[517]: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

DSC00101GOODREADS SUMMARY | Series: Red Queen, #1 |HarperTeen | Hardcover, 383 pp. | Published: February 10th, 2015 | Young Adult Fiction | Fantasy | Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars


Warning: By the end of this review, you will hate the words, annoyingsmirking, and WHY. ALSO, a bit of a rant ahead. 

The Selection? Maybe. I wouldn’t know. I’ve never read the books. Graceling? Why? Because they have powers? Possibly. Why don’t you just try and market the book on its own merits? Why are you setting me up for a sure disappointment? Because I freaking love Graceling, okay? It has a fantastic world, phenomenal writing, and women of great independence and power. This? This does not even come close.

It could’ve been good. But the amount of smirking going on drove me insane. To tell you the truth, this is the most annoying book I’ve ever read this year.  And all the claims that it borrowed bits and pieces of plots from books in this genre, is true. While I went in with an open mind and purely expected that to be the case,  it didn’t bother me one bit. But somehow, I still ended up feeling…gipped.

It had a great start. I love the concept right off the bat. I love reading about characters with superpowers. Granted, their powers didn’t really cover a wide scope (you’re either a fire starter, a mind controller, or in Mare’s case, an electrifier). I thought it was still interesting. But all that potential for greatness was eclipsed when I was introduced to all the boys vying for Mare’s attention. I’m more inclined to say, seriously? She’s not all that great. Why? Why?! And have I mentioned the amount of smirking going on in here? Thanks to this book, I can no longer stomach boys and girls who smirk. Staph. Just stop using this word.

Half the time, Mare’s thought processes were as incoherent and in-cohesive as this review.  She’s immature. She waffled between brothers, which again, is just annoying. And to be honest, neither boys were all that interesting and worthy. You have a younger sibling who wants to best his brother first and foremost; who hides behind his stature and who’s got questionable intentions and loyalties. Then you have the older brother, the apparent heir to the throne, who can’t decide whether or not he wants to save his kingdom or look good in front of Mare. Neither boys deserves her time and affection. Or Mare deserves both because well, I don’t really care.

Please don’t take my review to heart. You all know that I am not a fan of this genre. But sometimes, there are fantasy novels that changes people. In this instance, however, it just cements my dislike for it.  And that is the sad part, because I really want to have a change of heart. I want to be able to read fantasy without feeling like it’s a daunting task. Lately, the more I read books from this genre, the more I want to stab myself with a dull knife. Repeatedly.

All in all, this was not a good read. At. All. Sorry.

  • Haha, it sounds like you enjoyed this book just as much as I enjoyed the one I just reviewed! This sounds like it would irritate me to no end! Just the phrase “She is an Electrifier” sounds corny and makes me want to laugh. The multiple love interests sound exhausting and unnecessary and

  • Bummer you didn’t enjoy this. Honestly I’ve heard more bad than good about this one. Nobody seems to think it has lived up to the interesting premise. It’s funny how you notice an overuse of a word and it becomes all you can see. I had that with the book The Fever. The author must have said the word mouth a thousand times which just made me cringe.

  • 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 This makes me sad, but at least you gave it a shot. Or maybe for your sake, it would have been better if you hadn’t? Hah.

  • Oh man. I’m also anticipating the not so original tropes and setting, but I’m sorry you had to go through all that. It just sounds annoying. I hope you one day find the fantasy that makes you love the genre (or most of the genre. Cough Brandon Sanderson)

  • I like fantasy as much as the next person, but I am really not a high fantasy fan. I’m mostly an urban fantasy lover, so I pretty much knew this book isn’t for me. It’s so crazy how up and down the reviews for this book are, though. Some people absolutely LOVE it and some people are extremely annoyed with it. Me? I’m not even going to try it.

  • So sorry to hear you didn’t like this one. I hate when an author seems to favour a word and use it all the time for absolutely everything >> And it seems like that was the case with the word smirking here. Oh, and I have heard that this read seems like a lot of other books mixed into one so I already wasn’t sure :/ I will have to think about this one.

  • I giggled at your review lol 🙂 I’m with you on this book. I didn’t like this one at all, I felt the ending was good but it was just force fed to the reader to keep going with the series. Thank you for the honest review!

  • HAHAHAHAH. I love you, Joy. <3 But now you are making me feel bad for giving this book three stars :'( But the fact is that I did not fully hate this book while reading it. But now I do. Ugh. And comparing it to Graceling! DAMN IT. Graceling is the best book I have ever read. Still. No book will ever compare. Ugh. Especially not this one, lol. Anyway.. Your review is gooorgeous Joy 🙂 And oh so true. Agree with so much. Thank you for sharing and being honest sweetie. <3

  • Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

    These things happen Joy, if you aren’t a fan of the genre it can be hard to get into. The brothers seem a little boring, I’d pass on them 😉

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

  • For real though – WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL ABOUT MARE? I’m planning to read the sequel, but I’m not excited about it – Kilorn is probably going to be hardcore into her by then and I just? WHY? I personally like this genre a lot, but Red Queen is just a vague memory for me now, so it obviously wasn’t all that great. I’m pretty sure I rated it fairly high, but I really regret that the more I think back.

    • Ha! You’re not the first person to say this book was a distant memory to them now. I don’t know if I’ll be reading the sequel, but I’ll be on the lookout for the first few reviews, for sure.

      Thanks for visiting, Zoey!

  • Thank you for a wonderfully honest review, This is on my TBR list as I do like this genre, I’m curious now so may move it up my list!

    • If you’re into this genre, then you might be more forgiving. I do hope you’ll enjoy it when you get the chance to read it.

  • I’m kinda the odd one out, because I loved this one but I could have guessed that you wouldn’t have Joy, it’s got that same kind of feel as The Darkest Minds. This book was practically my introduction into fantasy. Before reading this last year, I had only read a small number of fantasy and basically hated them all. But although I had issues with this one too, it was a launching pad for me into the genre and I’ve moved on to bigger books since then. I think if nothing else, it’s a great introduction for YA readers who have never been fans of fantasy, as it’s pretty mild and although eye roll worthy in spots, the target audience seem to have enjoyed it mostly. Sorry you couldn’t have enjoyed this more Joy, but no doubt your next read will far surpass this one <3 Wonderfully honest review.

    • I don’t read too many fantasy novels as well ( I just don’t have the patience for them). But I think that choosing not to read them altogether means I’m depriving myself of some wonderful worlds and characters. I don’t know. I’m glad you enjoyed this one. I really wish I’m a bit more generous with some of these books.

  • Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    For a true fantasy enthusiast, this is just a bit ridiculous. I read it maybe two months ago and I can’t remember more than a thing or two about it. Even after reading your review, I struggle to remember any details whatsoever. How awful. I suppose that says enough

    • I don’t blame you. In my case, I just want to forget I ever spent the money on it. Sigh.

  • Oh I am so sorry you didn’t like this one! It has gotten a lot of hype. I do like the fantasy genre so I am sure I will still give it a chance.

  • So sorry you didn’t enjoy this one at all! Bummer when that happens, especially when a book has a lot of other good reviews and hype. I hope your next read blows you away. 😀

  • RO

    Had I see this on a bookshelf in the library or bookstore, the title and cover would have intrigued me, and I love superpowers, too. Probably one of the reasons I look forward to movies like the Avengers. But dang it, Joy, tell us how you really feel, okay?! (lol) Lack of good character development is a definite deal breaker. Totally loved your review! Hugs…Ro

    • Right? I really like the cover, too. It’s just my type. It’s minimalist. Unfortunately, the insides looked like a cluttered mess.

  • While this was far from being the most annoying book for me, it was definitely annoying. I was enjoying book until yes, the guys came in and pretty much made me want to rip the book apart. I can’t agree enough with everything you mentioned in the fourth paragraph of your review. I hated both guys, but I couldn’t care less which Mare ends up with. :/ So sorry you ended up disliking this too. 🙁

    • I read your review as well, prior to reading this book. I still wanted to give it a chance. Should’ve listened to you, eh? Lol.

  • I’m sorry this book was a disappointment. I loved it, but then again, I’m a huge fantasy fan and I liked how the book was surprising. But if you’re not a fantasy fan I can totally see how it might have bugged you. Great review, Joy!

    • I’m glad you understand, Nick. And yes, I think it had the bare bones-potential. I’m just sorry I wasn’t as appreciative of it.

  • Don’t feel bad Joy, it really wasn’t for me either. I feel like yes, the powers were great, the fantasy setting was great, but the uproar and the rebellion and the love triangle? So many other books have done it better before.

    • It felt a little all over the place, sometimes. I just felt like the plot lacked cohesivehess. I mean, I don’t really mind that it borrowed from other novels, only that I’d hoped she’d own it, yanno?

  • I toyed with buying this book just the other week but something put me off. I do like this genre from time to time but I think sometimes a genre can be too overdone and then reading the books becomes a task because you feel like you’ve read it all before.

    • I just got carried away with all the hype. Lesson learned.

  • Yeah…NOT for me . They fail to be original these days

    • It is one of those hard to find now, isn’t it?

  • I’m a fan of this genre so well see I guess. It’s a shame you didn’t like it because that’s what’s reading Is supposed to be about. Enjoyment. BUT sadly we do come across books that are less than stellar. And it SUCKS. Sigh.

    • You might fare better than I did, then. 😀 Good luck!

  • Love this review! <3 Thanking you in my mind while I read it, thinking it's good that I didn't get the book yet but still want to check it out though. 🙂 Let's see!

    • You’re welcome. Lol. And thanks for visiting!

  • It’s too bad that so many things annoyed you there! I heard so many different things about the book I confess. It’s out in French and most of the reviews are so great. I don’t really know…

    • I’m thinking the book caught me at the wrong mood. Lol. Either way, it didn’t end good for the both of us.