Hello, there! I’m feeling like a winner at the moment because I managed to put up two reviews today, haha!
In March, the lovely Jess from Mud and Stars agreed to start a book club with me and our first read was Red Queen. You can read her review here and if you don’t know her, please take a moment to stalk her blog. She’s one of the most kind and sweet human beings ever!
I’m already late in my own chronogram, so let’s go, haha!
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…
Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂
I simply have to say that I don’t understand all the hype around this book. I admit I’m not a hardcore fan of dystopian books, but Red Queen got my attention. The premise had potential, everybody seemed to be speaking only good things about it and the cover is gorgeous. What I actually got was a blanket made with a piece of every famous recent dystopian book series that reached the stars. I was constantly thinking of The Hunger Games (and I only saw the second movie!), The Selection, Star Wars, Pokémon and so on. Yes, you read it right, Pokémon. We’ll get there. What I’m trying to say is that Red Queen is not an awful book by any means, but it isn’t original or brilliant either. I’m happy that the author got famous and the book sold well, as deep inside we want all authors to succeed, but I just don’t understand the circus, you know? After some epic scenes, tons of eye rolls, a couple of clichés and almost zero emotion, I think Red Queen is only a three stars book: enjoyable, but not brilliant by any means.
I’ll keep this review short because I have more complaints than compliments.
The narrative style was first person styled from Mare’s point of view only. Then the problem started. By the end of the book, I couldn’t stand Mare. I felt she was too shallow, our personalities didn’t matched 😦 She was too indecisive, hotheaded and really selfish. Also, I’ve never been attracted to character with deep existential doubts or that have a strong need for self-categorization to keep breathing. I guess I took my mom’s speech of “you are not everybody to have this or that too” a bit too serious while growing up, I don’t know. Or maybe I just hate labels and can’t respect people that need them to establish themselves as someone.
The plot was the strongest point of this book. Although I was able to predict the twist, I still liked to see things changing and happening. Mare is the ranting kind of narrator, so it was incredibly difficult for me to get past some parts in the book. Thank God Jess was there for me, haha! Also, I suffered with an unique problem that I don’t hold against Red Queen or Victoria Aveyard at all: I’ve read the Brazilian Portuguese edition for Red Queen and it was so bad. The translation was rough and often too literal, without any care in it for the sentences to make sense. I’ll give a simple example.
In Brazilian Portuguese, we only need one word to say that we are sorry and it is “desculpe”. So when Mare apologizes to Cal more to the end, she thinks something like this: “I hated saying these three words, but I felt that was all I had to say”. Something like this, right? Well, the Brazilian Portuguese sentence was like this:
“Desculpe.” I hated to say these THREE WORDS…” [in BP, of course]
I mean, seriously? THERE ARE NO THREE WORDS! No adaptation at all. I can only imagine the confusion that a non-English speaker from my country felt on this part. But, as I said, I don’t hold this against the book in any way or against the author, it’s not their fault. I hold it against the Brazilian publisher. Moving on.
I discussed this book with several people along my read and I have to quote what an offline friend said about Red Queen: “Mare is not a likeable character. You’ll keep reading Red Queen not because you like Mare; you’ll do so because she is surrounded by a highly interesting world and awesome people.” (M, Jenny – love you, doll!). She is right, of course. Cal and Maven’s relationship were a breath of fresh air in the middle of Mare’s ranting and I also loved Julian to the core. Also, I loved to hate the queen, haha! ❤
Oh, and I’m so sorry for all the fangirling you had to endure on my part, Jess! I know you’ll never think of Cal and Maven together on the same way again, sorry LOL
Also, I’d love to compliment Aveyard on the blood system. It was incredibly cool and one of the things that most excited me on this book ❤ Also, the gifts were cool. It made me think that I’d be the top student on the Silver elite class, as I’ve been a Pokémon fan since 1998 and a hardcore gamer since 2003, but they were cool. Oh, and the fighting scenes! THEY WERE EPIC AND SO GOOD! [I’m talking about the arena ones, okay? Nothing that happened in a ball, because that was the epitome of lame]. Those are the things that make me say that I want to continue on this series.
Overall, it was an easy book to read despite the large and constant eye rollings. If you like dystopian, don’t mind instalove, lack of originality and clichés, and love epic battle scenes, Red Queen should suit you 🙂
That’s it and thanks for reading! Also, I’m sorry if anything that I said may have sounded offensive, that wasn’t my intention at all. And, of course, thanks so much to Jess, that put up with my endless ranting and gay fangirling during March ❤ (And will be doing it again in April, haha! This girl is a fighter, honestly ;D)
For those who still haven’t read Red Queen: that you may love it more than I did. For those who read it and loved it to the core: I hope you can keep loving it for the both of us.