Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard


Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publishing Date: February 10, 2015
Page Count: 383 pages
Summary: 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?

Red Queen is the debut novel by Victoria Aveyard, and what a debut it was. This was a story that seemed to be a mixture of fantasy and dystopian set in a world with heavy class differences, ones that quite literally had to do with blood and the genetic differences of the two class, the Reds and the Silvers. However, Mare Barrows seems to blow those differences out of the waters with a little twist. One that the Silver's are not too thrilled about. This book was quite an outstanding one to experience.

I'm a huge X-men fan, and I loved the use certain aspects of that world to create the one Aveyard has, and switching things up. It's as if Red Queen's world is the world Magneto would have created had he succeeded in his plans throughout the movies! That imbalance of power was so intriguing, especially with how the tables are turned. Neither side of the battle is all good, ultimately. Each are willing to do anything and everything to win more power, or any sense of power at all. Even the use of betrayal and the battle of who to trust, was fucking awesome. It definitely keeps you on the edge as you get further into the book.

Then there are the characters. Aveyard introduces Mare Barrow while she's at her most desperate, in need for any kind of way to get out of being forced into the army for a battle that makes no sense. She's already seen her father and brothers go through it and she's anything but patriotic to the war or her homeland. I enjoyed that she was a strong character, but also open in her own fears and vulnerabilities, and the way these fears cause her to make mistakes that lead to her working for the royal family.

Then there's the two princes, Cal and Maven. Oh boy these two sent me on a roller coaster of emotions just as we see Mare go through. I didn't know who to enjoy more, for different reasons. They were opposites, almost  yin and yang to each other, which was intriguing. I don't even want to get started on Maven, I would be writing endless amounts of gibberish. The Scarlet Guard was really interesting aspect of the book as well, especially in how they weren't presented as this group that were the perfect saviors, even with their heroic goals and their desperation to be free of the Silvers.

The book definitely had lots of interesting characters that played intricately into the book but there's also the mind blowing way the plot is used. There's so much in regards to politics being displayed in Red Queen, and I loved it just as much as everything else that was going on because there's a ruthlessness represented in almost every character when it comes to what they believed in. Then there were others with a lot more than just ruthlessness. Especially in the way of romance and just the how specifically it was used against Mare, in a way.

Overall, this was an amazing book. The mention of a twist on X-men made me instantly want to try it out and it did not disappoint. I was hooked from the moment Mare fell into that pit. I seriously cannot wait for the next book to be released but since it's set for 2016, I'll just have to!