Red Queen: Review

February 23, 2015 2 star books 53 ★★

Red Queen: ReviewRed Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen Trilogy #1
Published by HarperTeen on February 10, 2015
Genres: dystopian, fantasy
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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two-stars
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?

I am sad to say that Red Queen is yet another bland and wholly unexceptional entry in YA fantasy. What starts out with potential is ultimately unable to fulfill the promise of its premise. Here you have the story of a common girl, Mare, a Red, who finds herself in a position to make an actual impact against the brutal oppression of the supernaturally powered Silvers, and yet the story is one long slog fest of tired trope after another.


The writing is competent, yet far from stunning. But it was the convenience of the plot that first got my hackles raised. In the space of a single day Mare:

  • is selected from obscurity to get a job serving in the castle after a chance run in with one of the princes (he is obviously instantly enamored of her)
  • is sent out to serve the most important families in the realm, at one of the most important events that occur in the country, with no training and on her first day
  • falls tragically to her certain death except–what?! She’s Divergent I mean, her special powers she didn’t know about until this day have saved her
  • is betrothed to the younger prince, and is decided by the powers that be to be presented to the court as the long lost daughter of a Silver war hero who had been raised by a Red family and heretofore been unaware of her power.

This happens in one 24 hour period. While, yes, there may be politics we are not privy to at play here, no one seems to take any of this as a surprise or even a slightly strange course of action. “Here is this Red with inexplicable powers! We shall hide her in plain sight by betrothing her to the younger prince and probably no complications will ever arise from this plan. I suppose she has also never bled in her life and noticed she has red blood, not silver. Okay. This is reasonable. And it’s reasonable that we’ll ask the entire country to believe this.”

No. Perhaps if you are the type of reader who can get over such conveniences for the sake of a story’s enjoyment you will be much less bothered by this book than I was. Sadly, though, I could not shake that ludicrousness.

The characters are flat and unmemorable. By the end of the book, I had barely a better grasp on who Mare is than I had on page one. The ensemble characters are similarly blank. Both princes fulfill the stereotype of fantasy prince/brother dynamics. Elder Cal is serious and responsible, already carrying the weight of his future kingdom. Younger brother Maven is gentle and understanding, and hates living in his older brother’s shadow. What else is there to know about them? Who knows? The book doesn’t tell you. Mare’s loyal childhood friend Gale Kilorn had some promising sparks of personality and endearment but our time spent with him was sadly rather few.

Oh and that does remind me! Forget love triangles. This book has a love rectangle. Mare dreams of being able to run away with Kilorn from the oppression of Norta. Trust me, she thinks about the flashing of his emerald eyes a lot. Yet responsible Cal fished her out of a life of poverty and brought her to the castle. That’s certainly worth something! Then again, Maven is her betrothed. And, aw shucks, he is a really nice guy. What’s a gal to do? How can her heart decide?

Amazingly, all of the men in this book have an instant and intense liking of Mare. All of the women hate her. Which is funny because the two characters I enjoyed most were the scheming queen and Cal’s betrothed. But they were the most interesting! They were deliciously bad and had actual personalities. Or perhaps I just enjoy seeing ladies know what they want (power) and seizing that with no hesitations.

I did occasionally have flashes of near enjoyment in this story. Somewhere around the 60% mark there is a scene of chaos and action packed brutality that actually managed to rivet me to the page to see the outcome. Also, at one point a Silver with the power to freeze tortures a captured Red by freezing the blood in her veins so that it punctures through her skin in spikes(No this doesn’t make any sense, but much like the rest of the book you just have to go with it.) This is the sort of creepy gruesomeness that makes me smile like the Cheshire Cat. Make what you will about the disturbance of my soul, but those were the only scenes in the book that managed to make me feel, well, anything.

Aveyard tries to pull of a wham!bam!shocker! ending. Unfortunately, all of the twists can be seen from a mile away. A mantra of the book, one that is told to Mare often, and that she repeats to herself, again often, is, “Anyone can betray anyone.” Well, okay. This, combined with the many hints and warnings about the eventual betrayer, make it  obvious that it’s going to be whoever Mare is putting her trust in most. The foreshadowing and clues are not light handed.

Red Queen has a strong premise but ultimately couldn’t live up to its potential. Don’t fall for that beautiful cover. This one tries to be an interesting and unique entry into YA fantasy/dystopia, but its flat characters, slow pacing, predictable twists, and groan worthy love rectangle all ground it firmly in the realm of one to forget.

 

 

An advance copy was provided by the publisher for this review.

 

 

kim teal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

53 Responses to “Red Queen: Review”

  1. Hesione

    What ticked me off the most about this book was that the super-smart mentor figure wondered how someone could make electricity, because people can only manipulate things in this book – dude, making electricity is just as plausible as making heat. Electricity is not matter, it is literally moving electrons. Moving. Electrons. Mare can manipulate electrons all she wants if Cal and Maven can manipulate heat. Additionally, if hair loses color because of shock or stress, it loses color from the roots, not the ends. If the hair is merely losing color because of split ends, it won’t turn white – it’ll turn yellow. It didn’t seem like the author did any rudimentary research.

  2. Ella Faye

    I’m really sorry if anything I said on goodreads skewed your opinion of this book!
    I had a feeling you wouldn’t like it. I REALLY really don’t like books where women (or girls) are pitched against each other, while the male characters are adoring the MC! (Now you know what I meant by that comment ay ^^)

  3. Alex

    Thats such a shame to hear about the book, I’ve seen there has been a lot of hype around it, and I was even considering getting it because the blurb on the back just sounded so good! I guess I’ll have to be cautioned when considering to get it, maybe I’ll read some more reviews and see how the general consensus around the book is. I loved the review by the way! It’s nicely laid out and very witty, which is always important in a negative review. I’m gonna now go and read some more of your reviews :D

    • Kim

      Oh thank you, Alex! That is very sweet of you to say! <3

      I think it just wise as a matter of course to treat any and all greatly hyped books with caution. At least that's what I've learned in my time blogging. Of course, there are certainly titles that are absolutely deserving! But I find the majority of my great disappointments come from the big hype books. And a good number of my most treasured reads fly way under the radar. Just the way it goes I guess! If you're curious about this one I recommend checking it out from the library. You'll know within a few chapters whether you'll like it or not, you won't have spent any money, and you'll be supporting your library. All around win!
      Kim recently posted…A Darker Shade of Magic: Tour Stop + Giveaway (international)

  4. Jen @ YA Romantics

    Ha — maybe that explains my indifference to Mare — she’s a guys’ girl, not a girls’ girl. I agree with your take. The story had its entertaining moments — I liked the beginning few chapters — but I also found the characters flat and though the romance was blah. But others have really loved it, which makes all the discussions around it interesting.
    Jen at YA Romantics
    Jen @ YA Romantics recently posted…Just Finished Reading … Dead to Me by Mary McCoy

    • Kim

      Oh that is definitely a lot to do with my “indifference leaning toward dislike” with Mare. Also, maybe this is terrible but I seriously think of a horse *every* *single* *time* I see her name. Because, well, obvious reasons. Noooooo. The whole book was just so unremarkable and done way better in stories. I don’t get the appeal!
      Kim recently posted…A Darker Shade of Magic: Tour Stop + Giveaway (international)

  5. AJ

    APPALLING SPOILERS AHEAD. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.

    There is some kind of war brewing in the background of the story. It isn’t really explained.

    Mare possesses power to bend electricity (imagine Azula from Avatar: The Last Airbender). Oh, how original.

    A society stratified on the basis of how nauseous is the colour of your blood. Clear rip-off from Red Rising. Aveyard, you better take notes from How To Get Away With Murder: Rip-off Special.

    Numerous Goodreads’ discussion threads and bogs have been vocal about the ills of non-monogamous relationships. Authors, get a clue already!

    I really enjoyed the two witch-bitch characters just like……..we all love any good witch-bitch, but not at the cost of a bland protagonist.

    I’ll definitely keep any eye for the movie adaptation. I’m dead serious. •_•

    • Kim

      Yeah, it seems like the larger war is a setup for what’s going to happen in Book 2 but it’s still frustrating that it really isn’t elaborated upon in this book. The world building overall I found to be rather nearsighted.

      And I mean, people keep buying/loving books that feature love triangles so I guess it’s fair that so many authors think it’s a good/wise thing to include in their books. As for me, I do very much appreciate a fair warning that there will be a triangle (or more!) I can’t believe there’s an honest to goodness love rectangle. *face palm*

      I would’ve happily read a novel from either of the “evil women” perspectives. They were 1000x more interesting and had actual personalities. And I really don’t ever go for “bad” characters. These women were so deliciously bad though. I would like more please! More anti-heroines! Less bland and generic heroines!
      Kim recently posted…A Darker Shade of Magic: Tour Stop + Giveaway (international)

  6. Kate @ Ex Libris

    I actually had to laugh at the love rectangle. It *was* a bit bland and it really, without trying to hide it, seemed to borrow from every (now) iconic dystopian novel, but there were aspects of the plot that I enjoyed. I didn’t hate it, but I’m not sure of I
    ll be reading more in the series. It certainly deserves a nod for a successful marketing campaign because people I know who never read YA have been asking me about it….
    Kate @ Ex Libris recently posted…The Bookseller By Cynthia Swanson

    • Kim

      I wanted to laugh! But I was just expecting so much more from this one. Maybe that’s why I ended up coming down so harshly on it. It wasn’t *terrible* but it wasn’t great and I was so, so bored. I don’t think I’m usually one to jump to connections like, “Oh this is just another Bella/Katniss/Tris etc…But I couldn’t help but think of Gale when it came to Kilorn and of Divergent when it came to Mare and her powers. Book 2 sounds like it’s headed straight into Insurgent territory as well. Whatever! I won’t begrudge anyone from finding joy in a book even if I didn’t.

      And it sure does deserve a nod for successful marketing! I’m honestly left scratching my head. I can’t really recall any huge buzz or love for this one in the blogosphere. Or anywhere…yet it shot straight to #1 on the NYT bestseller’s. Yes, I would call that quite successful. But also, look at that cover. It is rather gorgeous. I’d be fooled by it hands down.
      Kim recently posted…A Darker Shade of Magic: Tour Stop + Giveaway (international)

  7. Kat

    I do sometimes accidentally judge books by their covers so I was kind of into this book because it looked so cool… although I don’t think I made it through the first chapter as it just didn’t really stand out for me. I think it’s going to the bottom of my to-read pile sadly!

    Kat x
    Kat recently posted…Audiobooks and reading block

    • Kim

      Oh I am sure we all judge books by their covers on some level. It’s just instinct! And this one sure does have a beautiful cover. I’m sure a great many people were lured in by cover alone! And sad to say, but if you didn’t like the first chapter I don’t think you’ll find the rest of it much improved. (I wouldn’t feel bad about letting it fall to the bottom of that TBR. There are worthier books that belong at the top!)
      Kim recently posted…A Darker Shade of Magic: Review

  8. Irene O'Brien

    THANK YOU for bringing up the how all the men instantly fall in love with Mare. It drove me crazy!! I was so ready to love this book and I was completely dissapointed. I’m glad I’m not the only one.

    • Kim

      Oh you bet! It was supremely eye roll worthy. Yes, yes, how nice. All of the men love you and all of the women hate you. That’s a healthy and good message for a Young Adult book. *side eye emoji*
      Kim recently posted…Red Queen: Review

  9. J. Oh

    Oh so disappointing! I was really looking forward to reading this book. :( I’ll still give it a try, but I’m sad that you found it didn’t live up to its premise.

    • Kim

      Yeah, it is disappointing. Don’t let me rain on the parade, though! I’m glad you’ll still check it out. But it’s perhaps better to have expectations in check. I think the praise for this one has been largely exaggerated.
      Kim recently posted…Red Queen: Review

  10. Cait @ Paper Fury

    I wasn’t a fan either….I was actually wildly confused because SO many people had said it was spectacular and unique and basically the best thing 2015 was going to offer and…no. It was like a rewrite of The Hunger Games and Xmen and Red Rising all SMUSHED together. -_- I don’t really feel Mare had very much character development. And I’m a teeny little itty bit sad it wasn’t an Alice in Wonderland retelling. XD lol
    Cait @ Paper Fury recently posted…The Last Time We Say Goodbye // cue tears

    • Kim

      If this was the best 2015 has to offer I would just go ahead and quit now. I have read several 2015’s that are much, much better than this book. I mean, I can see where the comparisons are made and obviously all three (except this was probably written before she ever couldve read Red Rising-though the similarities are annoying) are influences. But making those comparisons does the no justice and only sets up for failed expectations. And no, Mare didn’t have any character development. None of them did. Ugh.
      Kim recently posted…Red Queen: Review

  11. Kate

    Oh this book; I think there was some missed potential here!
    I thought it was a bit better than ‘okay-ish’. I read it and it mostly entertained me, but it also annoyed me.

    Mare Barrow (boring name to remind us that she’s just an ordinary gal – but the surprise is she’s obviously not!) was someone I couldn’t quite figure out. I agree that the ridiculousness of all of that happening within 24 hours was a bit much.

    I also felt that this book had too much going on but, also, at the same time, nothing going on. I had a few ideas that I thought might develop, but it turned out my ideas were better than what actually developed (which just let me down).

    A few things:

    1) The blood – what was with the blood. Why? People with powers vs. people without powers (I felt the blood colour thing felt gimicky and I could just picture some middle-aged publisher pushing for something ‘unique’).

    2) I’m sick of books about Cal. I think the Cal prototype is in so many books that I’ve read lately. The serious one; secretly visits the city and pretends to be ordinary, etc. Everything about this character felt familiar (but not in a good way). I actually prefer Maven.

    3) I would have liked to see Mare struggle. I would have liked to see her fight for something.

    Nonetheless, I’ll likely still read the next book, even if I don’t quite like where it seems to be going.

    You know what book I’d really like to read? A book about someone ordinary, who really is ordinary, in a world of extraordinary people, who works hard and rises to triumph. Like a Hermione Granger story about someone who succeeds because of diligence and dedication. I’ve had enough chosen ones for a lifetime.

    • Kim

      Oh, I love this comment so much, Kate. I agree with you. I felt like overall my problem with this book was that it felt like so much was going on, and yet it felt like *nothing* was going on. I couldn’t figure out how to properly communicate that for this review since those seem to be negating points. I think, perhaps, that the story was so weighed down in all that it was trying to do that it just couldn’t do any of it well and the end result is a boring, surface level slog fest.

      It did bother me that we got no explanation for the silver blood. I was secretly and ridiculously hoping it would be revealed that the Silvers were aliens! But alas I was disappointed. I can go with not getting an explanation for things sometimes in fantasy because fantasy. But the book so clearly takes place in our undetermined future (Norta, Naercy, Delphie= North East, New York City, Philadelphia). So there has to be an explanation at some point how people got actual silver blood and also powers. Perhaps in a future volume. So, yes, so far it just feels gimmicky and rather dumb.

      I understand why you prefer Maven! (and especially I have things to add but don’t want to go into for spoiler reasons)I much prefer Cal types but this Cal always just felt like a blank caricature of that type. I did not connect at all. I overall preferred the “evil” people in this book. They had life and personality.

      And yes, it would have been super nice for Mare to have to actually work for anything in this book. Instead of stumbling (or literally falling) into everything that happens to her. Everything was happening *to* Mare. She did not have a tremendous amount of agency.

      “You know what book I’d really like to read? A book about someone ordinary, who really is ordinary, in a world of extraordinary people, who works hard and rises to triumph. Like a Hermione Granger story about someone who succeeds because of diligence and dedication. I’ve had enough chosen ones for a lifetime.”

      This is gold and I want to hug you for it. Yes, and a thousand times over.
      Kim recently posted…Red Queen: Review

    • Kim

      Ha, I’m glad to be here as a counterbalance! If you’re more of a character reader I think it’s safer to say skip. If you like crack-town plots that don’t make a super ton of sense (absolutely no judgment here-I promise) then it would probably be enjoyable.
      Kim recently posted…Red Queen: Review

  12. Wendy Darling

    Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. It’s so disappointing to hear this! I read a few chapters awhile back after Layla was kind enough to snag a copy for me at NCTE, but it wasn’t grabbing me at the time and I had to put it down. How sad that this book was such a letdown after all the hype.

    I still intend to read this at some point to see what all the fuss is about, but it’s good to know to keep my expectations in check–and certainly good to be forewarned. And I gotta to tell you, AN EMBER IN THE ASHES has a love rectangle as well, which is one of my beefs with it. At least the plot/characters make up for this in that book, though. I’m so confused by why this is happening in fiction–like triangles, already the bane of many, aren’t enough?! So weird. I don’t discount that it might occasionally happen in real life, but c’mon. Within the space of one book, or a trilogy, that’s a lot of romantic entanglement to sort through.

    I love love loooooove the ridiculousness of the blood spiking through somebody’s skin, though. Heee hee heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

    • Kim

      Yeah, I think if you haven’t been grabbed by the first few chapters, Wendy, it’s unlikely to really improve for you. I am to sad to say it. I still do look forward to both you and Layla reading it, though. It’ll be fun to compare thoughts. Maybe there are great moments that I missed (I admit toward the end I started skimming–I was so bored). Or maybe moments of even greater ridiculousness. Probably the latter.

      And oh no…EMBER has a rectangle? D: This is not great news. I do not understand this phenomenon! I mean, it’s comforting to hear you say the plot and characters make up for it in that story. But still. My excitement has dropped a few notches. In this book it’s just ludicrous. The childhood best friend? Sure, I understand it. The younger prince is her actual fiance so okay fine. The older prince likes her for absolutely no reason and makes really dumb risks and mistakes to show his affection for her. Stop. Too many people liking this completely unremarkable character!

      The blood spiking was my favorite part. Which…I probably shouldn’t tell people that. But that’s what this book reduced me to!
      Kim recently posted…Red Queen: Review

  13. Brianna @ Paperback Princess

    I totally agree with this review. The more time that passes since I finish, the less I like this book. I finished it, which is something but if I had known how i would feel about it now in the beginning, I might not have wasted my time. I might read the second book just to see if it gets better but I don’t think it was worth the hype. It was kind of a disappointment.
    Brianna @ Paperback Princess recently posted…The Skinnytaste Cookbook by Gina Homolka

    • Kim

      I’ll keep an eye out on reviews for Book 2 but I honestly won’t be holding my breath or anything. It looks like Book 2 is headed into being a straight up rip off of Divergent. At least the love rectangle has been shaved off into a triangle by book’s end. But I can already tell the Book 2 triangle is going to intolerable. This just really isn’t a series for me. *sigh*
      Kim recently posted…Red Queen: Review

  14. Ellie

    You know, I was just talking to my friend about marketing and books. Because I’m reading Red Queen now, and it was the most hyped YA fantasy of 2015, it hit the NYT best sellers list already, and I’m just so underwhelmed. This just shows how truly powerful marketing is.
    Great review. I’m only like 2/3rd the way and I’m pretty positive the outcome and ‘twist’ since a while ago.
    Ellie recently posted…Cover Reveal and First 2 Chapters Launch for OF SMOKE AND STARDUST (On Wattpad)

    • Kim

      I think I didn’t even realize how greatly hyped it was. Some publishers have deeper pockets than others, though, and that is just how it goes I guess! That cover is so beautiful and now it’s hit #1 so people are bound to think this must be something special, unfortunately. And yeah, if you think you know what the twist is you know what it is. It’s not very subtle.
      Kim recently posted…Red Queen: Review

  15. Layla

    Wait. Kim. NORTA? Where in the world is that even located?

    This is a lovely review and it made me laugh evilly. I still haven’t read The Red Queen but I’m looking forward to it now. The plan about betrothing her to, like, a prince instead of killinating her seems utterly nonsensical to me, but I shall see if it makes more sense within the framework of the novel. (Though I doubt it. Why not just assassinate her I don’t understaaaaaannndddddd you could do it quietly and make it look like an accident you guysssss.)
    Layla recently posted…Red Queen: Review

    • Kim

      I mean, who ever could figure out where Norta is? We only know that it is in the Northeast. That there are the ruins of an ancient city on an island (with underground trains that you can still get to work!) called Naercy. There’s a city south of that called Delphie. THESE CLUES ARE TOO MYSTERIOUS. I CAN’T FIGURE IT OUT. Whomp whooooooomp.

      *side eye emoji*

      I actually can’t wait for you to read this book as I am eagerly looking forward to your live reactions as you read. I’m sure there’s a lot more nonsense that you’ll pick up on that I’ve yet to mention. I’m also hoping you’ll join me in loving the two “evil” female characters. THE ONLY INTERESTING CHARACTERS IN THE BOOK. Also, the only people in the book who do not like Mare. Coincidence?? Only YOU can decide!
      Kim recently posted…Red Queen: Review

    • Kim

      Yeah, let it fall, Pili. Let it fall and don’t feel even a little bit bad about it. There are books much worthier of your time. MIME ORDER *ahem* ;)
      Kim recently posted…Red Queen: Review

  16. Christina (A Reader of Fictions)

    Oh man, Kim. I’m so glad to not be the only one on this book. I read it a couple months ago, and I DO see the crack potential, but I was mostly bored.

    Hahahaha, her first day. Isn’t it just so excellent? In theory, this shit (powers, royalty, etc.) is my catnip, but in fact it was excellent for inducing catnaps.

    THE THING ABOUT THE BLOOD. So fucking stupid. She’s obviously never blushed or cut herself or gotten her period in her WHOLE life. Totally normal. No one will question this at all.

    I didn’t really think about the queen and Cal’s betrothed, but I love your points, and, looking back, they DO have personalities. They may be “evil,” but at least they have motivations and WORK to get what they want, rather than stumbling into it conveniently.

    For all of that, I might still read the next book, but I don’t know. I might not even be curious by that point. Not sure why I’m curious since I don’t give a shit about Mare or anyone else.
    Christina (A Reader of Fictions) recently posted…Review: Prince of Shadows by Rachel Caine

    • Kim

      Yes, Christina! I will be here in the black sheep pen with you. Oh, sure, the handsome prince just automatically liked you after speaking to you for five minutes and he got you a job. I had taken a screenshot of a moment later in the book and sent it to Layla because it was *so* cringworthy Mare is talking to Cal and brings up the very excellent question of why he cared at all about her. It was before he even knew she was different. And he says, “You were different to me.” Yes, sure. You had one brief conversation! I did a super epic Liz Lemon worthy eye roll.

      And right?! Literally the entire country just goes along like, “Yes this is reasonable that literally no one in her life ever noticed her blush! She has never cut herself.” Dumb so dumb. I also have the feeling I would have adored this story if it was told from the fiancee’s perspective (I dont even remember her name and I read this book last week). You’re right; she works for what she wants and also is extremely badass.

      This?

      “In theory, this shit (powers, royalty, etc.) is my catnip, but in fact it was excellent for inducing catnaps.”

      Ahahahahahahaha. Yes. This. What a disappointment.
      Kim recently posted…Red Queen: Review

  17. Ashley

    So here I am, on my lunch break, drinking some water and I get to the line: “falls tragically to her certain death except–what?! She’s Divergent I mean, her special powers she didn’t know about until this day have saved her”

    And there went all my water.

    I am torn on this book, I have one friend who loved it, and then have a handful that did not love it. I tend to agree more with the did not love it group to the point I am thinking of moving it down my TBR list.
    Ashley recently posted…The Winner’s Crime (The Winner’s Trilogy #2) by Marie Rutkoski

    • Kim

      No really. She’s Divergent. She’s a very special blend of Red and Silver. A whole new thing. And there are others like her out there. Is she, perhaps, going to go on a mission where she rounds up the other Divergents and starts their plan of attack against the Silvers? MAYBE.

      I’d say check it out from the library. If you aren’t feeling it by 20% in then it’s unlikely you will enjoy the book further.

      I’m glad I made you laugh, though. :)
      Kim recently posted…Red Queen: Review

  18. Carina Olsen

    lol, gorgeous review Kim. <3 But aw, I'm so sorry you had so many issues with this book :\ It was a three star for me, though I kind of really enjoyed it. But. I did hate it a little at times :p and now reading your thoughts, I'm disliking it more after having read it, lol :D but I am curious about book two ;p Thank you for sharing your thoughts sweetie. <3 I'm sorry this book wasn't perfect. Sigh. It wasn't for me either :\
    Carina Olsen recently posted…The Winner’s Curse Trilogy: Official Map

    • Kim

      Ha oh no! Certainly don’t let me rain on your enjoyment of a book! Go back to a more innocent when you hadn’t read this review and you were in your three star haven. :) Unfortunately, I cannot say I am even mildly curious for Book 2. With any luck, and now that she’s got her debut done and published, Book 2 will be even better. And we can forget all about me dumb ol’ me and my silly 2 stars!
      Kim recently posted…Red Queen: Review

      • Carina Olsen

        lol. <3 I did like it. I had some issues, with the romance, sigh, and the characters, but I did like the plot :D Sort of. Well. I kind of loved it when I read the book, hih :) My mind just changes a lot after finishing a book :p So it isn't fully your fault. <3 But aw, I'm sorry you aren't curious about book two. I do hope book two will be better, though :) But I wonder if she will make it into an awful love triangle in the sequel. Sigh. That would be all kinds of annoying. Hmph. Pfff! You are not dumb. <3 I adore your thoughts about this book :)
        Carina Olsen recently posted…Cress Tuesday #70

  19. Nikki

    Wow, this looked like it had such promise, but most of the reviews I’ve seen for this book now are along the same lines. I’ll probably pass on this one.

    • Kim

      Yeah, I feel safe recommending people take a pass. There are richer, more subtle, and more complex fantasies out there. Still doesn’t hurt to maybe check it out from the library. You never know! And it’s certainly been popular enough…
      Kim recently posted…Red Queen: Review

  20. Brenda

    I had higher hopes for this one. Darn those engaging covers! I’m going to put this on the backburner for library checkout. Thanks for the review.

    • Kim

      Yes, those beautiful covers can be awfully deceiving sometimes….Hmph. This is definitely one for library checkout. You might end up liking it but if you don’t no real loss since it was free! And you get to support your library to boot (yay!)
      Kim recently posted…Red Queen: Review

  21. Emma @ Miss Print

    It’s interesting watching the disconnect between the blog reviews I am seeing and public reception (#1 on the NYT bestseller list). While the book was fun and action-y (like Divergent) I shared all of your issues with the characters and especially with the predictable plot. I never thought about the fact that Mare would have never noticed her Silver blood earlier in terms of the made up cover story though and am somewhat dismayed that I missed that point!
    Emma @ Miss Print recently posted…In the Shadow of Blackbirds: A Review

    • Kim

      Yes, I do find it rather…interesting…that this hit #1. It’s a completely unexceptional story. I don’t mind reading a story that’s been done before (I mean-honestly, everything is a remix in some way or form). But it has to be done well. This one is not.

      And ha, the silver blood. Oh my god. It immediately struck as ludicrous that you’re asking an entire country to believe that this girl has never seen her own blood or someone has pointed out her flush when she blushes. Nope. I mean, this is a relatively minor thing in the whole context of the story but it really bothered me!
      Kim recently posted…Red Queen: Review

    • Kim

      Aw that’s okay. I’ve been lucky so far this year–I’ve found some really lovely reads! And Shadow Scale and The Storyspinner are up next for me. I have a feeling they won’t let me down. :)
      Kim recently posted…Red Queen: Review

  22. Mary @ BookSwarm

    While I liked this story more than you did, I completely agree with the unexplainable bits and overuse of tropes. Still, I was able to lose myself in the story and enjoy it (that’s probably why I haven’t reviewed it yet! Once I start disseminating it, my enjoyment level will drop. Alas.
    Mary @ BookSwarm recently posted…Do It In 140: Tweet-Short Reviews (12)

    • Kim

      Oh, I’m totally glad you were able to enjoy this one more than I did, Mary. I think a big part of the problem is that I’m such a character reader and all of the characters were just so flat to me. And I get that sometimes a plot can be ridiculous but am willing to overlook it because it’s an otherwise enjoyable story! I totally do that. But sadly, not this time. :(
      Kim recently posted…Red Queen: Review