Author : Victoria Aveyard
Publisher : HarperTeen
Release date : February 10th, 2015
Rating : 5/5
☯ Synopsis (from Goodreads) :
This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.
The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.
That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.
Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.
But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart …
⚜ Review :
I must say I was just a tiny bit disappointed with the book, but it was still my favorite book of the month!
My expectations were high because of all the hype surrounding it, so I eagerly took it home and started it right away. It reminded me of The Selection, you know: the girl who comes from the slums, arrives to the palace and meddles with the rebellion. I really liked the Selection. And the same formula worked with me again! The writing wasn’t exceptional, I felt like I was reading a book written by authors I’ve already read before. Nevertheless, I liked it. It didn’t drag too much, wasn’t too fast, had enough description and dialogue to keep me interested. Oh my, I seem like I was just “okay” with the book, right? But no no, I actually loved it!
I especially liked Mare’s personality, her stubbornness and pride. She’s badass (not too much, though), has a strong personality, and is outspoken. Cal, the heir, and Maven, the second prince, were, as was expected, like night and day. One was dutiful and self-controlled and was the perfect king-to-be; the other was understanding and insecure and knew about the injustice toward the Reds. I liked both princes, although I did have a certain preference. The brotherly rivalry was well-handled, but there were also moments when we felt they were brothers, something a lot of novels choose to omit.
The story overrides the romance (unlike many YA books), so I think that was an advantage to it. The plot really revolves around her life as a Red, her loyalty to her fellow Reds and her struggle to adapt to Silver life. This “story > romance” structure reminded me a bit of Six of Crows (because there aren’t a lot of books capable of doing that), which is one of my favorite books. The romance is there, don’t get me wrong. It’s very present, but it never feels forced.
I really liked the world Aveyard created. If compared to Tolkien or Lewis, it lacked depth, but there was a mix of modern and sci-fi, and personally, it would’ve been cool to live in that world (in the Silver part only, though, because who’d like to live in the slums?) I looooved the X-Men feels the novel gave me!!
It reminded me also a bit of The Hunger Games, what with the politics, rebellion, and high stakes, and the “face of the rebellion” kind of thing. No, Mare is not publicly Red Scarlet, but she sneaks around and tries her best to help them. And I think this deserves more attention than the political plot that everyone talks about. I know that there are a lot of novels which deal with rebellions, but I felt like this particular one (along with THG) put a particular emphasis on it.
And we will rise up, Red as the dawn.
What I didn’t like was the romance. I wouldn’t have asked for more mentions of it; it’s just that it was predictable and annoying. This love triangle worked out much better than most of the love triangly novels, but it was still frustrating. I rolled my eyes many times. Second turn off, you guys noticed everything Red Queen reminded of? I underlined all of them. Aveyard wasn’t very subtle about her inspirations, it seems… I would’ve preferred an original story, rather than fandom-soup.
BUT STILL, DON’T GET ME WRONG. I really liked the book, okay? It was cool and badass, and there was richness and luxury. Abilities, as they call them, are also a cool plus to the story. I’d recommend for every fantasy/YA book lovers out there, because it was very good!
Picture sources : 1, 2