Red Queen

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)By Victoria Aveyard
My rating: ★★★★☆
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It’s been awhile since I read a book that wasn’t for review or for my blog. Not saying that I don’t enjoy reading to for review, but sometimes you just got to read a book for no other reason then for yourself. And that is what I did for Red Queen.

Going into this book, I didn’t read any reviews, I went in with a open mind because too many times I have read a highly rated book, only to be let down (I’m looking at you Zodiac.) I’ll start with saying that I wasn’t as let down as I first thought. The key word here is as.

I’m split, the first half of this book was a big info dump. Don’t get me wrong, the world building and character development was above anything I have read this year. I was just thrown back by the lack of, well, excitement. The mystery of the Red and Silver blood is what kept me reading; because in truth, Mare, well she wasn’t all that enjoyable to read about.

Well if she wasn’t a walking cliché at the start, then I need to go back under my rock. -eye roll-

She was like any other female YA lead, she even had the madly in love childhood friend that followed her around like a lost puppy. What else do we have? -throws up hands Oh I can’t forget the prince, or princes. I’m really starting to dislike princes as the main male lead. Why does it have to be a prince? It’s overused, not saying you can’t have a prince it’s just, way does he have to be the main love interest? And why is his true love always of lower class? This overused method transforms the whole story into this weird Romeo and Juliet / forbidden love troupe that makes me not want to bash my head into a wall.

Sure there was some action at the start, the First Friday was quite the interesting concept, considering it was the Silver’s that were fighting one another. And it was a excellent way to introduce the higher race and let us readers get a good clear idea about what the Silvers are and what they can do. But, to me it was all the stuff going on in-between the action that was, boring.

I didn’t get excited about this book until after Mare fell to her "death" and was swept up into the Silver world. But even then, my heart wasn’t truly into it until after her "prince" betrayed her, which was about 70% into the book.

Everything after the big plot twist, (if you pay close attention then it wasn’t that big) the reading was spectacular.

It wasn’t Mare that got my blood going, it was Cal and the the horror he had to face. The poor fucker was in the dark for most of the book, and my heart went out to him when he not only got kicked in the balls not once, but three times. Holy crap, I didn't know what to feel after that last kick.

I kept wondering after I had finished the story, what this read would have been like if it had been written in Cal's POV; or better yet, if the story had split POV's. I get shivers just thinking about it.

Cal was the true star of this book and I'm not one to like the male leads. I normally hate them. But Cal, he’s loyal to his crown, knows compassion, and I believe if he would have been king, and not backhanded in the most brutal of ways, then things over time might have changed.

Mare, oh Mare, I really wanted to like you, but I’m half and half. At times you’re such an idiot but other times you’re a fucken rocket scientist. As I have said to one of my good friends, (in a joking way of course) " It's a good thing your cute because you're fucking stupid".

Mare was drab, sulky and was spouting too much teenage angst for my liking. Even the times she tried to be funny or witty fell short and I just wanted to punch her in the face. Over the course of the story she did improve and, she did find a backbone somewhere in that worn out body of hers. But it was a little to late, and did fuck all for the outcome. For her, it was the last of the book, right at that life or death situation were I started to see the great character she should have been.

It was when she finally stopped puttering herself down and started acting like a rebel, that I felt I could invest some emotion on her. Reading the ending I kept thinking, where the hell where you 50 pages ago.

I get it, she had to play the game, but damn it, she could have at least made it interesting. Being in the military I know what it is to play the game, I do it everyday, but by god, I’m no push over and I know how to play the game right back. I guess that's what I was waiting for. I wanted her to take the rules and use them to her advantage. To play the little Silver’s game right back. As a main character she fell short for me, don’t get me wrong, I do have some attachment for her, just not what I wold have like to this kind of story.

I know I have spent most of this review ripping Red Queen a new one, but I didn’t give it a 4 stars for nothing.

As I said, the world building and description was outstanding. Victoria Aveyard has a beautiful gift and ability to bring a world of total fabrication to life. She knew when to introduce back information and when when to dabble into a characters back story. She never lingered too long, nor did she repeat herself. This is a great world of art and deserves to be talked about.

The dynamic why she has separated the Red and Silver people is fascinating. It’s more then just being dominated and suppressed, it’s a very real notion that we are still facing today. One group is different then the other, one group is stronger, the other weaker. We all know this, we all still see it today. The book is so much more then the silly teen girl and her high school crush. And it is that notion, that reality, what makes this book not only good, but it makes it stand out, different and a must read for everyone.

In all I highly recommend this book. Though it started out like a cookie cutter YA, it soon turned into a original piece of art, depicting the human need to classify our follow humans base of blood, colour, income and race. This is the extreme come to life, and a look into what might had happened if no one took a stand.

Happy Reading

-E.A. Walsh

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