Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

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Rate: 1/5


Medium: Audiobook


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):

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Mare is unique because she can generate her own power. When will this come into play? Why are the Reds suddenly mutating?
  5. Did Maven actually see the list? I thought he had glimpsed it but not been able to study it.
  6. Who else will turn out to be a Singer? There has to be someone due to the emphasis that Julian was the last.
  7. What is going on in the other countries? What are they like?
  8. Who will be able to have multiple powers, again something that it was emphasized as impossible?

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38 comments

  1. Oh no. I was so jazzed about this book that I went ahead and bought the second in series, too. Truthfully, I’ve been feeling like some of the more recent YA fantasy has been really “samey”, like the same story told in slightly different variations without much to distinguish itself from the rest of the pack. I still plan to read it, but it might get knocked down on the TBR a bit.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Maybe I’ve helped to set your expectations low so you’ll be pleasantly surprised! 😀 I agree about how a lot of YA is tending to use the same themes. I love finding unique concepts. Let me know what you think when you read it!

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      • I used to be an analyst (before children) and I completely understand where you are coming from. While I do like these books I have started a few series that I didnt like but still had to see them to the end. Your point about many YA books tending to have the same storyline is so true. I think in a way you have to prepare yourself for that, and hopefully be pleasantly surprised! For something a little different I suggest The Colours of Madeline series by Jaclyn Moriarty. I am going to be reviewing it soon on my blog http://www.readthewriteact.com 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for the post! I completely agree! Perhaps by expecting the books to run along the same lines I might not be as disappointed next time. Thank you for the suggestion! I will look into it!

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  2. Sorry you didn’t like this book! This was actually the book that got me back into reading after hardly reading anything for ~6 years, so I can’t truly hate it. But I’m scared if I go back and re-read it now with a critical eye, I’ll wind up hating it. lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think that is the beautiful thing about reading! We can all have different opinions about the exact same reading material and that is perfectly fine! I’m so happy that this book got you back into reading. That is absolutely wonderful!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry this didn’t work for you. I am the same way and have, rarely, disliked a book. There have only been two books, so far in my entire life, that I didn’t finish, even when I didn’t like the story. I will still read a series even when the author has clearly given up on the quality! Good luck with the next one!

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  4. Thanks for the review. I read another review that liked it. But I don’t think I’ll be reading it. I’ve found a lot of YA is the same thematically which is disappointing. It’s hard to find original work!

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  5. I’ve heard good things about this too. It interests me, the whole question of a “bratty, spoiled, belligerent, selfish ‘heroine.” On the one hand, why should a heroine be “good” especially if a not-wholly-formed teen? On the other, how can a reader stand to “hang out” with such a heroine? For me, I’m with you: I don’t want to spend my time with such characters. But I recognize that unsavory characters have stories to tell too. But I avoid such books, just like I won’t read books by Philip Roth anymore! :–)

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    • Excellent point, however I’ve read a lot of stories containing, ‘not-wholly-formed teens’ where the teens make mistakes but still have redeeming qualities. And based on the definition of a heroine I really feel as though Mare didn’t exhibit any of those characteristics. Perhaps she will prove me wrong in as the series continues. I really like your point about unsavory characters having stories to tell. ‘The Girl on the Train’ was filled with unlikable characters but it still proved to be a good story. Thanks for the comment! I love good discussions!

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  6. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who disliked this book! I was also excited when I first got it and by the first thirty pages, I had known how the book was going to go down. I agree with all your points. The second book is just as bad, in my opinion. The only reason I continued is because I have no self control when it comes to characters with super powers. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This book really seems to be a hit or miss in the bookish community. I liked this book for the most part, but I agree, Mare is possibly one of the least likable heroines in YA Fantasy. Way too selfish and one dimensional. I actually liked Maven, at first, but not many other characters seemed to every interesting. I just really liked the concept of x-men like characters. The second book, however, is much worse in my opinion. I may actually end up DNFing it :/ I’m sorry this book was such a disappointment for you. Hopefully your next read will be much more enjoyable!

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    • How disappointing the second book doesn’t get better! I find books that cause such polar opposite reactions in readers to be so fascinating! I liked the mutant powers too! I’m hoping the future books elaborate more on the phenomenon.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I find them fascinating as well! I wonder which elements seem to attract or repel certain readers. And I hope so, too. I think the super powers are the best part about the plot, so I really hope for a larger emphasis on that. If you continue on with the series, I hope you enjoy the second book much more than I did! 😀

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  8. I don’t know why, but I always love reading a good bitchy review over a positive one, so well done! 🙂

    I was actually looking at this book the other day, but after reading a couple of paragraphs I decided it wasn’t for me. I’m glad I didn’t bother though because it sounds like I’d have been frustrated.

    I hope for your sake the next book is better.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I was really excited about this book when I heard about it but then I heard of so many mixed reviews…. Most of them weren’t that good, like in your case, but I still think someday I’ll give it a chance…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Sorry to hear you weren’t a fan! This was probably one of my favorite reads from 2016, but it’s always good hearing another perspective!!! I think the whole palace intrigue really got to me, but I’m glad you really looked into the character analysis like Mare’s disuse and gratefulness towards those around her.

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