Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
So, I’ll start by saying that I definitely love this book. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard is great. It’s got everything a good YA novel needs – a dystopic world, a heroine, superpowers, romance… it’s witty, sharp and clever. When it hits the shelves in 2015 Red Queen is a must read for fans of YA novels!
Mare Barrow is 17, living in the slums and scraping by as a petty thief and pickpocket. The world she lives in is divided by Red and Silver. Reds are powerless, doomed to a life of oppression and service for the mighty, powerful Silvers who have mutant powers over the mind and elements and live in luxury. For generations, the Reds have been sent to the frontlines of an unwinnable war while Silvers remain elite and rule with an iron fist.
While desperately searching for a way to escape conscription for her best friend Kilorn and herself, Mare finds herself in a deadly web – caught up in a trial where she is forced to reveal that (despite the impossibility) she has mutant powers herself – controlling and creating lightning. Since the King and Queen can’t silence Mare easily, they hide her in plain sight, passing her off as a long lost member of the royal family. Now in the public eye and betrothed to Maven, the prince – while finding her feelings are developing for his older brother, Cal – Mare has no way out.
But she will turn her power into rebellion, fighting to change the society that keeps Reds oppressed from inside the elite Silver circles by working as an insider and figurehead for The Red Guard… but in a world where anyone can betray anyone, Mare must keep her feet in a dangerous game or risk losing her life and the people she loves…
I love the writing style, it’s witty and definitely keeps you reading. It does rely on the romance and the action a lot though, I would have liked to see more history and world building. And while this is a fantastic début novel, Red Queen is a pastiche of the best YA novels of the past year… there are complete sentences and the entire plot that is basically a rip of The Hunger Games, The Selection and X-Men: First Class. Even the heroine, Mare, is nicknamed The Little Lightning Girl, which is not at all dissimilar to The Girl on Fire.
But here’s the thing, Red Queen is basically a really awesome fanfic of all my favourite books, and this meant I absolutely loved reading it!
At the end of the day, the most important thing is this – I couldn’t put the book down and I’m truly looking forward to getting the second book in this fantastic new series.
I think Red Queen stands a fighting chance at being a favourite in 2015’s round up of YA Novels. Give it a shot (of lightning).