Review | Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

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Goodreads synopsis: 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?
Published by: Orion on February 10 2015
Format: ARC

RATING: ★★★✰

“In school, we learned about the world before ours, about the angels and gods that lived in the sky, ruling the earth with kind and loving hands. Some say those are just stories, but I don’t believe that. The gods rule us still. They have come down from the stars. And they are no longer kind.”

In a world where the colour of your blood determines your status in the world, Mare is a thief, trying to survive in a world of inequality and injustice. And, although she does not know it, a short meeting with a stranger who takes pity on her will thrust her into a world of deception, secrecy and betrayal. [...]

There are several elements from many other popular YA sagas all wrapped up in this book. It's not entirely the most original of concepts, nevertheless, I put this book down and found myself liking it. Although the beginning is a little bit slow and possibly a little boring, it rapidly picks up pace at the 50% mark. From there on, my heart was pounding almost nonstop until the end of the book, not only with the dread of what may come, but also with excitement. So much happens in the last section of the book that I felt slightly left behind and shellshocked by the events that take place.

The world building was interesting, and I really hope we get more information about it, because I feel like there's so much more to see from it. It's an interesting premise, but I feel like the character relationships were given too much focus, instead of the actual rebellion and world building and history.

Aveyard manages to write many relateable characters that I ended up admiring. Not loving, because there are some pretty twisted characters, but admiring them for their respective strengths. Okay, so there are some way overdone cliches, like the bitchy mean girl who hates our innocent heroine for no reason at all and though this annoyed me, I was kind of preoccupied with certain things that happened with other characters to really be overly bothered by it.

Mare wasn't an exceptional heroine, but I liked her character growth. She is another standard YA trope of being the "chosen one", but she grows in a way we don't usually see in other books. I really appreciated that. She has an inner strength that allows her to play the game with the best of her abilities and even though she's stupidly headstrong, sometimes selfish  and naive, she still learns from her mistakes and becomes a better person.

My favourite characters were Cal and Maven. Both of them are flawed for different reasons and different extents, I love the whole brother thing they have going on, and I'm a sucker for one being in the other's shadow (Winchesters, anyone??). What I didn't see at all was the character revelations we see from the both of them. It's a complicated sort of love triangle, which I won't expand upon, but I liked Mare's resolution at the end.

This book had the potential to be a lot better than it was and it was let down by many aspects which I hope the author will improve on for the sequels, because despite everything, I will read them without a doubt; I'm so invested in the characters and the story that I cannot wait to find out where the road will take them next. The ending of this book had me sitting in shock for a minute or two, not quite believing that I'd have to wait to find out what happens.


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