Review | Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

“The truth is what I make it. I could set this world on fire and call it rain.”

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This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart …

Lucas was the best character. Just saying.

love jennifer lawrence i love you love you love ya

I have very mixed feelings about this book. It was a huge what if. The fangirl side of me is screaming, “Oh my gosh, this book is so freaking good! Cal was so hot! AHHHHH!” and the more practical side of me saying, “Sheesh, Mare was annoying, the plot twist was predictable, and talk about a deus ex machina.” This book wasn’t spectacular, but…I couldn’t put it down. I flew through it in two days. Why the 3 stars then? To be perfectly honest, I’m not entirely sure. I feel like this book could have been amazing. It just fell flat. Mare was hopelessly irritating, I didn’t really like either of the male leads, and the romance was annoying most of the time. But, the concept and world building was awesome. I’m a huge fan of dystopias (when done right) and X-men, so naturally, I fell in love with the world immediately.

Ah, the world building! The world was incredibly intricate and engaging. Aveyard was able to construct a very vivid setting, while not using excessive detail and shoving pointless information down my throat. *high five* There were a few instances when the writing annoyed me, but for the majority of the time, I enjoyed it. 🙂

I found one of the major points of the plot irrational. They expect her to pass as a silver and not bleed her red blood, ever? Ever? EVER!? Yet, they allow her to attend combat training!? Nooooooooooothing  can possibly go wrong! Great idea. You deserve a medal. *slow claps*

Mare. Firstly, what kind of a name is that? Who would name their daughter “horse”!? For some reason her name reminded me of Aza from Magonia, but at least that name had an explanation to it. Anyway, (like her name) I wasn’t a fan of her. She confused me. (Proceed to Spoilers section for examples. It’s like one minute she’s an assassin, and the next, she’s a whiny little five-year-old!

I have a lot to say about the romance in the book and I need to get it off my chest. For starters, it didn’t annoy me nearly as much as I thought it would. It was still annoying, but I’ve seen worse. As I’m sure most of you know, I hate love triangles with a passion, and this book has a square! Ugh…

*narrows eyes*

Quite similar to An Ember in the Ashes, it’s really just a triangle with that awkward third love interest who doesn’t appear much in the book.

Kilorn – The Best Friend  

Yes, that one character who has been infatuated with our heroine since day one, but she only loves him as a brother. They’ve been mates for like 7 years, and he’s basically a wannabe Gale (but in a bad way). Wasn’t a fan of him. Sorry!

Cal – The Mysterious, Dark, Emo Guy

So, he’s that one guy who’s supposed to be drop-dead gorgeous always brooding and sulking about, and our heroine can’t get him off her mind. She hates him, but love him at the same time, and he’s so mysterious, blah, blah, blah, etc. I would’ve liked Cal if he wasn’t so cliche.

Maven – The Pretty Boy

You know exactly what I’m talking about. The Pretty Boy! That insanely sweet, selfless, and overly caring love interest that our dear protagonist loves so so so much. Could it get any more cliche? Annnnnnnnnnnnd, he’s Cal’s brother. *sigh* There’s something wrong with messing with brothers’ emotions. -_-

Spoilers!!!

This is the part where I talk about why Mare annoyed the heck out of me…

If all goes to plan, he’ll never hug his sister again.
Evangeline will have lost a brother, just like me. Even though I know that pain firsthand, I can’t bring myself to feel sorry for her. Especially not with the way she holds on to Cal.”

She is justifying murdering Evangeline’s brother, because she’s jealous! Jealous that Evangeline’s holding onto her betrothed! Uh huh. That makes just about as much sense as Mare comparing herself to make-up, and saying that she’s not as strong as it! What does that even mean!? You don’t think you’re as strong as powder??? WHAT!?

And don’t even get me started on how she gets ticked off at Cal, the PRINCE, for studying war tactics! His country is at freaking war! What did you expect him to have in his room? A tea party set!?

Or how about when Mare’s first thought after Maven betrays them, is Maven betrayed me. No, let’s not talk to Cal about how his stepmother killed his mother, or how she force him to decapitate his father with his own sword minutes ago. It’s all about Mare, Mare, and Mare.

*narrows eyes again*

Ugh, I’m done with her.

So, I feel a little like an idiot, because I didn’t call the plot twist in the end, even though it was the most obvious thing in the world. *sheepish look* I wasn’t surprised that Maven turned out to be evil, but I didn’t necessarily see it coming.

Final Thoughts

Would I recommend this book? Despite all its (many) flaws, I would. I can definitely see why a lot of people loved this book. The world-building was outstanding, plot engaging, and was overall an entertaining read.

Have you read Red Queen? What are your thoughts?

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13 thoughts on “Review | Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

  1. I’ve just read the sequel, Glass Sword, which I think is better than Red Queen. The world-building is even better in GS as more of it is explored rather than focusing in on location like it is in RQ. Mare is a bit annoying, but I think Aveyard has gone for an outsider whose internal monologue and decision-making is real, selfish and childish. Hopefully she progresses throughout the series!
    Red Queen is very much in the same vein as every other YA fantasy novel I have read: love triangles, social commentary, conflict, etc.
    Hope you enjoy Glass Sword more than Re Queen (if you read it!) 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes to all of this! Mare is so annoying and self-centered. ugh. Like you, I finished RQ in a matter of days. It was a page-turner for sure. Having said that, it didn’t evoke any emotion in me so… yeah. Might or might not read GS. I’ve heard that Mare is even more annoying in that book. lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh! I totally saw the ending coming. Psh! It was written MILES away, but I’m not judging you for not seeing it. We all see plot twists differently. ^.^

    And THANK YOU KELLY! My freaking goodness was Mare annoying. She literally killed the whole book. If we took her out and put in an actual person with dimensions and not massive bi-polarism, the book likely wouldn’t have been half-bad. Okay, and maybe the love triangle, square, trapazoid thing. That was just too cliche for me. But really though. Mare was the worst-written character I’ve seen in some time in YA. Destroyed the book in my opinion. I would not recommend this book because of her. *sigh*

    Liked by 1 person

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