Series: Red Queen #1
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dystopian
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.
Well, that was pretty underwhelming, and a little bit confusing. I think it mostly had to do with me not really getting a grasp on the world that Aveyard was trying to build. I hear of kings and queens and superpowers, and I think that it’s magic and my mind clicks to a fantasy setting like Game of Thrones. But then we have all this crazy technology and weapons and it seems like another futuristic dystopian title. And it made me think more of like… The Hunger Games or something with a similar level of technology.
“But Ana,” you say. “Other books also had kings and queens AND technology!”
Yeah, but I just couldn’t really grasp this world in the book. Basically, I wasn’t feeling the world-building in this book. Which is too bad because I normally really love seeing the technology in books. I guess I wasn’t really feeling it because I don’t think it added something new or unique to the many “dystopian world, lower-class MC thrust into the high-class world, CLASSISM” dystopian stories out there.
As for the characters? Oh, I liked Mare. I definitely liked her because of her commitment to protect the people she loves. The others? I only liked some of them. And I won’t talk about them because spoilers would happen. I kept getting the supporting characters mixed up to be honest. I thought the villains were super cool and devious. But aside from that? A resounding “meh.”
Overall: That resounding “meh” pretty much sums up how I feel about this book. While it had some really great twists that I liked, it just didn’t really grab me. The world-building was okay, but not much that was super unique or new. That’s what I think about the entire thing really: good, but not outstanding. Pretty cover though.