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 ...
“Words can lie. See beyond them.”
Like a lot of other people, I have very mixed feelings about this book. Standing alone, Red Queen isn’t a bad book, a pretty good one actually. But see, it doesn’t stand alone. Every new book I read, I automatically compare to every other book I have read because that’s how my mind judges books. And comparatively, this book seemed… unoriginal. Not because the plot wasn’t good but because so many books like this already exists. If you’ve read Pawn by Aimee Carter, Red Queen is basically that but with people with superpowers. Maybe mix a little of The Selection in there. It’s also being compared to Red Rising by Pierce Brown, which I haven’t read, but judging by the blurb it seems very similar to this book.
Red Queen combines a few popular tropes together. A Fantasy land with corrupt monarchs who don’t care about the lower classes. Lower class girl is somehow “special” and finds herself mingling with royalty and of-course falling in love with a guy from the upper class (in this case, the prince). And the inevitable rebellion in which, very conveniently, the girl becomes the face of.
Mare as a whole seemed bratty and selfish. The type of selfish who doesn’t realize she is selfish nonetheless. Characters like Katniss know they are selfish. Characters like Mare have no idea and then get upset at the world for not liking her.
She’s also rash when it comes to big decisions, which isn’t unlike a lot of YA main characters, but it’s her reactions that bothered me. She takes a huge risk and when all doesn’t go according to her plans, she’s all “*gasp* what have I done?!” (This is not a direct quotation). What in all of HADES did she expect?!
And don’t even get me started on the love triangle/square. I disliked all three guys. None of them are appealing and I felt no connection whatsoever. The only guy I felt a bit of sympathy for was Lucas (the security guard).
However, there are pros to the book. The description of the world was well done. You could clearly see the contrast between the lifestyles of the Reds and the Silvers. And I liked the end scenes. The ending is why I’ll continue this series.
Give it a try, you might enjoy it.
Something that kept bothering me is the fact that Mare is supposed to be this powerful Red who makes electricity but she never had any inclination of it before. She can suddenly feel electricity buzzing wherever she goes but where was that sense when she lived in the Red village? She mentions once that she wasn’t around electricity much but that doesn’t mean she was completely without it. And since she had the ability to create electricity, wouldn’t that mean she could just create some? (I know she did that one time when the lights were off at her house but that was just once in what? Seventeen years?) Shouldn’t she have at least figured out she wasn’t completely normal? Just doesn’t make any sense.