Red Queen Review
Updated: Oct 13
This was definitely a big let down.
This is a world divided by blood - red or silver.
The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.
That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.
Fearful of Mare's potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.
But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance - Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart...
This was definitely a big let down. I had seen this all over bookstagram and a while back I found myself a pre-loved copy in great condition. So I knew I wanted to read it. Plus, the summary sounded so good! However, the summary did not live up to my hopes of a great read. What I read ended up feeling more like a mashup of other fantasy books and still didn’t compare. It fell flat in comparison.
One book in particular that this reminded me of so much was The Hunger Games. Red Queen had aspects throughout the entire book that just screamed The Hunger Games. From the way, the world was segregated to the resistance. The only unique part in Red Queen was that some of the characters had these special abilities. But then, this detail also reminded me of the Shatter Me series. Then there was this training class that sounded just like Divergent. I’m sure there was more, but I think you get the point. This entire book was just a mash-up. But it wasn’t enough to make it unique. It felt like it was trying too hard to be unique.
This entire book was just a mash-up. But it wasn’t enough to make it unique. It felt like it was trying too hard to be unique.
About halfway through, I still wasn’t impressed I looked up some non-spoiler reviews to see if this got better. And I was surprised to see so many others felt the same way as me. They also saw the mash-up. In this search, I discovered there was this “massive twist” at the end so that gave me hope that I might change my mind and make me want to continue with the rest of the series.
That “twist,” though I didn’t expect it, didn’t make me hooked either. In fact, it made me go “What?? That’s the twist?” *insert eye roll* Just because I didn’t expect it doesn’t mean I liked it. I thought it was dumb. At that point in the book, I just wanted to finish the book and move on.
I thought it was dumb. At that point in the book, I just wanted to finish the book and move on.
Despite all this, I will admit this flowed really well. There was rarely a dull moment, and it was a swift read. This book has a lot of world-building, especially an amount you see when you know there’s going to be more than one book for this storyline. I did enjoy reading this to an extent, but it was still a major disappointment.
Another let down was the characters, none of them felt at all that amazing. I wasn’t really rooting for anyone including our main character, Mare. There were parts where I loved Mare, and then there were parts I just found her so annoying.
Overall, I didn’t enjoy this one. I had hoped for an amazing story. What I got was a poorly executed mashup of my favorite books that it didn’t live up to. But I think if you enjoy fantasy dystopian books, definitely give it a shot. You might enjoy it more than me!