Mare’s life is suddenly on a roller coaster of luck. First she finds a way to escape the draft, but then ruins that chance by also ruining her sister’s livelihood. Then she makes an unlikely friend who gets her a servant job for the royals. Then she falls on a force field and discovers hidden lightning powers. Then, to cover up for a Red having powers reserved only for Silvers, Mare is pulled into a nonsense plot to have her married to a prince. Did I catch it all? This book is very plot-driven, and I couldn’t bring myself to care about any of it.
I don’t know what it was, but it is a simple, honest fact to say I didn’t enjoy this book. I slogged through it. For a week I read nothing because I didn’t want to start something before finishing this one…and yet, I truly did not want to read this. I don’t want to spend this whole review complaining, however. That wouldn’t be productive. So here’s what I didn’t like, and the few things I did:
Like many dystopian novels of the early 2010s, Red Queen has an annoying division amongst humans. In this story, the upper caste have silver blood and superpowers. The lower caste have red blood, and no powers. Also, every aspect of the world hinges on an unending war that, now that I think about it, is never really explained? What is up with this war? Did I miss something? And from that note, I transition from labeling Red Queen as a standard dystopia, to a standard fantasy. It’s a whole new world, and we don’t know nearly enough about it.
The romance is…confusing. There is a clear love triangle between Mare and brothers Cal and Maven. Which is fine. Except for the part where I don’t understand Mare’s point of view in this relationship. Almost all the romantic scenes are with Cal, yet Mare prefers Maven. Which is fine! But I would have liked to see WHY.
The twist is eh. There was so much misleading up to the point of the twist that it actually takes away from the impact. I was somewhat surprised, but not enough for me to have an interest in what happened after that moment.
What did I like? I like the potential for conflict in the later books. That Mare preferred Maven, who SPOILER betrays her, sets up an interesting conflict for the later books. I’m a sucker for the main girl liking a villain.
Unfortunately, I don’t know that I trust Victoria Aveyard to follow through on that possibility.
I read this book because my sister loves this series. And, for that reason, I’ll probably give the series a second chance by reading the rest of the books. I probably won’t review the rest of them, since I’m pretty sure I won’t like them, and no one wants to read the same review over and over again…but maybe I’ll be surprised. And if I am, you all will be the first to hear about it!