Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Book Review: Red Queen By: Victoria Aveyard

"They've pulled me inside out, swapping Mare for Mareena, a thief for a crown, rags for silk, Red for Silver. This morning I was a servant, tonight I'm a princess."

Book Title: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Amount of Pages: 383
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: February 10, 2015
Geared Towards: Teens
From: Library Summer Reading Program
Extra Book: First book in the Red Queen series

Summary (From the Back of the Book): 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 a twist of fate leads her to the royal palace itself where, in front of the king and all of his nobles, she discovers 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, her actions put into motion a deadly and violent dance, pitting prince against prince and Mare against her own heart.

Wdebo's Review: I wasn't quite sure what this book was about when I first picked it up but I saw the high Goodreads ratings and knew I should check it out. The story sucked me in from the very beginning and wouldn't let go until the twist at the end. After putting it down, I cannot wait to pick up the second book!

The novel was very well written and paced in a way in which important details were introduced at the right moment so the story never felt interrupted in order to catch readers up to speed. Additionally, I was impressed by how well built the world was. There were lots of good details added in and the environment was also manipulated efficiently which made this story a very fun read. My main complaint with the story was that even though I found the world to be well produced, there were parts of the story that were just too similar to other pop culture references. For example many of the characters and driving forces were akin to Game of Thrones including a very Joffrey character. Additionally, the main character was similar to many dystopian character found ubiquitously in the genre from Katniss to America of The Selection. Mare was written as the stereotypical headstrong girl from the depths of the slum who captures the heart of the haves she finds herself dropped into and the have-not back at home with that "special" sparkle of hers.

Speaking of characters, though Mare is similar to many other characters before her, I still really enjoyed reading her journey through the story. She interacted well with many characters in the novel and I really liked how the author was able to seamlessly introduce so many different characters as the story continued on. However, I really wish that there could have been a strong friendship bond instead of romance between any male character. Additionally, as stated before, there were characters that seemed to be like tropes found in other novels of the same genre and it would have been better if they could have had more depth added to them and given an even more colorful story.

Cafe Cover Chit Chat: I really like the crown dripping in dark crimson blood, but I feel like the background was too simple. I understand why they wanted to make it that simple, so that they could bring more attention to the crown, but it would have been nice if there was a little bit more pizzaz going on in back. (B+) 

All in all, though some aspects of the story seem quite cliched and trope-like, the story as a whole was very enjoyable and a great way to immerse yourself into a new world that you will be clamoring to know more about as you breathlessly read till the last page.

Grade: A-

Wdebo :)

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