Anyone Can Betray Anyone: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

redqueen
Title: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen Trilogy #1
Edition: Digital ARC, 320 pages
Publication Details: February 10th 2015 by Orion / Feb 12th 2015 (paperback)
Genre(s): YA, Dystopia; Fantasy
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review.

Goodreads // Purchase


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?

Review

OMG THIS BOOK!

I’d gone through a whole array of feelings about this book before I even picked it up. Firstly, from the cover alone I was so taken with it I couldn’t wait to read it. Then I started seeing it described as The Hunger Games meets The Selection via X-men, and my mind was blown. BLOWN.

But then, the hype just went a bit mad. It was all over the blogosphere and while I tired to avoid most of the reviews, I started to doubt my first thoughts and wondered if this was just another Hunger Games wannabe; all hype and no substance….

Thankfully, I was wrong. Red Queen, whilst having some flaws, ended up completely surpassing my expectations. And it made me want to throw it across the room (yet another downside to the e-book!), in the best possible way.

In Victoria Aveyard’s take on a dystopian future, there are two classes. The Redbloods, the lowly commoners who do all the physical and menial jobs, and are conscripted to fight in the war, and the Silverbloods, the ruling class, who all have different powers such as the ability to manipulate fire, water or metal – much like the X-MEN (which I LOVE).

I really loved this world. When you break it down it isn’t anything new, but the combination of ideas from other worlds made it original in its own way. It was a little bit Noughts & Crosses (Malorie Blackman) as well as being understandably likened to The Selection and THG.

Mare isn’t talented, unless you count stealing. She doesn’t have a skill like her sister does so she’s destined for a future in the army, just like her brothers and her best friend Kilorn. She hates the Silverbloods as much as anyone for taking them away. But one night she tries to steal from the wrong person – a handsome cloaked stranger – who listens to her story and can offer her a better life.

The stranger… is Cal, the prince and heir to the throne, and Mare finds herself with a job at the palace. But this isn’t any ordinary palace. It just so happens that Mare has arrived in time for the Queenstrial, where silver nobles will fight it out (with their powers) in the arena, for the princes hands in marriage (oh yes, there’s two of them to swoon over!).

Without giving away any massive spoilers all I’ll say is that somehow, Mare finds herself engaged to a prince, disguised with silver dust and the constant threat of execution hanging over her head.

INTENSE!

I seriously couldn’t put this down. The action was good, the whole on-off love/hate romance thing was pretty hot and man, it was just so good. HOWEVER, there were so many things that didn’t make sense. A few of them did by the end, but there were some definite annoying plot holes.

For example, there wasn’t really any need for the noble Silverbloods to train in the arena every day. They use the Reds to fight on the front line, so why do they need to train, and compete against each other so much? I felt like this was just an easy way to get more action into the plot and be a bit more Hunger Games-esque. It was a bit gratuitous.

Also, they change Mare’s identity (making her a Silver Noble) and swear her to a life of secrecy, but it’s not like no one will notice her – she is filmed on a few occasions – which is shown in the Red villages… and they make her fight in the arena, where blood is often spilled, so how do they expect her to not be exposed? ARGH!

Another huge thing which got my goat is that the Queen(the big baddy)’s power is mind manipulation. She can get into your mind and see all of your memories and thoughts, not to mention make you do anything she wants, and yet Mare and others are planning a rebellion under her very nose – errrr how!!!?

And while we’re talking about war and rebellion, I don’t think we’re ever even told why the war began. Something was mentioned about the Lowlanders being the ones they’re fighting against but that’s about it. Maybe this will be explored more in the next book, who knows.

But anyway, I need to breathe.

All of these things added to my enjoyment of the book, because y’know PURE GOLD in ranting material. I was really tempted to give this ALL THE UNICORNS, but the only reason I didn’t is because I predicted a major twist from quite early on. I need to stop thinking so much!

unicorn rating 4

Red Queen is available to preorder from Waterstones now, and the paperback is due to be released Feb 12th.

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts #5

This meme is hosted by the Bookishly Boisterous and the idea is simple. It’s a round-up of your week, in and out of book world. A place to store your thoughts, and basically anything you’d like to share on your blog.

It’s been a while since I did one of these, so I should have loads to tell you…hmmm…

1. In blog news, I got approved for the Waterstones Affiliate programme, which I was really pleased about. You can get 10% off too so check out my post here.

2. I’m also slowly catching up after being behind on reviews, and ARCs and reading in general. Work life and home life have both been busy which hasn’t left much time for reading and blogging, and the weekend just gone is the only free-ish one I’ll have all this month too. Gah…I’m having lots of fun, but I feel bad when I can’t review ARCs by their release date, don’t you?

3. The weekend before last, I went to Cardiff in Wales for a friend’s Hen party. It was so much fun, and I got to visit a castle, one of my favourite things to do! I was really surprised now nice Cardiff was tbh!

4. This series of Game of Thrones has been so epic, I’m really sad that there’s only two episodes left. TYRIONNNN. I’m totally in love with him. He’s also brilliant in the new X-men which I saw at the weekend. IT’S SO GOOD. I didn’t really rate the last one so I was surprised how awesome it was.

5. I also finally got round to seeing the film adaptation of Vampire Academy. Oh seriously, just no. It was terrible. TERRIBLE. I’d say my disappointment was on par with the Twilight films. THAT BAD. Worse than Divergent. THAT BAD. I mean seriously, look what they did to hot Dimitri:

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6. Another reason why I’ve fallen behind in life is because of the French Open. SO happy for Rafa, who won yesterday! Yayyyyy!

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Yes, I love tennis, and you’ll have to put up with a lot more of me talking about it when Wimbledon starts… other than Christmas, it’s my favourite time of year!!! I just hope Nadal’s knees hold up! Eeeek.

7. I reaaaaaaaaaaaaaally want to go on holiday this summer. A cheap but cheerful holiday in Spain or something where I can just lie on a beach, read, drink sangria and eat Tapas for a week. But I have no money. 😥 Anyone want to take me on holiday?

8. Rose plant update: In my last Bookish post I talked about a plant I’d bought. I’m not sure how to look after plants, or anything, so I thought I’d try and see how long I can keep it alive. 3 weeks on and it looks pretty good.

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Woooo. I like how when the rose petals start to die, they go purple. Pretty. Maybe I’m ready for a pet??

9. Lastly, I’m waiting for The Great British Bake Off to start…seriously, why isn’t it on yet!!! It’s not summer until I can laugh at someone’s soggy bottom.