I received this galley in consideration for an honest review.Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Published by Harper Collins on February 10, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Post-Apocalyptic
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. Fearful of Mare's potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime. But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance - Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart...
I am always a little more forgiving of first books in a series because there have been some series that didn’t entirely grab me at first, but that really came into their own in the second and third installments. This is the situation I found myself in when reading Red Queen. The world of Red Queen is your standard dystopian world. There is a ruling class that has natural, elemental powers and silver blood (kind of cool) and then the working/slave class that has red blood and zero power to do anything about it. Life is bleak for Reds. Of course, Mare, our heroine (a Red), does in fact have powers and this unique talent makes her a pawn in a political ploy to calm rebellion. You will see shadows of The Hunger Games and other similar books in this story, but I did like the idea that the blood that runs through their veins is physically different. So often, the idea that, underneath it all, we are all the same, drives social change in story plots, but in this case, they really are different. Not everyone bleeds red in this world. They will never be the same, so that throws an interesting wrench into what will surely be two more books worth of struggle and conflict.
I almost hesitate to bring up the love triangle, but I urge you to stick with it because it’s not quite what it seems. The twists that were thrown into the plot were pretty good, I must say, and there was at least one that I did not see coming at all. Mare is torn between two worlds and I found the world of the Silvers to be interesting and entertaining. Perhaps it is my own desire for super powers, but I liked learning about the different types of elemental powers that Silvers could possess and how those powers, and their strength, played into their societal pecking order. Imagine the peerage from a Regency Romance, but with powers. So, right up my alley, in many ways. Yes, the pacing was a little uneven and it contained some pretty well-worn tropes, but there was also enough there to keep me interested. I’m not sure this lives up to the hype that has surrounded it, but I had fun reading it and I’m definitely in for book two.