This is not meant to be a criticism of this book, which I enjoyed, but to say that world building, especially for dystopian future worlds, is very challenging. Red Queen won the 2015 Goodreads Choice Award for Debut Goodreads Author. I read the book description and although I am leery of YA dystopian series, I decided to give it a shot. I’ve read a few of these book series post Hunger Games, and this one I’ve found is the best at fleshing out both the world and hinting at how it ended up this way.
Red Queen tells the story of Mare, a seventeen year old girl. Society is divided between Reds, who bleed red blood, and have no special abilities, and Silvers, who have special powers such as telekinesis and super strength and bleed Silver blood. Mare is a thief, she’s not a Mary Sue, which I appreciated, and she discovers that she somehow has special abilities related to electricity and lightning. She winds up in the Royal Palace through contrivance and betrothed to Prince Maven, although she is attracted to his older brother, Cal. The public is told she has always been a Silver.
Despite the necessary slog through some set up, I liked this book very much and am eager to read the next book in the series. The main character Mare seems a little thin (I’m not sure we even get much of a physical description of her) but I am sure we’ll learn more as the series goes along. I do have concerns that the Silvers seem so much more powerful than the Reds that this fight they are about to engage in is hopeless, even with the knowledge that some Reds have powers. The second book will be critical to holding my interest; I look forward to seeing how Victoria Aveyard gives the reader some hope that this won’t be an easy victory for the Silvers. I really like the relationship between Mare and Cal; it is realistically complicated given all that happens between them. I also really liked how Queen Elara is such an evil character; I’ve always thought mental powers are much more frightening than powers related to strength. The ability to rob someone of their free will is a scary concept and I thought she was deliciously evil. It will be fun to read this series. It seems like it has been awhile since someone has created a really interesting concept for a dystopian YA series.