Overview (No Spoilers): It is incredibly rare that I truly dislike a book and as a whole, I was rather surprised my overall feeling of vehemence toward the Red Queen. After seeing many, many wonderful reviews about this series I had high expectations as I eagerly jumped on the bandwagon and joined the masses, however perhaps my preconceived notions regarding the series misconstrued my typically unbiased nature, having turned sour from disappointment. Usually I can find something positive or endearing with respect to the world building, plot or characters, however the Red Queen contained nothing of note. All of the main characters were one dimensional with the only characters of depth including two side characters, Lucas, a guard and Jillian, a tutor. Almost right from the onset I would receive jolts of deja vu as I would read surprisingly similar premises to that of Red Rising, the Hunger Games and the Selection. With that being said the plot in general was predictable from the very beginning with no true plot twists. One of the worst faults in the novel was the bratty, spoiled, belligerent, selfish ‘heroine,’ Mare Barrow. I put heroine in quotations because Mare is suppose to have that filled role in this book, however based on the definition of the aforementioned title, e..g, a woman admired or idealized for her courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities, Miss Barrow did not hold up to the qualifications. I’ll elaborate more in the additional insight. Overall, I was disappointed to say the least. I will continue to read the series, but if you yourself have not fallen into this black hole, I highly recommend you finding a better book to spend your time reading.
Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):
- Mare was such a user leading to the deaths of so many people that were kind. She didn’t even befriend her poor maids. She was not appreciative of those who showed her loyalty or kindness, e.g., Lucas or Julian. She mercilessly and unapologetically used them resulting in their demise. Mare never made the connection/growth that not all Silvers were evil. Cal saved her and her family by offering her a job but she was constantly ungrateful for his generosity. She was constantly throwing around the word ‘hate’, which I’m convinced she doesn’t know the definition of the word. In short, she was not a good person.
- The Resistance was a joke with little to no depth showing a lack for foresight, skill or how deep their ranks ran. Why would they tell so much to a Silver Prince with only one episode of a suspenseful standoff to prove his loyalty? Farley is a captain in the Scarlet Guard, however she seems to be their face, mastermind, and leader, but there has to be more to the rebellion than her. The plans put forth are rushed and minimally thought out, which eventually comes into play, and doesn’t feel appropriate for the feel of how a resistance movement of this proportion should be ran.
- Obviously Shade was still alive! This seems to be a reoccurring theme in YA literature. You can pretty much assume the character that is presumed dead is actually still alive. Another obvious plot point was that Maven was going to be evil, it was apparent from his face of horror at Mare being named his betrothed.
- Mare is unique because she can generate her own power. When will this come into play? Why are the Reds suddenly mutating?
- Did Maven actually see the list? I thought he had glimpsed it but not been able to study it.
- Who else will turn out to be a Singer? There has to be someone due to the emphasis that Julian was the last.
- What is going on in the other countries? What are they like?
- Who will be able to have multiple powers, again something that it was emphasized as impossible?