|Title: Red Queen
Series: Red Queen #1
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Published: February 10, 2015 by HarperTeen
(Amazon / Goodreads)
Synopsis: Graceling meets The Selection in debut novelist Victoria Aveyard's sweeping tale of seventeen-year-old Mare, a common girl whose once-latent magical power draws her into the dangerous intrigue of the king's palace. Will her power save her or condemn her?
Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood—those with common, Red blood serve the Silver- blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.
To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play 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 everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard—a growing Red rebellion—even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.
**** I received an advance copy of this book from an On the Same Page ARC tour.This fact has not changed my opinion of the book. ****
Red Queen is the kind of book that finished so strong I almost forgave it for having a rather slow beginning. There is so much hype surrounding this one and I was really excited to read it. Maybe the hype monster got the best of me but I wasn't as blown away as I thought I would be. It had some great parts but on the whole it just felt like every other YA Fantasy that seems to be flooding the market these days (I'm not complaining, YA Fantasies are my kryptonite).
One of the enjoyable things about this book was the fast-paced plot. Red Queen was full of action and adventure. I usually love books like this that are full of exciting action but here it didn't quite work for me. At times, especially in the beginning, it almost felt too much and too fast-paced. I felt as if at the start of the book, a lot was happening but it was all exposition. It was moving from moment to moment too quickly. It was like things were in fast forward, moving too fast to even register how important they were. For me, throughout most of the book the pacing was like a roller coaster. It would built to something and then come down, build up again then crash down.While I liked the action-packed nature of the plot, the too quick pacing made it a little difficult for much of what happened to register for me while reading.
But I think because this is the first book in a new series it had to have a lot of exposition, it had to set up everything, and I get that. You need to build the world. But despite all that setup I felt like the world wasn't completely formed. I'm not sure if it was going for a less is more kind of thing, but it wasn't quite enough for me. Or maybe I wanted more world-building because I found the world and the magical system really fascinating. All the powers that the characters possessed were very cool and any time someone used them it was amazing. Victoria Aveyard's writing was incredibly visual and I could picture each of the character's individual powers. But the fact that I didn't really learn enough about this world, I found myself comparing it to other worlds and magical systems that I did know a lot about, making it come off as slightly predictable. It felt like your average YA Fantasy to me.
Or maybe I liked that ending so much because those last 100 pages were when the political intrigue kicked in. Oh man, this book was full of political intrigue. So much of this world was built on this foundation of oppression and hierarchy. From a revolution that's been brewing, to Mare's position caught between the two worlds, it had a very dystopian feel. And when this part of the story started heating up, that's when I found myself most intrigued and entertained. And that dystopian feel was another thing about the world that I wish was explored a little bit more.
But this is only the start of the series. Despite a lot of criticism I did enjoy the read and am interested in how things develop. If you've been a follower of My Thoughts Literally for awhile you may know that I have a tumultuous relationship with first books. It's rare for me to love them so I avoid passing judgment on a series until I read the second book. This is just another example of my feeling of First Book Syndrome. Good but not mind-blowing. Lots of really great things but with a few things that didn't quite work for me.
I give Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard 8 out of 10
Have you read Read Queen? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!