March 10, 2015

Book Review: Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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I started reading this book with ‘blind eyes’. I did read the blurb mentioning something about ‘Graceling meets The Selection’, but really, I am not that much of YA-fantasy reader so I had no idea what kind of story those two references were about. Thus, I had no idea what would I let myself into with Red Queen. The amazing cover was my only hook. Then I read it and… it’s pretty much an enjoyable read but the story was not mindblowing or something. It was okay, I guess.

In the world where Mare Barrow has been living at, there were two types of people. Red blooded and Silver blooded. While the Silvers were all about the ‘betters’ ―really, better clothes, better foods, better wealth, better life― and powers, Reds were the description of poverty and desperation. All Silvers were gifted with superhuman abilities thus they were the ones who got to rule the whole country. Reds had no abilities and were born to serve the Silvers. 
Mare was Red. She spent her life living in Stilts, a poor village inhabited by Reds. Unlike her sister who actually had a skill that brought her to work on Summerton to Silvers, Mare was a pack of trouble. She had no skills, only those of stealing. She sure was not proud of that but really, she had nothing else that she could actually do. Just like the rest of Reds who didn’t have jobs, Mare would be sent to the war. It was unnerving even for Mare who practically had no fears toward anything. 

When her best-friend slash partner in crime, Kilorn lost his job and had to be sent to the war as well, Mare felt even more scared despite what she herself would face. Kilorn wasn’t supposed to be in the war, he was supposed to stay and have a proper job. Mare devoted herself to do anything to pull Kilorn away from the nightmare. One thing led to another when Mare found herself in a complicated circumstance that actually pulled her own self away from the village to serve the King. 
Mare was always the different one. At home, she was the black sheep among her own family. Among the Reds who served the King, Mare was more than just a Red. She was a Red with superhuman abilities and she was not even aware of that in the first place. In one night, her life changed completely from a Red servant to a Silver betrothed to one of the Princes. As she constantly had a mental suffer by living among the monsters that has been making Red people’s life like her miserable, Mare found more and more the contrast of the two bloods. When the brave Red ones decided to fight for their fates under the name Scarlet Guard, Mare realized that her position could be a perfect bridge to the Reds revolution. But whatever this Mare was in was far more dangerous than what she could imagine. Only one thought she had to hold on in this impossible world: anyone can betray anyone.

I was slow to grasp into the story since I also had to catch up with so many unfamiliar story-related terms. But once I got a hang of it, I actually pretty much enjoyed reading this. I had to admit that I was a bit surprised when I first read about the Red and Silver. Red is the poor, Red serves Silver, Silver has anything Red don’t have. Why? At the same time I happened to begin reading Red Rising by Pierce Brown as well. And I was like, “Uh oh, same idea eh?” In Red Rising, a ‘Red’ is also the poor one who’s ruled by another color people which was Gold, the cruel, life-crusher Gold. I haven’t finished Red Rising yet so I won’t say more, but some people actually said that these two books had a very similar vibe. I’ll find out later.

The characters here were kind of difficult to relate with. I felt like the relationship that was built among the characters was kind of… flat. I thought the Kilorn boy would make an amazing I-care-you-more-than-just-friend kind of hero so I kept waiting for his wonderful appearance but sadly it never came. And then others boys came, but none of them attracted me. I know I wasn’t supposed to always expect there’d be an amazing hero in every book that I read for me to love a book, but it is just sad that I actually couldn’t find anyone I could consider a hero here. Mare ended up being my only focus and the only character I liked. Despite her confusing feelings toward any boys around her, Mare was a very loyal Red who loved her family very much. I felt bad for the constant internal battle she had when she had to play pretend as a Silver.
I had to say that the idea of the story was actually good but I found lacking in some parts. I truthfully had no idea where the story would lead. I also had no idea what Ms. Aveyard would make the character Cal into on second book. He clearly had a heart of Silver despite the ‘good person’ vibe he sometimes showed. It was clear that his future character would be confusing. I also found several parts of the book were quite predictable so I didn’t really surprise when they happened.
Despite everything, Ms. Aveyard has a great writing style that kept me going and I would definitely read the next installment. For now, I’ll settle with 4 stars.

Love, read, and review,
Cynthia D.


  1. I really enjoyed this book, and I´m so excited to read the second one :D I´m following your blog, maybe you would like to follow mine thanks!

    1. Hello,

      Thanks for visiting! I'm thinking of reading the second book soon as well. Most of my friends said it's kind of epic...
      Anyway, I just added myself to your GFC list! You have a nice blog :)