Hello, friends! On 27 December, 2015 I finished the book Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. Here, I thought I’d share my thoughts on the book and some of the characters, as well as whether or not I plan on reading the next book.
The only reason I picked up this book on Black Friday (Because that’s when I do the majority of my book shopping.) was because of this short explanation of the story, that explains the author’s concept so much better than I ever could.
I saw that video, and thought, “Well, I’d better go to Barnes and Noble now, right?”
If that link didn’t work, or you weren’t able to watch the video, here’s a short explanation.
In the futuristic kingdom of Norta, the people are separated into two groups. The ones with red blood, and the ones with silver blood. The Reds’ are the servants and commoners. They live poor lives, and if they aren’t employed by the age of 18, they’re sent to war. The Silvers are the elites, the aristocrats, and they live in palaces, and have special powers that only their silver blood can give them, such as telekinesis, and amazing strength.
In the middle of it all stands Mare, an unemployed Red girl, who’s destined to be conscripted. The thing is, she has powers that a Red isn’t supposed to have, but her blood is indeed red. Mare knows that the way the king and the queen rule isn’t right, and that your life is equal, no matter what color your blood is. So when given the chance to rebel…
Alright, that’s all! Just read it already!
Bye! Read the book, and we shall discuss!
**Caution: This Contains Spoilers**
Let’s start from the beginning. When we’re thrust into this competition, and the whisper goes against the strongarm, I immediately think, “The underestimated ones always win.” And he did. So I’d like to pride myself for predicting that correctly. The thing about this book, is that you really need to keep going, I guess. In the beginning, I was fresh from reading Clockwork Angel, and I just jumped right in. You need to take the first two chapters slowly, because that’s where the majority of the world building is, and then you can plow through it. The only reason I could dive right in the way that I did, was because I read the Epic Reads video that I have posted above. That explains things that the summary inside the book jacket does not, and made the book easier to read.
When Mare walked into the palace, (Yeah, I’m skipping the whole Gisa in the market thing, because we all know about that. The only thing I will address, is the fact that Gisa would’ve then had to go to the war, had Mare not made her family immune to conscription.) and was talking about all of these houses and their names and colors, I was just like, “ Victoria must’ve written down all of these names for her to keep track, because if I hadn’t been too busy, I would’ve myself. I actually wrote this review while I was reading the book over winter break. (It took me a whole freaking month to finish, you guys.)
I didn’t like Cal from the beginning. I felt so bad for Maven, because he reminded me of…another pair of fictional brothers just like that, and of those two, the Maven of them is my favorite. King Tiberias and Queen Elara I just loathed. I hate how ignorant some book characters are. While those two are going off about how the Reds should be grateful that the Silvers are even letting them live the great lives they have, I just shook my head. It reminds me of how the rich folk in the trilogy Legend speak about the poorer sectors, as if they’re lazy and stupid.
I would just love to see how well they’d cope knowing that the Reds were all dead because the Silvers were sitting back, and throwing dumb soirees while drinking tea and gossiping about the pettiest things.
There’s also the fact that this Evangeline chick hates Mare. Why? Is it because she just appeared out of nowhere? Is it because Mare intimidates her with her undocumented power.
Kilorn is alright. You know how Gisa says that she (or implies that she) likes Kilorn? What if that goes somewhere? Just think about it, I know that there is another book. I’ll have to check on Goodreads later, but if that little inference is incorrect, please leave me to feel embarrassed and ashamed by myself. I’ll figure it out eventually.
I found a typo. In the book.
I actually found two, and they’re both on the same page towards the end of the twentieth chapter (If you’re using an e-book). So come on everyone. Open your books and get out your highlighters. We’re going to go over this stuff.
In the hardcover version they’re both on page 255, right after the page break. The first one is the first sentence:
“Blood drips from my sleeve, leaving a spotted silver trail in my wake as we march to the throne room.”
A spotted silver trail?
Mare has been persistent in reminding everyone about the fact that her blood is indeed red, not silver. And, yes, she could be talking about Ptolemus’s blood, but if it was, the sentence would have gone like this: “Ptolemus’s blood drips from my sleeve…” with a nice, gross adjective to describe the smell, consistency, or temperature of the blood. There was also never anything mentioned about Mare bleeding, or Ptolemus’s blood getting on her sleeve somehow. I’m not sure if I should count that as a typo, though, because the scene before that was a pretty bloody massacre.
On to the next one, which is a bit more obvious:
“I move to Cal’s side. He barely notices, his eyes burning at the floor.
“ ‘How many dead?’ ”
“ ‘ Ten so far,’ ” he mutters. “ ‘ Three in the shooting, eight in the explosion. Fifteen more wounded.’ ”
Since when is eight plus three ten? I thought it equaled eleven. I guess all of those first grade math books had better be updated. This one, unlike the other, I am completely certain is a typo. Was is overlooked by the editors? Later on, though, Mare did say that in all, twelve people died during that attack, and so I thought, “One (or two, if we’re using those bad math skills again) of those fifteen wounded could have died, but this whole “the numbers don’t match up” thing is better left alone than dwelled on for so long.
I started a discussion about this on Goodreads, in which some other people have shared their thoughts about these and also provided evidence of some other typos as well. I’m not sure if you can view the discussion without a Goodreads account, but I linked the posts above anyways.
There’s also that whole awesome breakout plan done by Mare and Julian to get Kilorn, Walsh, and Farley out of the cell. That whole plan was so well done, and I really hope that they’re all okay. They’re on the run, but with all of these panicking Silvers and on-guard Sentinels, they’re bound to be caught again at some point.
I was in my bed at 11:30 in the morning when I read the part about Grey Town, and I just love how this place was written. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I felt really bad for these people (the techies) that were doing so much, not just for the Silvers, but for the other Reds as well, and weren’t even really appreciated all that much. They share their talents with the rest of them, providing them with anything they could possibly need, and everyone repays them with a town of ash and smoke, and no sunlight. I can still appreciate the way the town was described, and how Victoria really wrote it through the eyes of Mare, making us sympathize with the techies as she did, and vowing to never forget them.
I was also really upset when Mare had to announce that the age of conscription was lowered to fifteen. How old is Gisa? Fourteen and now unemployed? Like I said, Mare’s family is immune to conscription now, but what if Mare is exposed for her act of rebellion? Then do you think her family will still be immune to conscription? Or worse?
But, when Julian found out that Mare’s blood was not just red, but a different mutation of Red blood, and gave her that book of 27 people who died in almost all the same ways with the same sort of blood, including her brother, I thought that would’ve made an amazing ending to a book of secrets, don’t you think?
One of the reasons that wouldn’t work, though, is that there are quite a few questions left unanswered, so we must keep reading.
A Short Laugh
“ ‘ You know what it does? Radiation?’ He sounds truly afraid.
Farley begins to tick off the symptoms on her fingers, a maddening smile still on her face. “Nausea, vomiting, headache, seizures, cancerous diseases, and, oh yes, death. A very unpleasant death.”
That was…pretty funny.
Especially when Maven freaks out and tells Mare to stop the train, only to find out that those reports of radiation in the south (where Mare, Maven, and the Guard are going when this all goes down.) are falsely made to keep people out.
Oh, Mavey. Stop being so naïve.
I already shared my thoughts on nearly every single character except for Mare herself, and that was done because I cannot put my finger on her just yet. I usually hate main characters, and the only book that has turned that around for me is Legend by Marie Lu, where Day (Not June.) is my favorite character. (If you didn’t quite understand that allusion, I recommend actually reading the Legend trilogy by Marie Lu, because this discussion isn’t supposed to be about her. Not yet, anyway.)
Let’s move on to Walsh, and her taking of the suicide pill in the honor of Tristan. I actually forgot that Walsh was the one that originally worked at the palace and introduced Mare to the job she had at first. Was Walsh ever fired or did she ever quit? I don’t remember hearing about her after Mare went to her first in palace meeting with Farley, or before we saw her in that cell. Was Walsh ever with Tristan, or was she just trying to avenge him? You can tell how loyal she is to the Scarlet Guard, because she brought out that suicide pill to prevent herself from exposing Mare, Maven, and the location of the others in the “radiation” area.
Maven: As of Chapter 26
I am devastated. I loved Maven so much, and to read that he was never loyal to Mare was heartbreaking. I still don’t like Cal, but now I need to sort out my feelings for Maven as well! I’m not even completely sure if I want to read Glass Sword, because of everything that’s turned around with my favorite character.
“ ‘Maven, please,’ I plead, trying to make him look at me. But he turns his back, focusing on his mother and his betrayed blood. He is his mother’s son.
She didn’t care that he was in my memories. She didn’t care that he was a part of all this. She didn’t even look surprised. The answer is frighteningly simple. Because she already knew. Because he is her son. Because this was her plan all along. The thought stings like knives running along skin, but the pain only makes it more real.
‘You used me.’ ”
Grrr. MAVEN! YOU MAKE IT SO HARD TO LOVE YOU!
And then I read this part. I’ll underline the key words:
“ ‘I thought you wanted to help us.’ It comes out a whimper. For a split second, his pale features soften. But it doesn’t last.
That small part about Maven’s features softening gives me hope that one day, I can love him once again.
And when he goes into the cells and talks to Cal and Mare, I still feel bad for him, because the thought of someone liking him more than his brother was so foreign to him, that he couldn’t even detect it in Mare.
Usually evil is driven by jealousy, and I don’t completely blame Maven for choosing his mother: someone who openly loved him, and didn’t make it a puzzle for Maven to find out like Tiberias did. Sadly, Maven doesn’t realize that he’s probably being manipulated into siding with his mother.
I want to talk about that execution scene, and how much I would have thought Mare and Cal were going to die had I not already peeked at the last page and completely spoiled myself in the process. (Do you know how many times I’ve done that?? UGH!!) I don’t quite understand why everyone says that when a burner and a nymph go against each other, the nymph always has the advantage. The way these fights are described, it almost seems like this:
Two beams of light that meet each other in the middle, occasionally one will start to cover the other. What I don’t quite understand with Cal and Osanos, and even with Maven and Tirana, is why Cal and Maven never try to aim underneath their water streams for their torsos, as to burn them directly, then sidestep the huge blast of water that will be released as the nymph is burned and screams in agony. Doesn’t that make more sense than just making steam and losing after five minutes of two people standing still pointing their palms at each other?
Another thing that I didn’t like, was that whenever Mare would see these slight slips of Maven’s whole evil facade, she’s never question it, or be like, “Maybe something’s wrong with Maven? I mean, I kind of turned my back on him when he stood up from Arven’s clutches looking angry, and even after that I have no proof that Elara isn’t whispering in his mind right now, telling him to do all of these things.” But no, she doesn’t. She just accepts that Maven is an amazing actor, who never broke character, and that he was evil all along.
My Amazing Psychic Mind
I knew from when Mare kept telling herself that she was dead, and that this couldn’t possibly be real, that that meant her brother was there. I knew that Shade was still alive from the small smirk Farley got when Mare interrogated her about his sacrifice, and how Farley didn’t seem to care. Now, Shade is a reason why I might read Glass Sword.
Him and Maven.
My Reluctant Farewell…
I’m afraid this is where I’ll have to wrap it up (I’m at seven pages on Google Docs!). If you liked this review, or wanted me to go over something in particular, please feel free to comment! If you fell in love with my style and sarcasm (Most do.) please, stay up to date on all of my recent posts by signing up for email notifications each time I post. Feel free to take a look at my shelves on Goodreads by clicking this link.
Have an amazing August!