Publication: February 10, 2015, by HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Dystopia, Romance, Fantasy
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...
Have you ever tried to classify a book as vicious? What about overwhelming, but in a good way? Victoria Aveyard's truly acclaimed and popular Red Queen does fit itself under those two adjectives and words, and it's one of the only sole books that I have found that is like it. No, it's not a retelling of some sort and do not expect "Alice in Wonderland." This is something of its own kind, a start of a racing trilogy that I just can't wait to continue reading. It really was a magical story that was so kick-ass and interesting that I can't get myself together. Reading this is like drinking a Shirley Temple—sweet, fizzy with all of the feels, but raging after you've finished it because the author just knows how to keep her readers entertained, even after Mare's story is done for a little while.
Are you wondering if the hype is real, or if there's too much hype for what this story is worth? I can answer yes to both questions. People are going mad for this series, and I can see why, but it's not like I cannot go on without The Glass Sword. Plus, I know that it's going to be released soon because, well, duh, ARCs are out and so is the cover/summary. I didn't even read the summary yet because I don't even know what the story is going to contain and I'll just get fed up with it all. This story really is vicious, fierce but crazy in a matter of practically four hundred pages. It's a wild ride, that's for sure.
Here Are Five Reasons Why Red Queen Will Appeal to You:
1) It's one of a kind: I can tell you that you won't find yourself on the street, or at a bookstore and could pick up another book like this. It's written in a different style that gives every reader a different experience. Some readers may find this absolute dystopian, while others won't and could question the real message that Aveyard has behind the scenes. It's not everyday when we're stuck with a character like Mare (who I'll get more into below), but I promise you that it is different and that's why the hype is going around. The general public wants a refresher, a new read that is for all ages and that could appeal to any teenager, even if you're not a fan of reading.
2) Mare is simply so kick-butt and I adore her: For once in a high fantasy novel, we're not stuck with a crew of characters who think they're better than everyone else. Mare has qualities that remind me of Katniss (do I even have to state what book she's from?) and Tris, from Divergent. A little bit of Celaena from Throne of Glass, too. But Mare is her own person who just wants to make her family happy and proud, and she'd take those sacrifices without thinking about the consequences. I loved her from the start, and her character kept on developing into the point where I just wanted to be her best friend. Now that's something I really do call attachment.
"You believe you are the masters of the world, but your reign as kings and gods is at an end. Until you recognize us as human, as equal, the fight will be at your door. Not on a battlefield but in your cities. In your streets. In your homes. You don't see us, and so we are everywhere. [...] And we will rise up, Red as the dawn." (36)
Okay, so I know that Mare didn't say this (Farley did), but yay for women. Aveyard's villains of the novel aren't the terrorist group known as the Scarlet Guard, but the kings and queens of the Silvers, and the wonderful woman who gave that speech was totally rebellious. I LOVE IT.
3) The plot is just... enjoyable: This novel is just all fast-paced within and you can't stop reading. The messages that lie behind the actual story are there for readers to discover, and if you don't discover them, then you really didn't enjoy the story. I think that there's something for everyone all in the bundle of awesomeness that Aveyard handed us in February. I just wish that I would have given this the chance earlier, to feel like I read this as a hipster, before the hype went out. Is it just me or a movie is coming out, too? This would be utter fabulous if it did.
4) ROMANCEEEEEEE OF COURSE: So since we all know by the title that this focuses on some kind of royalty and fantasy, there has to be a romance. Mare is like Maas' Celaena, who doesn't understand her feelings at first but then realizes that there is some kind of attraction. Although there kind of was some sort of a love triangle at points, since Mare cared for a lot of people, it was pure. It was real. No instant romance that made our kickass character fall head over heels for some weird guy who is basically the opposite of her. This was great.
5) The world building, because who could forget that?: The story focused on a variety of things that Aveyard's fictional world was built on—like some kind of racism between different types of blood and people: Red and Silver. There was war, action, but of course those slow moments that made you ponder about what it's like to have so much power and how one could go out of control with their emotions. I LOVED JULIAN BY THE WAY. HE'S ADORABLE, AS WELL AS CAL. Agh, the characters are fab in general.
As this novel may seem light and cheery to you, it is dark and gloomy. I just picture the dark grey skies of this interesting world that Victoria Aveyard imagines through Mare's eyes. Red Queen is powerful, and I bet that it'll end up on the favourites-of-2015 lists of many, many people, bloggers, reviewers, or not. It doesn't matter what age you are to fall in love with something this enchanting, because it just somehow automatically occurs. Nothing petty about this all, it's more like royalty in the YA world today.