This is a book I read last year, got bored with, put down for months, then picked up and forced myself to finish. I wasn’t going to blog about it, but the sequel came out and a friend of mine read it and loved it…
Sooooo….. Yeah. I’m reading the sequel.
For the record, I think this book has an interesting premise and ideas, but has too many tropes and cliches to make it truly enjoyable.
But let’s get into it. *some spoilers ahead*
Red Queen is about a girl named Mare. She lives in a world where the ruling and upper class has silver blood which gives them special abilities (can control water, heal themselves, ETC.) The lower class, including Mare and her family, has red blood and and no special abilities. These people are very poor and oppressed by the upper class.
In this world, by the time a person turns eighteen, unless they are an apprentice to someone, they are sent off to war. Mare has three older brothers who had left for war and she’s unsure if they will return. Of course, very few come back. When Mare’s best friend Kilorn is about to get sent off to war, she and him try to find a way to save themselves.
Through a few twists and turns, she ends up working in the palace and then by complete shock, in front of the king and queen, reveals she has lightning powers of her own. Even though her blood is shockingly red. To cover this up, the king says she’s a “lost silver princess” and promises her to one of his sons.
When she was trying to save her friend, Mara met a woman named Farley, who’s a secret leader of the resistance. A group dedicated to taking down silvers. Now that Mare is part of the upper class, the group wants her to help take it down from the inside. This leads to problems when she meets the handsome prince’s and turns into a deadly game where her heart and her head are against each other.
First, what I liked about this.
Victoria Aveyard clearly put a thought of thought into the characters. There’s this kinda complicated backstory to the crown that was a bit hard to follow, but in the end made sense. She also had a lot of ideas and was really trying.
The novel is also well written (especially for a debut) and does have some promise.
The only downside is it’s stuffed to the brim with CLICHES.
First and foremost, Mare is a special snowflake. (Spoiler alert) Not only does she have silver powers as a red, which is unheard of, but she’s an super extra special snowflake!
She’s told he can create lightning, while the others (both of the Princes have fire powers) can not create fire, only manipulate it.
The sound you hear is me beating my head in with bricks.
Okay, I have to rant. I loathe special snowflakes. Really, really loathe them. Why? Because you’re going out of your way to tell us that your character is wonderful and special and amazing and should be on a pedestal.
Please authors of the world, STOP DOING THIS.
Let us decide if your character is wonderful and special. Let us decide this, don’t shove it down out throats!
Okay, I’m done.
Anyway, besides disliking the main character because she’s oh so special, There’s also a lot of other Tropes. The best-male-friend-since-we-were-kids-and-I’m-in-love-with. The love triangle between the two princes and the guy back home. The evil government that we know in the third book is going to be brought down.
She’s also a girl who has like zero female hobbies. That seems to be very common now a days. Girls are pretty much female by gender, but act like a boy. They hunt, they’re dirty, they hate any and all girly past times. When Mare is forced to wear makeup and pretty clothes, she hates it on the spot.
Everything I just mentioned has become so common, I see it coming a mile away. This whole thing feels like a mix of the X-men, Hunger Games, and The Selection. It doesn’t feel very original.
The characters don’t even feel very original. Mare is stubborn…. and that’s really all I can say about her. She takes care of her family and isn’t girly and such… Yeah.
To top it off, I felt like this book was too long. I got bored about 3/4 of the way through and had to push myself to keep going. I’m reading the sequel and I’m barely 1/3 in and I’m bored already! I really feel like she needed a strong editor who chopped 10k out of each book and kept the plot moving. Cuz it just… slinks along.
I will say, there’s a good plot twist at the end that was surprising and moved the story in a different direction. But it wasn’t enough to save this book.
I give it 4.3 out of ten. Because I do feel like this author was trying. It just… wasn’t enough.
You know what would of interested me? In the beginning, Mare and her friend Kilorn are trying being sent to the war, which leads to her working at the palace. I wish the author had stayed on that plot point and not gone with her being a red-with-silver-power. I was enjoying the story at that point. It had stakes and was exciting.
What do you think? Am I too rough?