Book Review: “Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard

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Release: February 10, 2015
Pages: 320 [Goodreads]

Mare Barrow lives in a segregated world. There’s the “silver,” the ruling class of citizens that wield extraordinary powers, and the “red,” the powerless inferiors of the silver. Mare belongs to the latter. Born into poverty because of the color of her blood, she, like her family, like all reds, struggles to survive. There’s hardly enough food and even less job prospects. Without a talent or apprenticeship, reds are forcibly drafted into the army. Forced to fight in a war that has raged for countless years, being recruited means an eventual and agonizing death for most reds.

With three older brothers already drafted, Mare and her family rely on Mare’s little sister, Gisa. Gisa has a great talent for sewing, which grants her not only a stable job but also support for her family. Mare is not so lucky. Though she’s skilled when it comes to picking pockets, Mare doesn’t possess any type of lawfully marketable gifts. Mare knows it’s only a matter of time before she’s drafted.

In a desperate attempt to save herself and her best friend Kilorn, who is also going to be drafted, Mare conceives a plan to steal a large sum. With this large sum, a merchant has agreed to smuggle both Mare and Kilorn to safety. In a shocking turn of events, Mare fails, and Gisa ends up paying a vast price.

Devastated and beaten, Mare attempts to pick one last pocket before she’s taken from her home. Instead, and by chance, Mare meets a handsome and mysterious stranger named Cal. This initial meeting changes Mare’s life irrevocably.

I devoured Red Queen. It’s a dystopian through and through but a lot darker than most already on the market. I loved how silvers were considered “mutants” because of their abilities. There was a wide range of abilities such as healing, metal control, fire control, mind control, and more.

Mare turns out to be more than she originally seemed. She becomes a strong symbol that both the reds and silvers want to use and abuse.

You truly can’t trust anyone in this book because a lot of people want the throne, and they will do whatever it takes to get it. This book is all about deceit, lies, and using others for your own means. Mare is told by numerous others not to trust them because everyone lies, including Mare.

Red Queen focuses more on character development and world building rather than romance. This was nice because once the romantic elements started heating up, it didn’t feel forced; it felt organic and well worth it.

If you’re a fan of X-Men, Game of Thrones, and dystopians like The Selection, you’ll enjoy this book. It’s got elements of each, which then combine into a captivating read.

This book was pretty good! I would recommend adding it to your reading list.
This book was pretty good! I would recommend adding it to your reading list.

Thanks to HarperCollins for providing us with a copy in return for an honest review.