Review: Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard

17878931 Genre: YA Fantasy
Published: February 10, 2015 by HarperTeen
Series: #1 (Red Queen)
Length: 400 pages
Source: HarperTeen (ARC)

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.”


Red Queen is a mixed of fantasy and dystopian that is about the Silvers (the one who has powers, literally and figuratively) and the Reds (powerless citizens). I think that is the only thing that made this book unique. The book is a little bit of all the dystopian books I have read such as The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Selection, etc which disappointed me a bit because I was craving for a fantasy book that shows no resemblance of other books. Even though I have not yet read Red Rising by Pierce Brown, Red Queen sounds a lot like it :/ because of the summary. I thought it was really cool though that the silvers literally have silver blood, while the red, of course, have red blood. I also like the idea of the silvers having superpower due to evolution.

This book unfortunately felt draggy at times…when I finished the book, I just sat back and realized that not a lot of stuff really happened even if it was a long book. There are a few action scenes that I enjoyed, but I wish there was more. There is a twist at the end which I already saw coming since the book was a bit predictable. I also did not like how some phrases that are supposed to be powerful are repeated (i.e. “red as the dawn” and “anyone can betray anyone”). Since their slogan for the revolution was so redundant, it made it sound cheesy and I could not help rolling my eyes. As for the romance, I have a love-hate relationship with it. I liked it because the princes (Maven & Cal) were swoony, yet I feel like it was all too sudden for them to have affections to Mare.

The world building was okay. It was pretty basic and I wish the author described more of how the world came to be, and the different settings in that world. I think the author only gave us a snippet of that world, and that she will provide more locations and descriptions in the sequel. I found the characters in the book okay as well. Mare steals anything she could pickpocket so she can help her family survive. She was a strong character, but shows no character development. I found the princes to be swoon-y though! Out of all the characters, I think they were the most realistic. I also love how family is involved (both Mare’s and the princes’). I love how Mare cares about her family a lot and also her best friend, Kilorn. Overall it was a very good read. I read it in two days; if you find the pacing slow, like me, just push through! I recommend it, but if you are bothered that this book is similar to other books, I wouldn’t put it on top of my to-be-read pile.

3.5 of 5

24 Responses to “Review: Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard”

  1. 1 Cait January 27, 2015 at 12:51 AM

    YAY! I AGREE WITH YOU SO MUCH! Almost everyone I know raves about this and I feel sooo bad but I just really didn’t like it. *gulps* I agree it felt draggy and not much happened. And I also felt like it was just a carbon copy of Red Rising. I saw a LOT of The Selection in it too. Too much. >.> I didn’t think this one was original enough at all. *heavy sigh* Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    • 2 Leigh (LittleBookStar) January 27, 2015 at 10:13 AM

      Oh I know! That showdown part with all the potential princesses (u know that scene where they were all showing their powers?) that reminded me so much of The Selection. I couldn’t really picture that scene also. I really wanted to read Red Rising, but since I read this book, I feel like it will influence my opinion of Red Rising in a negative way since RQ and RR has similar plot line.

  2. 3 Mitchii @ The Aeropapers January 27, 2015 at 5:51 AM

    I read many raves about Red Queen, and by reading the summary I also set a high expectations with this one. Too bad, that you felt some things were lacking. I also have problems with dystopian books nowadays, they tend to be very similar. Hopefully, when my time to read the book I’ll enjoy it.

  3. 5 lipsyy January 27, 2015 at 6:26 AM

    I have this to read soon. I’m worried all the hype is going to let it down.

  4. 7 Nova @ Out of Time January 27, 2015 at 9:55 AM

    I ended up REALLY enjoying this. I don’t know why, it just really connected to me. I’ve seen some mixed reviews about it, which is totally normal. I actually didn’t find it draggy at all, but I didn’t like the world building as much as I should’ve.

    Great review! <33

    • 8 Leigh (LittleBookStar) January 27, 2015 at 10:16 AM

      Yay so glad you really enjoyed RQ! I definitely enjoyed some parts of the book but overall, it gave me mixed feelings due to the similarities it had with other books. Will def. still read the sequel though. Thanks Nova!

  5. 9 Sam January 27, 2015 at 2:10 PM

    Aww…I’m so sorry you didn’t like RED QUEEN. *cries* I personally adored it, but I see where you’re coming from on the character development. The princes were definitely swoon-worthy, though. Thanks for the review!

  6. 11 Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity January 27, 2015 at 6:25 PM

    Every review I see for this one is either a rave review, or one like yours. I am pretty keen to read it, but I guess I’ll go in with a bit of salt. I am not entirely looking forward to another dystopian that is romance-y, because I really think that sub-genre has been well and truly exhausted in YA. But I must admit that the silver/red aspect of RED QUEEN does sound a bit intriguing.

    • 12 Leigh (LittleBookStar) January 29, 2015 at 9:48 AM

      I think you should definitely still read it Chiara! Maybe when the hype is all down? Yeah I’m kinda tired of the romance part in YA too, but in this book it has relevance so I was okay with that. The only thing that made me hate the romance was because of Mare.

  7. 13 Books & Iced Coffee (@elyssamesias) January 27, 2015 at 8:21 PM

    I’ve heard a lot of good things about this book and a bit on not so good things. Maybe I should tread carefully on this one… I’m honestly in love with the concept of this book though… It seems to be something that’s right up my alley.

  8. 15 Melanie (YA Midnight Reads) January 28, 2015 at 3:28 AM

    *sobs silently* I’m sorry that you didn’t love this one, Leigh! I can see why you didn’t like it us much, and yeah, it was admittedly slow at times.

    Lovely review, hun <33

  9. 17 Jess@MyReadingDress January 28, 2015 at 12:08 PM

    AWWW CREYS Sorry this wasn’t the one for you, Leigh! I totally agree though, the world building was average–nothing crazy, but not underwhelming either. Hopefully book two treats you better. Lovely review, love! ❤

  10. 19 Sydney January 28, 2015 at 5:46 PM

    I haven’t read this one yet so I don’t want to read too much, but I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it! I’ve heard a LOT of mixed things about this because some people really love it, some are meh, and some hate it. It’s definitely going to be a rent book for me because, despite the pretty cover, I’m not buying it if I’m not convinced I’ll love it. :/

    • 20 Leigh (LittleBookStar) January 29, 2015 at 9:51 AM

      Same! When I haven’t read the book yet, I don’t fully read the summary or review. I think this book is pretty good, but it just bothered me how it has so much resemblance to other dystopian/fantasy books. Yeah maybe borrow it from the library and if you really loved it or plan rereading it, you should buy it.

  11. 21 jilliansbooks January 30, 2015 at 1:06 AM

    Agh I’m sorry you didn’t like some parts of it. I hat draggy books either. But I still want to read this nonetheless and find out myself. Thanks for the review 😀

  12. 22 Ana @ Butterflies of the Imagination January 30, 2015 at 8:36 AM

    I’ve heard split things about this Red Queen. On the one hand, some readers absolutely rave about this book, and on the other hand, some readers have found it to be too cliche. I think I’ll still give it a shot, though, mostly because the blurb seems really interesting, and Mare seems like a wonderful character. Also, the silver blood reminds me of the dragons who literally have silver blood in Seraphina.

  13. 23 Alise (Readers in Wonderland) January 30, 2015 at 3:45 PM

    Man, I feel stupid because I NEVER predict twists in ANY book xD As you already know, our feelings for this one were about the same. I liked the idea of the boys but yeah, it seemed early for anything to really develop there. Nice review!

  14. 24 Nicole @ The Quiet Concert February 17, 2015 at 4:41 PM

    Although I agree that this one was a little predictable, I absolutely loved it. It was totally a ME book and I ate it up!

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