Book Review: “Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard

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I had read a lot of positive reviews on this debut novel and was really looking forward to reading it. To a fault maybe, my expectations were raised by the hype.

I will tell you the truth about how I feel about it. It started with a bang, but in my opinion did not quite deliver.

redqueenAnyone who will read this book will have this strange feeling of reading “Xmen” meets “Selection” (the latter by Kiera Cass). This in itself is quite an original setting and sets out the mood for an interesting read.

The main flaw in the novel for me, resides with Mare Barrow, the main character. She first comes across as a strong female figure, victim of her circumstances and living in a world where her freedoms are curtailed by a government who sees itself as almighty. A government whose claim to power is solely based on the following stance: Silver blood people are gifted with extraordinary abilities whereas the red blood population is not and therefore is designed to serve.

Mare sees no other choice but becoming an expert thief to support her loved ones.

Everything changes when she is summoned to work for the royal family and in an extraordinary turn of event, we see her, a Red, coming into her powers. She is now bestowed with the ability to generate and control electricity.

The problem is, in my view, this gift had a flip side! Mare suddenly became stupid and naïve.

This development in Mare’s character and personality is in total contrast with the strong young woman we are first introduced to. She basically gains new powers, falls in love (one minute with one brother and with the other the next) and has a dubious moral compass which stretches from committing petty theft to justifying terrorism. I will give you that she was only following the crowd and was led by her crush on the younger Prince. But that is exactly my point, she completely loses her wits.

The novel itself is written in a fast pace and this will keep you turning the pages, however if you are anything like me you will quickly guess the events about to unfold.

On a positive note, I do think the concept is original and daring and has a lot to offer and I am looking forward to seeing the story develop in the upcoming instalments.

Please do not let my review stop you from picking up this read. You may just have a different view.




9 Comments Add yours

  1. I have ben curious about this book as before I heard about it I review a book THE RED QUEEN’S RUN by Bourne Morris which throughly enjoyed. It occurs in Northwesten Nevada and is about universities politics.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. barefootjon says:

    Interesting. I like that you don’t give the MC any leeway for making stupid decisions like that. That does seem like kind of poor writing. Interesting concept for a book though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I could not get over the fact that a young girl gaining powers would be weakened in that manner. I am not sure the author intended this.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. barefootjon says:

      Yeah probably not. Probably wanted to focus on conflict and what not which had that effect.


  3. I had only become aware of this book from your site, while you were reading it. Your review helps me to see where I’d become let down because it perpetuates the unfortunate course that many books, and even movies take with strong female leads, and too easily and quickly moves in to portray the protagonist as suddenly fallible, as if matters of the heart and our very physiology disallows us to conquer these challenges. Perhaps I’m being too pessimistic about the ability of not only writers, but our society to allow women to be equally able to conquer such trials.

    I appreciate your honesty. It certainly allows me to decide more easily if I want to spend the money and my time on a read which might leave me disappointed, yet again.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kate Sparkes says:

    Glad I found this! There’s been so much hype over this book (that gorgeous cover is EVERYWHERE on Instagram and Twitter), but I haven’t actually seen many reviews of any kind. It’s all just been OMG HYPE EXCITEMENT, but no one seems to know why.

    I’m still debating whether to pick it up. It does sound like a cool concept (I didn’t even know what the story was about, because the hype machine doesn’t talk about minor things like that). Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If I were you I would still read it. I guess from an author’s perspective it is good research.
      I have not idea as to whether or not she read my review and if she has, I really hope she was not offended.
      As an author she is on a journey and I guess she could take it as an opportunity to grow. I will definitely read her next novel when it is out to see if she has progressed.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Kate Sparkes says:

      I’d say there are a TON of reviews by now, I’m just not seeing them. And yours isn’t a bad review by any means. Not everyone will love every book or every character’s development (as I keep telling myself…) 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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