Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Publication Date: 10th February 2015

Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review

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 a deadly power 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?

There is a huge amount to love in this exciting new debut. Dystopian future where the colour of your blood segregates you? X-Men style powers and a whole lot of throw downs? Oh yes please.I thought this was a great debut, fast paced and full of brilliant ideas. There were a couple of stumbling blocks, but on the whole this was fantastic.

I loved Mare. She was a resourceful and determined and unfailingly brave. She has a few moments later in the novel where I wanted to shake her for not thinking things through, but on the whole she was a great heroine.
I also loved the boys. Thankfully this isn’t your typical love triangle (for reasons I won’t spoil here) so if the idea of the love triangle is putting you off, I highly advise trying the book anyway, you will be pleasantly surprised.

But most of all I loved the abilities, the range and breadth and how much they added to the story. Seriously, any type of abilities, be it X-Men or Graceling or anything inbetween, and I am sold. They were woven into the story brilliantly and added a whole other element of danger and intrigue. I would almost have liked to see them used more, but on the whole I think it was fantastic.

Some of the secondary characters could have done with a little more development, we weren’t really given enough time or space to get to know them so their actions sometimes felt a little forced whereas with a bit more development everything would have flowed much more smoothly.
But whilst I would have liked that, the pacing was really good with the right level of tension to keep you storming through the story.

However, three things stopped it from being a five star read for me. Firstly how obvious the ‘twists’ were. I spent the majority of the book waiting for both of them to happen, which took away a lot of the tension. I was still on the edge of my seat for most of it, but I knew what was coming and it became more of an ‘I told you so’ than an ‘oh my god I did not see that coming’ which was a shame.

The second thing was how incredibly near sighted Mare was. This plays into the first point, but I found it really frustrating when she was sneaking around getting up to hijinks and turning off the cameras as she went. Random patterns of blank spots are going to be easy to track where the person is going and who it is. It just pushed the limits of my gullibility trying to swallow that part. She should have been caught out by that right at the start, and instead she ended up feeling virtually invincible which just made me want to shake her.

And finally the fact that so much time was spent on the angsty teen plots and not really enough on the rebellion and the war. It felt like that was just a late addition to up the stakes on everything else, which was a shame and I’m hoping that will be rectified in the next book. The rebellion itself just felt a little bit weak. There was no rhyme or reason to it, just random sneaking around, not particularly well thought out plans and arbitrary attacks that anyone with a modicum of sense could see were just going to make the problem worse and not help in the slightest.

These things aside, Red Queen was a really fantastic read. Everytime I put it down I wanted to pick it straight back up again. It was engaging and fast paced and full of some brilliant ideas that work into a great debut novel and a promising start to the series. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm reading it right now, and really enjoying it so far :)