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My rating: 4 of 5 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?

An advance reader copy was provided by Hachette Australia Books for review.

Actual rating 3.5 stars.

Imagine the X-Men as the lords and ladies in the pseudo-medieval period set in a dystopian future.
Sounds like something you never knew you wanted to read about but now that you know, you want it more than Nutella? Yup, that was me before I received a copy of this book. Sadly, it just didn't deliver.

In this dystopian world, the society is divided into two castes, the silvers (people with superpowers) and the oppressed reds (regular people). The book centres around Mare, a red who suddenly discovers that she has a unique superpower and how she is made into a pawn in a dangerous ploy for the throne.

I think my biggest issue with the book is the characters. In a moral sense, I think none of the characters deserves any respects which makes it's hard to pick a side. Understandably, living in a dystopia society like depicted in the story means it's difficult to cling to your moral values because you got to do what you have to do to survive, right? But most of the time, the characters, especially Mare has the option that offers less damage but she chose the less wise, morally-corrupted choice nonetheless. Morally-vague characters are something that I usually enjoy in literature - time and time again I found myself rooting for the antagonists because they are so entertaining. However in Red Queen, the characters make wrong decisions due to their cowardliness and lack of purpose, hence the book felt flat and lost its appeal on me midway through. For a book with just 320 pages, it felt like it has more than 500 pages in my head.

Luckily I pulled through because that ending worth every second I sat there with my tablet, trying to pry my eyes open and keep reading for the first 80% of the book. I suspected the big twist from miles away but as a plot hole so by the time the true villain was revealed to me, I was pretty shocked nonetheless. And have I mentioned how much I loved the ending? The final showdown has the right amount of action, tension and complexity. Will sell kidneys for the sequel!

Another aspect that was done quite well was the action and the battle scene. Some of the superpowers seem weak in comparison to the others but the author managed to show that when these superpowers are handled well, they can be deadlier than the obvious strong ones. But I need MOAR! There is simply not enough action to keep this book from being a snoozefest.

Overall, a pretty solid debut by Victoria Aveyard although I couldn't see myself wanting to pre-order the physical copy of this book anytime soon. :/

Me gusta! 4-stars


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