Series: Red Queen #1
Published by HarperTeen (2.10.2015)
Genres: High Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: eARC, 320 pages
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?
This book was one of my most anticipated 2015 releases. After seeing review after review, proclaiming how EPIC and AMAZING and MIND BLOWING this book was, I wanted it desperately! I originally missed it on Edelweiss somehow, until someone told me it was on there. I immediately went and downloaded it. I was sure I was going to love this one.
Alas, I did not. I am the black sheep. (Again.) Maybe the problem is that the Hype Monster set my expectations sky high, but I think it’s that this book just wasn’t for me. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t terrible. It just didn’t do it for me.
The saving grace of this book was that the idea of Reds and Silvers was totally unique! I was so excited to read about the society. And it was interesting – the different types of Silvers were cool: telkies (telekinesis), swifts, nymphs (water control), greenys (earth control), stoneskins (literally), magnetrons (metal control), oblivions (walking bomb). Reds bleed red, Silvers bleed….well, silver. Interesting (despite not being very original).
But that’s where my interest stops. From the very beginning, I was bored. It didn’t grab me, and I found the prose to be very dry. For being relatively short (320 pages, as Goodreads tells me), this book seemed FOREVER long. The pacing was horribly slow for me. The main downfall of this book is that I simply didn’t care. About any of it. The characters, the story, the “twists” (which I could see coming a mile away). I felt nothing. Not even a flicker.
It was predictable. Horribly predictable. View Spoiler »I knew right away that Mare was going to have powers. I knew that Cal was going to be a prince (of course he’s a prince. OF COURSE HE IS. Cliche much?). I knew that Maven was a bad guy. I knew her brother wasn’t really dead. Even if I hadn’t felt a negative twinge when it came to Maven from the start, it would have been painfully obvious with the in-your-face foreshadowing of the phrase anyone can betray anyone repeated over and over and OVER again. « Hide Spoiler Thus, I wasn’t surprised when anything happened. The ending did nothing for me. It should have been nail-biting and heart-pounding, but it wasn’t.
Oh, and did I mention there was an almost love square? View Spoiler »I say almost because Maven was just using Mare, so that kind of negates his side of it. But Mare still had feelings for him. And she had feelings for Cal, who clearly had feelings for her. (Thankfully that side was eliminated in the end as well.) But, there was something that Kilorn said that hinted that he had feelings for her too. Despite the final outcome, it was just too much for me for there to be three dudes vying for her attention all at the same time. « Hide Spoiler
I had a lot of trouble picturing the world. The description didn’t paint the picture in my head very well. Also, I really wish there had been a map! (Is there a map in the paper ARC? Maybe it will be in the finished copy, but it wasn’t in the eARC.)
Despite the originality of the Reds vs. Silvers, I don’t feel as if this book stands out in the sea of High Fantasy. It honestly feels so generic. I highly doubt much else about this book will stick in my mind. It felt like reading Snow Like Ashes all over again. If you want a good HF with princes and princesses, read Throne of Glass instead.
Writing style: 3.5/5
Overall rating: 3/5
Oh I am so sorry you didn’t enjoy this one more! I am anxious for its release. Thanks for the heads up about the pacing though. Hopefully I will enjoy it a bit more. :)
I enjoyed this one and I agree about the Red/Silver idea being unique. However, it was full of a lot of standard YA tropes…..
Great review! Too bad you didn’t like it. I’ve read mixed reviews for this one though (you’re not alone!) but there is so much hype I want to see what I think for myself. I do know I hate predictability though… We’ll see! And I want to read Throne of Glass so badly! It’s very close to the top of my TBR. *rubs hand together eagerly*
I’m so sorry you didn’t like it, I loved it. One thing you said, that it was like Snow Like Ashes all over again, well I haven’t read that, so maybe that is why it didn’t seem the same to me as it did you. And yeah, there is a lot of the standard things in it that you see in these types of books. But for me, sometimes it’s okay to do that, I do enjoy reading something exactly like I like again, but I felt the Silvers and Reds were different. I did have some issues with needing more details that I felt I didn’t get. And at times it almost seemed like maybe a bit of dystopian thrown in. I personally don’t know that I’ll ever read Throne of Glass, it doesn’t sound like my type of read. I”m not really a high fantasy reader either, so maybe that is why I enjoyed it more than you did. Great review though, you spent a lot of time explaining exactly what you didn’t like.
I am worried about this book, I have been having such bad luck with all the books everyone loves and thinks is epic. Snow Like Ashes and Heir of Fire are two examples, one I bailed on and one I finished but struggled. I am not worried about this one also. Great review! I will read it one day but I have a feeling I might be a black sheep too.
Awww, no! :( What a bummer that you didn’t like this more. :( I hate it when this happens to me so I feel your pain. *hugs*
I am in the same boat as you are. I feel like the author took all the YA dystopian/fantasy troupes she could find, put them in a bowl and then pulled a few to create her plot. I had the same problem with A Thousand Pieces of You.
Ah, that’s a bummer. I’m still pretty psyched for this one. I was rejected on EW and possibly NG too…so I am itching to read it! I love a good fantasy read, sadly though I just could not get into Throne of Glass, but I see it recommended everywhere!
I have been seeing mixed reviews on this one. Lots of different feels over this, but I still plan on reading it because I am that curious! LOL! Hope you enjoy your next anticipated read more! Very nice review all the sane! I have lowered my hopes for this one to be at a calm, just to be ready for mixed feels!
Your review isn’t the first so-so one I’ve read for Red Queen, so you’re not really a “black sheep.” ;) Although you’re the first one to mention its pacing. The more I find out about this book, the more I’m leaning away from checking it out.
I cannot tell you how much i love this cover! i am sorry it wasn’t fantastic for you, but I still think it’s one i am going to have to read. Not every book is for everyone, so I appreciate all of the reviews I see on this book :)
The hype monster strikes again! I’ve been seeing pretty much the same thing from other bloggers. It was so highly anticipated (I took part in that anticipation too) and then fell a bit flat. Though the love square (quadrangle? rhombus? we’ll work on this) sounds *ahem* interesting. Sometimes it’s fun to have a few choices, and sometimes it’s too. much. angst.
I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this one :( it’s unfortunate how things can be so over-hyped sometimes. Yours isn’t the first review I’ve seen that didn’t like it, so you’re certainly not alone!
A love square though *wince* I fear I’m going to have issues with that particular element when I eventually read it.
Oh no! This is on my most anticipated list too… That cover and the concept really drew me in. I’m crossing my fingers that I feel differently, but I’m so nervous now! That it was boring is the worst – because if something just irritated you, I could be like “oh that wont bother me!” But boring is scary. I’m glad you didn’t hate it though – 3 stars gives me hope :)
This was one of those I had been looking forward to a lot this year as well. I do think the concept is unique, but I have heard that it is like a lot of books thrown together in one, and that sort of puts me off :/ I have hopes I will still like it enough though ^^
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