Review: ‘Red Queen’ by Victoria Aveyard

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: ‘Red Queen’ by Victoria AveyardRed Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen Trilogy #1
Published by HarperTeen on February 10th, 2015
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Graceling meets The Selection in debut novelist Victoria Aveyard's sweeping tale of seventeen-year-old Mare, a common girl whose once-latent magical power draws her into the dangerous intrigue of the king's palace. Will her power save her or condemn her?

Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood--those with common, Red blood serve the Silver- blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.

To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard--a growing Red rebellion--even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.

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Mare Barrow is a Red. She lives with her family in the Stilts stealing what she can from her community to survive. While the Reds live in luxury, the Reds toll away as slaves. When a chance encounter changes her life forever, she realizes she could be the change that can help her people revolt against the super human Silvers.

I liked it but then again I had issues with it. There were so many similarities to other books, tropes and cliches that I couldn’t ignore. Also the BIGGEST thing? It was TOO predictable. I wasn’t bored in the slightest because there’s enough action scenes to keep me occupied. I loved the training and the battles the most.

The one book that resembled this the most would have to be Red Rising. Even this quote is similar to that book. Rising Reds?! Overthrowing the government? Yup pretty much the same.

We will rise. Red as the dawn.

It also reminded me a little bit of the TV show The Bachelor. Just in the beginning though.

The super confusing love octagon that appeared came out of nowhere. I don’t understand the romance here. I didn’t feel anything for Cal or Maven and I sorely wanted to. I mean Cal as a character has a lot of potential. And Maven? Well let’s just say that the apple never fell far from the tree. Don’t trust anyone in this world! As for Mare? She is pretty much the most naive character. There were so many hints and clues to other people’s characters that I kinda wanted to smack her and be like, “Look harder!” I almost wanted Farley to be the main character because she has a take charge kind of personality that I rather admire. I wished Mare would rise up against them. I wished she took matters in her own hands.

I do have to comment on the superpowers. They were the most interesting and fun part to read. They all had X-Men types of abilities but instead of being mutants like in the comics, they’re the ruling class. Some of their powers included: controlling animals, manipulating the four elements of earth, fire and water and even having the ability to turn off their powers almost like a cure? And you can’t forget about telekinesis where people’s minds can be controlled. The scariest and most lethal kind I think.

Can I also comment on how sexist this is? How could a male die in glory, while a female will die with no dignity because she is known as a trickster? WTF! Why were all the women evil and the men not so much?

Overall, I’m rather curious to find out where the story goes. I love revolutions and to find the main character being The One to bring them all down? These are the type of books I gobble up. I hope there’s more in store for this world in the second book.


This is the true division between Silvers and Reds: the color of our blood. This simple difference somehow makes them stronger, smarter, better than us.
You are no match for us. We are your betters. We are gods.
This is the true division between Silvers and Reds: the colour of our blood. This simple difference somehow makes them stronger, smarter, better than us.
The gods rule is still. They have come down from the stars. And they are no longer kind.
It is impossible. It is foolish. It is our best chance.
I guess causing pain is all I’m good for.
We’re objects up there, living statues meant to serve.
As beautiful as this world is, it’s just as dangerous. People who are not useful, people who make mistakes, they can be removed.
To look powerful is to be powerful.
Thinking all Silvers are evil is just as wrong as thinking all Reds are inferior.
What my people are doing to you and yours is wrong to the deepest levels of humanity. Oppressing you, trapping you in an endless cycle of poverty and death, just because we think you are different from us? That is not right.
There is nothing wrong with being different.
I’ll teach you what it’s like to know fear.
What I need and what I want are two very different things.

reading progress






  1. Pingback: Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard | Review -Katie's Book Blog

  2. Leigh (LittleBookStar)

    February 16, 2015 at 1:08 AM

    YES! I had the same issue with this book. I think it could have been better by not resembling so many other books! That was really bugging me. It kept reminding me of other dystopian / fantasy books so that took away some of the fun while reading Red Queen. I did like the powers etc. but damn that plot was way too predictable. I saw the plot twist a mile away so when it was finally revealed I’m just like yup I knew that.

    • giselle

      February 18, 2015 at 5:05 PM

      Yeah it bugged me a lot too. I felt like I was reading those books at one point and that’s all I could focus on. I loved the powers too. And yep it was so predictable

  3. Michmoo

    February 14, 2015 at 9:21 AM

    Awesome review. I was gonna go out and buy a copy of this today, but thankfully I saw your review first.

  4. lovingrob

    February 11, 2015 at 3:27 PM

    Awesome review sweetie 😀 I love reading your thoughts for this book. <3 It was a three star for me too. It just.. it could have been better :p but I still liked it, hih 🙂 I loved the super powers the most too! Just so awesome 😀

  5. neednewspace

    February 11, 2015 at 11:17 AM

    Great. Both you & Tiff agree that this was not the book we’ve all been anticipating. Bummer. I should know by now that the hype usually means it’s a dud. 🙁

    • giselle

      February 11, 2015 at 6:09 PM

      That’s probably why I avoided pre-ordering it. I usually end up reading an ARC and if I like it I’ll buy a finished copy. I don’t just buy because of hype now.. I still really liked the story though.

  6. Kelsey

    February 11, 2015 at 10:34 AM

    I really want to read this, and while I don’t like books that are predictable I’m still going to give it a chance. I’m borrowing from the library instead of buying anyway 🙂

    • giselle

      February 11, 2015 at 11:24 AM

      Yeah it’s good enough to give it a try..I was never bored. I love the story a lot

  7. The Cover Contessa

    February 11, 2015 at 8:33 AM

    Well, you know my thoughts on this book, pretty much spot on with yours! LOL! I do love the concept and really want to see what happens in the next one. I just hope the romance takes a back seat or gets flushed out better or something because I can’t deal with a love quadrangle. And I also hope we get a bit more world building now that things have picked up speed with the rebellion! Great review!

    • giselle

      February 11, 2015 at 11:23 AM

      Haha yep I completely understand. I would really like the romance to be pushed back or taken out completely too. More world building would be a big improvement! Also less cliche tropes too.

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