Thursday, February 12, 2015

Red Queen ~ Victoria Aveyard (earc) review [@victoriaaveyard @orionbooks @DateaBook @harperteen]

Red Queen (Red Queen #1)
February 12*, 2015
400 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from TBD/Amazon UK

also published:
February 10th in US by HarperTeen: Amazon US
February 12th* in Australia by Hachette Amazon AU

A thrilling new fantasy trilogy for fans of DIVERGENT and THE HUNGER GAMES.

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?

More than likely, when you read Red Queen's summary or read the book itself, you will be reminded of Red Rising or The Selection (or perhaps something else). Yet, while Victoria Aveyard's novel does have a few 'big picture' elements in common with those stories, Red Queen as a whole is an incredibly original and fun read.

The basis of Red Queen's world is red blood and silver blood, the Reds and the Silvers, commoners and those in power. Those distinctions, along with all that they entail, lead to a really well imagined fantasy world.

Mare is one of the Reds. After seeing all of her brothers head off to the war, Mare knows her time is approaching. When it all changes and she's given a job at the Palace, her safety seems more of a surety . . . until it definitely isn't.

I enjoyed Mare's character, the disdain she had for the Reds, her acceptance of how her life would be - even if she didn't like it - and how she changed, adapted, and yet stayed true as her situation changed.

The author does a really nice job giving us characters whose roles seem clear only to later call their motivation, whose side they're on into question. Sometimes this is done subtly, sometimes it's a spectacular twist.

In a Google search for 'Red Queen,' I learned about The Red Queen hypothesis,
The Red Queen hypothesis, also referred to as Red Queen's, Red Queen's race or The Red Queen Effect, is an evolutionary hypothesis which proposes that organisms must constantly adapt, evolve, and proliferate not merely to gain reproductive advantage, but also simply to survive while pitted against ever-evolving opposing organisms in an ever-changing environment. (wikipedia)
I really like how this scientific idea plays out in the novel as well as how it's not a direct, a to a, b to b portrayal. "Simply to survive while pitted against ever-evolving opposing organisms," when thinking of the Reds and their status compared to the Silvers, is very true.

Along with the novel's ending, it has me even more eager for Red Queen Book 2. With the world Victoria Aveyard created, the twists in what was believed about that world as well as the revelations about different characters and the state things were left in, Book 2 is already one of my most anticipated 2016 titles.

*or 10th, different sites have conflicting info

thank you to Orion for my review copy received via NetGalley

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