Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Friday, January 15, 2016

Plot Summary:
Mare is a Red and Reds are subservient to the Silvers. In Mare's world, if a Red does not find work he or she is conscripted into the army and sentenced to death on the battlefields. Mare is near her 18th birthday and all she can do is steal what she can to help her family. With all of her brothers in the military, the only one who has the talent to escape conscription is her younger sister Gisa. Although Mare is aware of her fate, she is biding her time with her best friend who has able to land a trade. However, when she learns that he lost his job before it began, Mare searches for someone who can help him escape conscription, but it's going to cost. While desperately searching for money to buy her best friend's freedom, she tries to steal from a stranger who, inadvertently, will become her savior, especially when the Scarlet Army strikes and Mare is captured and taken to the castle against her will. While at the castle, Mare witnesses the strength of the Silvers and, when she faces a fierce opponent, Mare releases a power she didn't know she had and neither did the royal family. In this tale of mystery, action, and romance, an ordinary girl learns that she is not only the key to changing her future, but her heart is torn in two between two boys who she can never be with.  

Critical Evaluation:
I will say that it took me a second to get into this story because the plot is similar to other stories I have read such as the Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. Despite these similarities, I soldiered on and I finally got into the stories towards the end of the book with a plot twist that made things interesting. Since this is a trilogy, there isn't a whole lot of character development, but the villains are absolutely fantastic! The Queen and Evangeline are absolutely terrifying and awful. As for Maven, I really got attached to him so I am still holding out for him to be the hero.  After finishing the story, I am a little curious to see what the next step is especially now that Shade, her elder brother, is back. Other than that, I wasn't completely blown away the story other then the fact that Silvers are almost mutant-esque and the Mare is a higher breed of mutant. I will say that there is plenty of action and the love story arch is actually a minor arc, which is nice since a lot of teen fantasy needs the love arc to attract readers. With that said, this would actually be a good title for guys and girls to read if they can get past the cover of the book. All in all, I would recommend this book to any reader who likes these types of fantasy stories.

Information about the Author:
According to the author's website:
I’m a writer repped by Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc. I split my time between my hometown East Longmeadow, Massachusetts and Los Angeles. After graduating with a BFA in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California, I decided to try my hand at writing a novel. My debut RED QUEEN came out of the terrifying, unemployed year after college.
Currently I’m revising the second book in the RED QUEEN series, along with pursuing other projects in literature and film. My proudest achievements are riding a horse in the mountains of Montana and navigating from London to Edinburgh without GPS.

Teen Fantasy, Teen Romance

Reading Level/Interest:
Grades 8 & up

 Books Similar to The Red Queen:
  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
  • Red Rising by Pierce Brown
Awards & Recognition:

“A sizzling, imaginative thriller, where romance and revolution collide, where power and justice duel. It’s exhilarating. Compelling. Action-packed. Unputdownable.” (USA Today)

“Aveyard weaves a compelling new world of action-packed surprises... inventive, character-driven.” (Kirkus)

“A volatile world with a dynamic heroine.” (Booklist)

“Breakneck pace and engaging characters.” (School Library Journal)

“ [Aveyard] sets her audience up for a gaspworthy twist that reconfigures nearly every character’s role and leaves Mare with no one to trust but herself... This blend of fantasy and dystopia will be an unexpected and worthy addition to many genre fans’ reading list.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)

“Fascinating world building... Readers will be intrigued by a world that reflects today’s troubling issues concerning ethnic inequality, unfair distribution of wealth, pollution, warfare, political corruption, and the frightening power of the media.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)) 

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Deborah Takahashi
Pasadena, CA, United States
My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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