or differential class systems and work systems. The Grey Lands, say what? This was probably my favourite part of the novel.
As I said, the more I think about this book the more I think I loved it. You think one thing is going to happen and suddenly it all comes crashing down, the ending left me desperate for book two. Does anyone know when it comes out?
Overall a highly enjoyable read that I would encourage everyone to form their own opinion about. A fantastic dystopian/fantasy world, great characters and a action-packed plot. Please give Red Queen a go.
I gave it:
(I know quite a high rating, but my issues with it were quite picky…)
So those are my thoughts on Red Queen, let me know if you’ve read it in the comments and what you thought of it. I am now, more than ever, interested in what people think of it.
Thank you so much for reading and I’ll talk to you in my next post.
Also, I’m not one to focus on the stats and numbers but I received a notification saying that I’ve reached 100 followers! I would just like to say thank you to everyone who supports my blog, comments, likes, just in general talks to me in the Blogoshpere. It’s been such a welcoming and warm-hearted introduction to the community and I absolutely love reading everyone’s posts so it means the world that people are doing the same for me, so once again thank you!!!