Book Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Red QueenTitle: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen #1
Published: February 10, 2015
Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 382
From: Barnes and Noble
Rating: 9/10

I have a thing for getting on Goodreads and looking at what is super popular at the time, and what will be out soon, and what of the many books are getting hype. I noticed Victoria Aveyard’s debut novel Red Queen, and instantly wanted to read it (mostly for the cover, but also because of the summary).

I preordered Aveyard’s book, and it came in the mail on a Thursday. I instantly decided I would read it after finishing one of the series I’m working on now, until I wanted a change of pace on Saturday, picked up Aveyard’s book and didn’t put it down until I was finished.

I finished Red Queen in less than two days, the quickest I’ve read a book in a very long time. I basically didn’t leave my bed except for food and a shower, I was so into this book.

Red Queen is from the point of view of Mare Barrow, a girl with Red blood living with her family until she is conscripted into the nation’s military. She meets a man who gets her a job at the king and queen’s summer palace near her home, where she witnesses the might and power of the future queens during Queenstrial. She also witnesses something about herself she never knew could happen.

I thoroughly enjoyed Aveyard’s intricate world, woven with descriptive words and flowing prose. She creates a land I’m assuming is in the future and plays out her story with action at every turn.

While I enjoyed the book, I also didn’t like some of it. I thought the storyline was too similar to books such as Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games and Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogies. They both take place in a dystopian future U.S. And, Red Queen and Hunger Games are similar in that they both depict deadly arenas.

This could be a coincidence. Aveyard could have been working on Red Queen for far longer than Collins or Roth had with their series. But, it could also have been a spark of an idea, a way to build her world after reading other similar stories. Either way, it worked.

I also didn’t like how much action there was. Aveyard paced the novel quite well, so that each scene fit nicely and didn’t seem rushed or drawn out, but the book of 380-some pages had so many twists and turns I didn’t know where to look. I always view a good book as one with some action, not too much, that still manages to keep you hooked by the style of writing. Aveyard is a decent writer, but I feel she didn’t manage to keep me hooked more than entertainment value.

Overall, I am excited to see what Aveyard does in the future, where her next novel in the series will take readers.

To read Good Books and Good Wine’s review of Red Queen, click here. Aveyard’s debut novel Red Queen is available in stores and online at Barnes and Noble or, as well as other places.

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