Series: Red Queen #1
Genre: High Fantasy, Young Adult
Published by HarperTeen (2.10.2015)
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