Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard: A Review

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Title: Red Queen

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Pages: 383

Amazon, Waterstones, Foyles

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 […] Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart . . .

On the surface Red Queen is yet another YA novel set in some idea of our future where the world has been overrun by some kind of awful regime. We know the drill, right? Wrong. This book was a game changer for me in the way I think of ‘revolutionary YA fiction.’ Unlike novels such as The Hunger Games, Red Queen takes on a different view. The protagonist does not lead some kind of peasant uprising – she is thrust into the limelight straight into the key family, who figurehead the corrupt establishment and oppressive regime, and is betrothed to one of the Princes. Mare becomes the face of all the bad the regime stands for and must play out her part in the revolution completely under the radar, with her own kind hating her for her seeming betrayal. I absolutely loved it.

It was so refreshing to be reading a novel that was just that much more unpredictable on account of the different character arc. It was gripping and action packed from start to finish. Victoria Aveyard really knows how to write a good action scene. I mean she REALLY knows. I find it hard to believe that this was her debut novel and it is pretty clear how we now have a whole series to enjoy.

The other thing that Victoria has mastered beyond compare is the art of a finale cliffhanger. I cannot stress this point enough. The ending of this novel was enough to provoke physical screaming and shock on a level paper shouldn’t be able to convey. Yes I sound dramatic but ‘holy crap’ is all I have to say on the matter. I am forever thankful that I came to this series late and had two more novels to crack on with straight afterwards. A gap of more than a year for book two would’ve ended me.

I found this book very easy to plough through. In fact, I really struggled to put it down. The plot twists and turns seemed never-ending and with every turn of the page there was a new shock or thrill to make you want to race through a few more chapters. This book is perfect for a book slump because once you start it there’s no way you’ll be able to put it down.

All in all this was a very, very pleasant surprise. I found myself absolutely loving it and praying for a film adaptation, rather than just enjoying it and moving on. Please, please, get a copy of this wonderful series and join the fun. You will not regret it.

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