Mare Barrow (17) lives in a world where the color of your blood determines your place in society. Those who have silver blood are the chosen ones; they have supernatural abilities. People with red blood don't. Their purpose is to serve the Silver Elites. Mare is a Red who is living on the edge. She steals what she can to feed her family and avoid being drawn into the ongoing war. In an attempt to save her best friend from being conscripted, fate lands her at the Royal Palace. What she discovers is impossible: her blood is red, but she has superhuman abilities. This twist forces her into the role of being a Silver princess. While this may hide her real identity, it also gives Mare the opportunity to help her people. She uses her new position to secretly help the Scarlet Guard, a rebellion against the Silver Elites. In this dangerous game, will Mare be able to save herself and those who are suffering? or will she lose it all?
BTSYA / Teen Reader (Age 17):
With its action, dialogue and a love triangle. Red Queen is a fairly good book and a good choice for a light summer read. I heard many good reviews and was excited when I could finally get my hands on it. In the end, though, I was disappointed. I haven't read a book quite like Red Queen, but at the same time, the premise seems all too familiar to other YA fiction. In a flash Mare seems destined to be a superhero and save the world. There is character development, but Mare seems too naive, too dumbfounded, and falls for glaring mistakes that she could have easily avoided. I don’t regret reading it and will finish the series. I still have hopes for the next book and am curious to see where Aveyard will take Mare as her journey continues.
BTSYA / Teen Reader (13):
Red Queen is a thrilling, fast paced and action-packed novel. The concise descriptions and simplistic style are refreshing and stunning, presented with raw clarity. Character flaws run deep, bringing them to life beyond the page. The Silver’s abilities are interesting, complex, and add a unique flavour to the story. The main theme, in a dystopian setting, is the fight for expression, liberation and equality. Instead of a standard rebellion story, the author makes it unique by weaving in a secondary perspective: the position of power.
While the plot and characters had so much potential, the book fell short. There was limited to no worldbuilding, so it was difficult to understand the context of the story. It also falls back on familiar tropes in so many YA novels. Mare has a unique, strange ability and a snarky, but moderately irritating personality to go with it. She stumbles upon two possible love interests and is so blinded by her emotions that she is constantly obsessing over the right choice. These things are so common they felt like exact copies of other books.
Bottom line: Red Queen has an interesting premise, but doesn't contain enough originality or explanation to expand on the ideas. Because of its mature content, the book is best for ages 13 and older.
Readers who like young adult fantasy and dystopia may enjoy this action-oriented story featuring a strong girl main character.
This young adult dystopian fantasy features a strong female as the lead character.
This is a story for fun reading. Those who love talking about world-building, caste systems, and impactful character choices will find plenty of material in Red Queen.
14 and Up
13 and Up
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age 17, 13