Red Queen is the debut novel for author Victoria Aveyard and the first book in the Red Queen series (now announced to be four books instead of the original trilogy length). This YA dystopian novel follows the turmoil in a kingdom split by blood type. The Red bloods are the average people who are forced into lowly jobs and work to support the Silver bloods, who are people with extraordinary abilities. The Silvers used their abilities to take over the Red bloods and have become the wealthy, elite members of society. This has been their kingdom’s version of peace, although a war is still being fought on a distant front with Reds being forced to fight for the Silvers.
Then along comes Mare Barrow.
She is a Red blood pick-pocket in one of the slums who discovers in a rather spectacular way that she has the ability to control electricity. This is unheard of for a Red blood to have abilities, so the (Silver) Royal family takes in Mare to concoct to perfect story of how Mare thought she was a Red, but has now come home to her Silver family. But some know the truth. The secret can’t be kept for long.
And Mare can’t always be controlled.
While this book fell into a lot of the YA dystopian tropes, it was definitely a fun read. The world-building is a bit sparse at times, so some parts were a little confusing. The characters, though, were all quite vivid and different, which was helpful since the cast is so large. You can tell Aveyard spent careful time which each of the characters.
The story took a little while to get going due to the amount of world-building and setup, but once it gets going, it’s hard to put down. And the twist ending almost blindsides you, so stick with it till the end! The overall feel is like a great action movie, not necessarily groundbreaking but it doesn’t have to be to give one heck of a fun ride.
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
What did you think of Red Queen? Let me know in the comments!
Continue on to get my Glass Sword review (book 2)!