Book Review: Red Queen (YA)

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Goodreads Summary:
The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?

My Review:
This book has elements of all my favorite dystopian trilogies: a rigid two-caste system and childhood best friend/love interest like in The Hunger Games, a lower-caste main character with special skills and a growing rebellion like in Divergent, and a rags to riches princess story like in The Selection.

Victoria Aveyard has created a society ruled by Silvers, highly evolved humans with silver blood and special abilities. Each high-house has a super power that’s passed down the male line. Many of the abilities are related to controlling the elements, kind of like X-Men.

The main character, Mare Barrow, is a Red – supposedly a normal human like us. But a freak accident her first day on the job at the palace reveals that she can control electricity. In order to maintain the image of power over the Reds, the queen forces Mare to pretend to be Silver-born, Mareena, who was raised by Reds when her parents were killed in battle.

Mare is such a lovable character, as are her family and her childhood friend, Kilorn. I immediately grew attached to them and was routing for them throughout the whole book.

In the palace, Mare meets many Silvers, some kind and some cruel. She doesn’t always know who to trust. I enjoyed reading about her discovering her abilities and about the growing rebellion. I always love an underdog story.

The writing in this book was fantastic. There were so many great quotes, especially at the end of the chapters. One favorite: “In the fairy tales, the poor girl smiles when she becomes a princess. Right now, I don’t know if I’ll ever smile again.”

There is a kind of love square in this book, but it wasn’t overdone or angst-y. The romantic elements added to the plot, and I found them believable.

My only complaint about this book is that I read it too soon. I want the sequel now! I should know better than to start trilogies before all of the books are released. I will definitely be counting down until the February release of Glass Sword.

My Rating: 4 Stars
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