“Rise, Red as the Dawn.”
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Publication: February 10th 2015 by HarperTeen
Rating – 3.5/5
Red Queen was definitely the most highly talked about novel within the book community. It has gotten great reviews as well as the honor of being New York Times Bestseller. Unfortunately for me, it did not live up to the hype it has been receiving. I honestly have mixed emotions about this book. I don’t think it was horrible at all, but it wasn’t MINDBLOWING as some readers had claimed it would be. I would still recommend this to a friend because I did find some aspects which deserved appreciation.
Usually most YA novels fall into one category such as Contemporary, Science Fiction, Romance, etc. Victoria did something different with this book and incorporated elements of high fantasy, dystopia, superpowers, politics and romance to create a rich and fabulous world which is so different from any other YA novels I have read. It was done with a perfect balance to be believable and intriguing. So if there is one positive aspect of this book it has to be this setting. Secondly the writing was beautiful. I could honestly read her writing for days without getting bored for one second. The world was explained so well and everything flowed cohesively together. There wasn’t one time where I got lost or confused. If anything, the writing style was what kept me glued to the book.
Within Red Queen, the world is divided by two groups: The Reds and Silvers who are defined by the color of their blood. The Reds are the local groups/middle-low class who are the normal of the two groups while the Silvers are the high class who carry various super powers. Our main character is Mare Barrow and she is a Red with a peculiar ability – she can control electricity. For a Red to have some sort of super power is completely unheard of so in an attempt to cover all this up, the King brings Mare into the Palace and has her pose as a lost Silver Princess and even betroths her to one of his sons, Prince Maven. But this is an opportunity for Mare – A bargain for the well-being of her family and people she was trying to support all her life and therefore, she accepts. From this point onward, Mare’s life just gets more hectic in all types of ways. She is caught between the love of two princes, Cal and Maven, she faces dangerous rivals but most importantly, she learns more about her peculiar ability and discovers she may be the key to the Revolution against the Silvers. Does this plotline seem similar to other YA novels? Yes, kind of, but again, it is the writing, setting and characters which kept me reading.
Mare – She is definitely a bold, strong character and speaks when she has to. I did enjoy reading about Mare in this book since she has both strong qualities along with some insecurities as well. She feels as if she is not doing much to help her finally so when she finally gets a chance to with the help of the King, she agrees despite having to be living with the Silvers, whom she hates.
Cal – Strong, Courageous and a Soldier; Cal is one of the two Princes of the Kingdom and he is more skilled in combat as opposed to general tactics in politics. He also has a deep appreciation for his father and his family and this is what makes him very admirable as a character. Not to mention, swoon worthy – ERMAGAWD
Maven – Has the qualities of the typical Prince, insecurities as a son, meticulous; Maven is Cal’s step brother and they generally do have a good relationship with one another. It’s interesting that Cal can point out whether or not Maven can win duels in training with his super powers by just watching his actions but that’s what makes these two very different. Maven is a bit more skilled in politics whereas, Cal is skilled as a soldier.
I guess the real issue for me was that I was able to figure out the climax of the novel. I honestly saw it coming from the first 100 pages. It’s strange since I do not usually figure most of the plot out within YA books but I was able to with this one. The suspense and thrill of what’s going to happen is sometimes the major driver of books but since I was able to understand the direction the plot was going, I ended up being a bit disappointed in the end. Nevertheless, I would still recommend this if you are looking for a dystopian/superpower read in an unique setting. The writing style is great so I am sure readers will fly through this book.
How about you guys? Did you enjoy this book?