“Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard


artemisiconIf you frequent the blog you will notice this title looks familiar. That’s because Asteria has already reviewed this blog. Hers is based more on the plot of the book, and mine will probably be a little more spoiler-y.

If you want to read Asteria’s instead, here’s the link – https://thebookhole.wordpress.com/2017/06/29/red-queen-by-victoria-aveyard/

This was another book lent to me by my friend I have mentioned many, many times. Probably because every time I leave there, I leave with an armful of books. When she handed me this one, right away I was pretty sure Asteria had mentioned it, but I couldn’t remember exactly. But, the book sounded really interesting, so I wanted to read it anyway.

Asteria actually gave me the idea to revisit one of her reviews, by revisiting one of my old ones! So, I will try to bring more to the review, instead of just regurgitating what Asteria already said.

Before I get into this, I will say one thing, I did like this book, I truly did. But …HUNGER GAMES. It’s the Hunger Games without the actual games. Main protagonist feels inferior to talented sister, and lives in a society ruled by a severe upper-class and uses their poverty ridden society as weapons, tools, and fun. Protagonist ends up in a situation thanks to an attractive boy, and the upper-class learns she is different from everyone else, and uses her in their battle against the lower-classes and the “terrorists” spawned from rebellion.

Because of the trend of YA novels following the ‘hot topic’, and hunger games and others like it did so well, why not another? So I can’t fault it for that, it IS a formula that works, and there’s an ENTIRE section that follows a single formula with some deviations, and it is one of the best selling sections …Romance, I’m talking about Romance.

Now, with that out of my system, the book does an odd thing where it follows the Hunger Games formula almost word for word, and then it’s like the book becomes self aware and she rips the formula to shreds. Mare (our protagonist) is basically shoe-horned in as a character that stuff just happens to (aka, sexy lamp) she talks about what “she” has done, but it’s more “what people do while she stands around observing”. That was one thing very different from Hunger Games, Katniss had a more active part, where stuff just kind of happens to Mare.The second book is leading up as an almost x-men rip-off, but it may be interesting if she uses the same follow-then-rip-apart theme, and hopefully gives Mare a more active part in the revolution.

The line that startled me, and really brought a self-awareness sense to the book was the leader of the rebellion scoffing at Mare and her husband-to-be’s plan, “You want me to pin my entire operation, the entire revolution, on some teenaged love story?” This shocked me because that’s the Hunger Games, and up until this point, this was also the plot of Red Queen. So this line read as rather jarring, but it was the start of everything unfolding in both predictable and unpredictable ways. Even the ending has Hunger Games-ish elements, but following the fall of everything it doesn’t read as bad writing, almost more like a satire.

It made me think of the book in a new light, and I do have the second book in my pile of TBR, so I might read that one sooner than planned, because I am interesting to see what she does with this theme.


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