Author: Victoria Aveyard
Date of Publication: 10th February 2015
Okay, I get it. Anyone can betray anyone.
Red Queen was, for me, often a frustrating read. I liked the concept – that the world wasn’t just divided into different blood colors for the sake of it; that those with Silver blood had powers with which to oppress the powerless Reds. I felt a lot of Divergent vibes surrounding
Tris Mare and her mysterious lightening power and didn’t necessarily think this was a bad thing. I could almost almost buy the fact that only a life threatening situation could bring her powers to the fore (although her sister getting her hand broken would also have gotten the adrenaline racing too…right?).
However, despite these things, Red Queen started to descend into a few too many unbelievable leaps – and a whole heap of too many teenaged boys who fancied Mare. I mean come on. One love interest is fine – great even. Two can wear a bit thin, but okay, you’ve got to keep that tension going sometimes, I get it. Three?! Come on now – that’s just greedy. The truth of it was that Kilorn (woefully underused), Cal (woefully bland) and Maven ((view spoiler)) were spread so thin as to barely exist at all. And so much time was spent trying to build the complex social hierarchy and world that the book is based in, that there was little time for characters to truly flex their wings and become fully realized.
Of course a sequel is on the way, which can fix this. And whilst I wasn’t massively entrenched in the whole rebellion (guys, dawns aren’t always red y’know – in fact, they’re mostly just kind of golden) I really think there’s a great idea here. Towards the last third I was really getting into the plotting, the backstabbing, the using friends and feeling bad about it later…and that’s not to mention some seriously brutal bad guys floating around (usually my favourite kind of characters).
I will definitely be tuning in for Glass Sword, but I feel that this debut under-performed in a lot of ways, and as a result possibly lost itself an audience which could really become immersed with another volume’s worth of development under their belts. My message to anyone thinking about reading Red Queen? Give it a chance! I think (and hope) even better is on its way