Thursday, 5 March 2015

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Title: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard 
Publisher: Orion 
Buy this book: Amazon (US) / Amazon (UK) / Book Depository
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 had been one of my most anticipated reads of 2015, which I think might be the reason why I put off reading it for so long. I was almost certain that this was going to be a book that I would absolutely love, but there was still that tiny part of me that worried that maybe it would end up disappointing me. But then I started to see all of these glowing reviews and I felt much better about starting this book. So it was finally time to pick up this book and see what all the fuss was about. So did Red Queen turn out to be the amazing, mind-blowing read I was hoping for? 




There's absolutely no point beating around the bush, so lets just get straight to it - I was depressingly disappointed by Red Queen. I feel horrible for having to write that but it's true. I was really expecting something incredible from this book and instead I just got a story I've read a million times before, only they did it first and they did it better. It felt like it borrowed from so many other well known YA books that it made the book feel far too predictable and I found myself bored whilst reading it. I wanted to be unable to put this book down, and instead I found myself barely able to keep going.

Mare Barrow is a Red, in a world ruled by Silvers, and she either needs to have a job by eighteen or she must join the army. That right there just makes me think of Red Rising, a book where Reds are the lowest of the low and ruled by higher colours. Then I think of The Winner's Curse where people have to be married by eighteen or so, or they have to join the army. And the comparisons to other novels just kept coming. Now I know this is to be expected, I mean is there really even a 'unique' idea any more? But I feel like books can be similar to other books, whilst still providing that little something extra or new that sets it apart. That never happened for me with Red Queen, I found myself seeing far too similarities to other books and finding nothing special about this one that excited me or made me eager to continue the series.


I'm actually struggling to really explain why I'm so disappointed by this book. It's not only that it reminded me of other books, it's also that it felt rather boring. There was really only one part of this book that actually excited me, and that was the end, but by then it felt like too little too late. I didn't connect to any of the characters. Mare wasn't the strong heroine I was looking for, she was more the girl who gets sidetracked by thinking about guys. Then we have a love triangle between Mare and two princes, neither of which are very interesting and she lacks chemistry with both of them.

If there was one part of the book that did impress me then it was definitely the end. Some parts of it were a little predictable, but I really enjoyed the end. It contained all the action that I had been hoping to see throughout the rest of the book. If the rest of the book had read like the last few chapters then I would definitely have been continuing this series. As it stands, I'm just not invested in the story or the characters, and you can kind of already predict where the story is going.

2/5 Butterflies

There were definitely parts of the book that I enjoyed and the ending was really good and probably will keep a lot of people desperate to read book two. I really liked the different powers that the Silvers had, that did keep me interested in this book. But I felt the characters were lacking, I didn't connect to or care about any of them and that meant that I was never really invested in their story. It's not a terribly awful book by any stretch of the imagination, but I've just read far too many similar stories and they're ones I have enjoyed more. I'd recommend this more to people who haven't read a lot of the genre.



*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. 

32 comments:

  1. I've actually only been seeing bad reviews for this. Saying exactly what you thought about it. That it was boring and reminded people of other books without bringing anything fresh to the story. It's such a shame. I'll still be reading it because you never know how you're going to feel about a book, but I don't think it's one I'm going to rush out to get my hands on.

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    1. I just really did not like this one. I have seen so many amazingly positive reviews since and I just can't make sense of them. Loads of people loved the twist, but it just bugged me. I wasn't a fan at all and I definitely won't be continuing the series.

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  2. "Mare wasn't the strong heroine I was looking for, she was more the girl who gets sidetracked by thinking about guys."
    ^^^I agree with everything you wrote, this sentence especially. Red Queen brought nothing unique, only weak world-building and annoying heroine. Great review!

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    1. Thank you! I'm so sad it didn't live up to my expectations.

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  3. Oh bummer. Seeing mixed reviews on this one. It seems you either love it or hate it. I still plan to read it though since I bought a copy! LOL!

    It can be hard to want to compare a book with others, but we do need to realize one author isn't copying the other. The publishing business is weird. It can be tremendous slow too. Victoria could've written this the same time as those other novels, but perhaps those authors were having better luck at selling their book. That's always just something to keep in mind, I tell myself this often when reading books too. It's not about copying or sticking with a trend. The publishing world is just plain weird.

    But still, nice review! I haven't read any of those books you mention that this book is similar too. I've read a few fantasies though, so I do like the fantasy world on occasion. Though I thought I heard that this one is more dystopian than fantasy and all that!

    Okay, getting wordy and chatty here! LOL! Very nice review! I hope you enjoy your next read more!

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    1. I hope you enjoy it way more than I did, it just didn't work for me.

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    2. There is this amazing review on Goodreads that links here! It explains it all!

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  4. Aww I am so sorry that you were so disappointed in this. I was really hoping you would like it more.

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  5. I was really looking forward to reading Red Queen but I found it very predictable :(

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  6. I actually haven't seen that many shining reviews for this book, and it's a shame it let you down! I was also anticipating it a lot, but I am not sure I want to read it anymore. Too many people find it close to other books, and the idea of it being pretty boring and a dance between guys doesn't intrigue me at all. Oh well :/

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    1. I really wish I had loved this as much as others seemed to but it just didn't work for me at all.

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  7. I heard about this book ages ago and really wanted to read, but I hadn't realised I'd never actually read the blurb. When I read it here I immediately thought of Red Rising too. Actually, it's completely put me off reading this book.

    Soo having made that decision I read your review. Sad to see you didn't like it, but as I value your opinion highly at least now I know not to waste my time. Thanks for sharing. c:

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    1. I was expecting so much from this book because of all the amazing reviews, but it just didn't work for me.

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  8. YAY. I mean. Um. I'm sad for you. xD heh. It's just I really really didn't like this one either and I was really frustrated/confused because all the reviews swore up and down that it's so unique. It's like Red Rising mashed with The Selection. Pfft. And I didn't even feel Mare had a real personality (plus I read her name dyslexicly ooops and now keep referring to her as Bone Marrow instead of Mare Barrow. MY BAD.)
    Yep. Definitely not the unique dystopian I was hoping for. :( I almost give up on all dystopians now.

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    1. Gah I hated this!!!! I KEPT THINKING BONE MARROW TOOOOOO! At least I wasn't the only one. It was rubbish.... so forgettable.

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  9. So sorry you didn't like this one. I actually really enjoyed it, but my book memory sucks so I think that helps when books are similar to other ones. :) ~Pam

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    1. Glad you enjoyed this one, it just didn't work for me.

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  10. This is exactly what I felt about the book! I absolutely LOVED Red Rising, and coming into this one it just felt so bland and unoriginal in comparison.

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    1. It really just didn't bring anything original to the genre. I have absolutely no desire to get to the sequel.

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  11. /CRIES A RIVER! AWWWW But I totally understand! Super mixed reviews about this one! I hadn't read Red Rising yet, or anything resembling it, so I think this may be part of why I liked it so, so much! AND YES That ending was a shocker. We need more of that style of BAM in the next two! Lovely review, Charnell! x

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    1. I just could not enjoy it. That ending just didn't shock me as much as I'd hoped it would.

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  12. Oh my God THANK YOU. I am so glad to find some more folks who didn't go crazy over this book. I was starting to feel like a complete black sheep. You're right it was just so . . . eh. Like, I felt like I was just reading a collection of tropes I'd seen before and it wasn't even executed well and BLAH. I kind of put on my skim reading goggles toward the end :(

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    1. I am so pleased to find so many people who felt the exact same as me, this just did not work for me at all.

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  13. YES, finally someone who agrees with me as well! I gave it the same exact rating, I wasn't a fan of this novel - it's pretty ordinary and nothing special. I just felt it was a copy of everything I have read before - thank you for the honest review x Benish| Feminist Reflections

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    1. I'm happy to find so many others who felt the same way as I did, this was just a huge disappointment.

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  14. I agree I was expecting so much more

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  15. There is this amazing review on Goodreads that links here! It explains it all! Honestly, I really liked this book when it came out, but I was a different person then - pretty much gave every book 5 stars. 4 stars was RARE. And that was what Red Queen got! So proud of my year younger self, because I don't mean to be biased because of these reviews and such, but Red Queen is simply just not as good as so many people make it out to be!

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  16. I loved this book but I can defiantly see how you can think that.

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  17. I've been looking for reviews that also disliked the book bc I don't wanna feel alone, but I just think it's so so bad!!! I had such HIGH hopes for it bc of the hype but omg. I just hate it. I literally knew what was gunna happen all the time, I called the Plot Twist too, so obvious. I didn't finish the book (but I was really close) bc the characters are all SO BLAND and DULL. The main character tries to be both a heroine and a damsel in destress?? She's annoying, judgmental, rude, and unsympathetic. Then the characters just don't make sense to me... they don't act consistent in their supposed personalities, you know? And the plot has so many holes it's not even a plot of land anymore it's just a huge gaping crater in the ground. They don't even know why the war started??? And I'm pretty sure the king and queen would NOT make her into a princess to solve the problem??? That's stupid. Giving away their second son for nothing. Julian had no attachments to Mare to want to help her with the rebels... and the vocabulary is so dull and basic. All of the characters "laugh" and "smirk" so much that it doesn't even mean anything. In one sentence, Mare even says that Farley "almost laughed out loud" at Maven (the first time they all meet in the conservatory) and the next sentence she actually "laughed." Inconsistent even in grammar. I'm just overall terribly depressed at how disappointed I am bc I was so excited and I tried so hard to like it.

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