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Red Queen (Red Queen series, Book 1) Audio CD – CD, February 10, 2015
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''A wonderful mash up of Ancient Rome and Marie Antoinette with a dash of Catherine Fisher's Incarceron and Ridley Scott's Gladiator, not to mention some of Marvel Comic's box of tricks...Exciting and original.'' --Sam Hawksmoor, author of the 'Repossession' trilogy
''The story has touches of the usual dystopian suspects. However, it's formulaic elements are far outweighed by the breakneck pace and engaging characters. There's a bit of teen romance, but luckily the characters are self-aware enough to realize its frivolity among the story's more important plot points. A solid debut from Aveyard and a welcome addition to the plethora of speculative teen lit.'' --Library Journal
''First-time author Aveyard has created a volatile world with a dynamic heroine, and while there are moments of romance, they refreshingly take a backseat to the action. Anticipation is already high for this debut, and with the movie rights already acquired and two sequels to come, it will likely only grow.'' --Booklist
''Red Queen is a clever blend of 'The Hunger Games, The Selection, Graceling' and 'Divergent'.'' --Starburst
About the Author
- Publisher : HarperCollins Publishers and Blackstone Audio; Unabridged edition (February 10, 2015)
- Language : English
- Audio CD : 1 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1481533118
- ISBN-13 : 978-1481533119
- Reading age : 12 - 17 years
- Grade level : 8 - 9
- Item Weight : 10.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.3 x 1.4 x 5.8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,135,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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I don’t like not finishing a book. It feels...wrong, but I could have stopped about 1/3 of the way through. I thought I had it all figured out, but sometimes an author will surprise you at the end with “I deliberately misled you! Don’t you feel gullible?” That was not the case here, and the junior high-esque sentence structure probably should have tipped me off to the lack of highly cerebral twists at the end. Yep, I feel gullible.
Tl;dr: I read this entire book. I want my money and my five hours back. There is no sex in this book, but don’t worry. You’ll still feel screwed afterwards.
All of the elements of the story that work are lifted with shocking lack of disguise from the Hunger Games. I liked the Hunger Games but I'm far from a superfan, and hadn't read it for YEARS, but immediately certain things in the book just made me roll my eyes. Trade in 'Seam' for 'Stilts', and take all of the character development components that work for the Hunger Games, and that is about the only redeeming feature of this work.
Plot holes you can drive a truck through? Yes. Condescending stuff about how the heroine (using that term loosely) bleeds inside, being just self absorbed and emo enough to make it 'young adult' fiction? Someone doesn't think much of their readers. Not to mention how clearly this person is angling to sell movie rights by incorporating what I can only describe as sound-bites of comedic relief into the action scenes, which a) don't really work, and b) just make the book worse.
In the Red Queen, some of those typical F/UF patterns are definitely presented, which DID make me say "hmm" when my mind was led to other series that I had read.
THE PLOT: Overall, there are some details that make this world unique. The division between the people, into the Silvers and Reds brings something new to the table and gives a little bit of the author's own flair. However, it follows the traditional setup of today's young adult dystopia when she creates the conflict between the HAVES (Silvers) and the HAVE NOTS (Reds). The Silvers are born with powers (literal, social, and political) as well as privilege. Their unique magical abilities make them "deserving" of ruling the world and too special to die in the midst of the long-running war in their world. The Reds are ordinary, and they take up the burdens of the world such as the heavy working with a conscription deadline of 18- if they do not have a job at that age, it is off to war they go.
THE CHARACTERS: Mare Barrow, the main character, is OK. There is a lot that happens in this first novel, a lot of hard truths and experiences that set her up for some overdue character development in 2016's sequel, The Glass Sword. Some of her issues put her on the pedestal next to Suzanne Collins' Katniss and Veronica Roth's Tris; she becomes caught up in a revolution and hasn't found her footing between being a pawn, a revolutionary symbol, or standing on her own two feet and being a real person-- not a tool. There are some characters that readers will love, and others that they will love to hate. Aveyard does a decent job with her other characters, making it easy to form an attachment (and a clear preference) between the two princely brothers, Tiberian (I won't tell you his other name and spoil things) and Maven.
THE TWISTS: I won't ruin things and go into specifics, but there were a few major twists within the novel. The most important one is both surprising and unsurprising. When this twist was revealed, I could understand why Aveyard made this move, and it made sense for the purpose of her plot. At the same time, I did not LIKE this twist and had hoped it wasn't coming. It sets up the rest of the major conflict for the second book, but readers may find themselves frustrated when they have to adjust their view of a previously lovable character.
THE ROMANCE: There's enough of a romantic spark to provide some conflict for Mare and move her relationships forward into complication. She is the basis of three different romantic interests. One with an old childhood friend while the others entangle her with the two princes. Aveyard toys with the reader, making it seem clear (at least to me) who Mare should be with, and then almost gleefully ripping that away. In some ways, I think that this is good for the reader. Too often we get set into our own ways and beliefs of how a book should turn out, and it can be refreshing (though disappointing) when we have to adjust and be open-minded to pairings and characters that we didn't root for in the first place. Plus, it also lets you root for a relationship despite the odds, if you don't want to give up.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: Overall, I enjoyed the book. There were enough familiar patterns that I could make some predictions about where the main story arc would take Mare, but not enough to ruin my experience of reading the Red Queen. For those of you with the spare money, time, and an avid love of F/UF, check out RQ. It's worth a read, and with the sequel coming out in the next month and a half, interested readers won't have long to wait for the new installment. I hope Aveyard continues to distinguish her storyline within the second book, and help pull Mare out of Katniss and Tris' shadows.
Top reviews from other countries
The plot itself, is predictable, slow moving and quite frankly boring, taking a good quarter of the book for anything to actually happen, and the middle of the book being entirely pointless. The characters on the other hand are even worse. The heroin, Mare, has such a hero complex it is actually painful to read. Not only does she elevate herself above the silvers based on her red blood (hypocritical as blood is the reason silvers elevate themselves in the society, and what causes Mare to hate them in the first place) but she also appears to think that the entire world revolves around her. I honestly have not detested a character this much for a very long time - it got to the point that within the second book I was agreeing with the opinions of the characters who are clearly meant to be enemies: Mare is nothing but a brat. The other main characters within this book, of Cal and Maven, are rather likeable in comparison; odd considering Maven reminded me slightly of a young Prince Joffrey from Game of Thrones. I truly wish there was more character development by both of these, other than the wholly predictable revelation of which brother is good and which is bad. Similarly the plot twist, of which the prior revel concerns, is utterly useless. It was obvious that a certain characters death was meant to be heartbreaking, but quite honestly I was more upset that the author didn't take the time to kill of Mare.
Overall, a good concept, but really not worth the read if you actually want to like any of the characters that you are reading about.
The Red Queen positions itself in quite a different groove. It is a story about Mare, who is a Red, and her struggles when she is elevated to the position of faux-Silver. In binary terms, a Red is someone without magical powers, a class of downtrodden by the magical Silvers. But Mare is actually magical herself – a quirk of genetics – and hence she is smothered as a faux-Silver to hide this anomaly. But Mare stays true to her red blood: cue rebellion, revolution, and all sorts of fun.
One of my favourite things about this book is the environment in which it is set. Most of the time it feels like we’re walking through a classic fantasy environment – perhaps a touch more renaissance than usual, but still. At times though, we are sent spinning by the existence of TV screens, security cameras, and other modern devices. It’s a really cleverly woven environment, and when we approach the capital city, the imagining really steps another level. Some of the ideas are brilliant, and I enjoyed my time in this fantasy world greatly.
This is also a really well written book, with very few mistakes, a nice flow, and a certain ‘page-turner’ quality. It is written in fist-person (which is not my favourite), but it is done pretty well and I enjoyed the story nonetheless. Mare is an easy-to-get-on-with lead character, and she is supported by a great cast of other characters too. All in all, a really comfortable read.
But comfortable does not imply leisurely. Oh no. This is a well-paced novel with twists and turns coming in all the right places. The ending in particular is very nice, with a great warping of events, and some really emotive scenes. This is nicely setup for the rest of the series.
So, was there anything about this that I didn’t get on with? Well, the use of first-person was quite annoying (personally speaking). I think there are a few things about first person that are frustrating, the worst being that it is sometimes hard to catch where an inner-monologue ends and where speech starts. The other thing that first-person does is to lend itself to more substantial inner-dialogue, and this can get a bit cumbersome at times. Overall this book certainly works, but I would personally have preferred a different perspective.
In terms of story, there are probably only a couple of things that I didn’t get on with. There is one particular scene that sticks out, where Mare elopes with another key character in something of an ‘easy rider’ style. It was all a bit indulgent, and the slightly ‘50’s taste of the scene was just really out of place compared to the rest of the book. If they’d gone on horseback, maybe this would have settled nicer.
And finally, some of the revolutionary planning that is cooked up is wildly juvenile. The romantic in me would like to believe that the plan ever had a chance, but it’s one battle where the head doesn’t need to work very hard to quash the heart’s over-optimistic nature. To pin a plan of that size on an act which is so volatile is surely crazy, and that fact is catching. It didn’t ruin the story, but hey. Hopefully Mare learns from that fanciful mistake.
But overall this is a great book – well worth a read. It has all the right ingredients and is well executed, with flashes of beauty. This looks to be an extensive series, and you can be sure that I’ll be reading on!
Review: The story is set in a fictional world, The Kingdom Of Norta where two types of people live,
People with Silver Blood (these people have special abilities like controlling water or metal etc) and People with Red Blood (these people have no special abilities and are treated as slaves by the silver blood).
The story revolves around 17 year old girl Mare Molly Barrow, a RED BLOOD, she hates how Silver Blood people treats the Red Blood people and she want this to be changed, she wants that the Red Blood and Silver Blood should be treated equally. But she does not know that she posses a deadly talent of her own that could change the entire situation. The Silver Blood people hides Mare from the Red Blood people by declaring her a long-lost Silver Princess. Now Mare has a chance to demolish the empire from within and to end this all but this is not so easy as her own life is at stake. At what lenght is Mare willing to go to end this.
Find out what happens when Mare Barrow enters the Game of Lies and Betrayal where "Anyone can Betray Anyone."
The love triangle is boring and frustrating, most of the time wondering why our heroine has been written to fawn over certain lazily-written characters who are at best irritatingly privileged and at worst complicit in her family's devastation.
Entertaining but forgettable.