Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard || Not an Alice in Wonderland Retelling

17878931-228x350This 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… (Synopsis taken from Goodreads)

So…I have a confession. I actually just picked this book up without reading what it was about and thought it was an Alice in Wonderland retelling. It’s actually not; it’s a far in the future, fantasy dystopian (is that a genre? it should be a genre) with no Alice in Wonderland ties whatsoever. Which mildly put me off the first three chapters or so, but I got over it.

Mare is a Red, meaning her blood is as red as yours or mine. This also means she’s a worker, a lower class citizen, and another body on the battlefield if she doesn’t get an apprenticeship by her eighteenth birthday. The world is run by Silvers, who have powers; anything ranging from pyrokinesis to mind control. Their blood is silver, which marks them apart from the Reds.

I liked Mare; she was smart, she was spunky, she had awesome powers and looked out for her family and held her own in a crowd of Silvers, most of whom instantly disliked her. I had two problems with her: I felt like she didn’t get enough character development as, say, the princes, and I also still have no idea how to pronounce her name. Is it Mare liked a horse? Mare that rhymes with “Far?” or Mare like the plains on the moon and is pronounced “Mahr-ay?” I HAVE NO IDEA.

Now, like most other YA books, this book did have a romance. An…uh, insanely confusing romance. Because Mare kind of likes both princes and both princes kind of like Mare but the older prince is engaged to a girl who might kind of like the younger prince and Mare also has an old friend who might kind of like her and she also might kind of like him but I’m not sure.  I guess confusing was the wrong word, more like complicated.

Now, I did like the princes, though I felt like the romance was a bit forced. I get it they were engaged, and maybe she should have fallen in love with ONE of them, but come on…both of them? Most people don’t fall in love with two people at once.

My biggest problem lay with how I felt like this book was basically a mash up of The Selection, the X-Men, and maybe a bit of The Hunger Games (people are also saying it’s a lot like Red Rising, but I haven’t read that so I don’t know). So it’s a good book if you ignore that, and I still think I’m going to read the next one.


Meanwhile, iZOMBiE gets to Netflix tomorrow (!), I won a book from Epic Reads (!!), and the NaNoWriMo forums are being wiped and reset today (!!!). There’s also all the normal stuff like school.

So…how many of you read Red Queen? Did you like it? Do you agree with my review? And are you looking forward to Glass Sword (even though the title should be Golden Sword or Silver Sword or something like that)?

Happy Monday,


7 thoughts on “Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard || Not an Alice in Wonderland Retelling

  1. I actually didn’t manage to finish Red Queen, lol. I found Mare boring. Besides, the special girl trope isn’t exactly my favourite. What really put me off is that there were a couple of similarities in terms of characters names and how the society is organized with Red Rising. It felt a little like Aveyard copy and pasted.


    1. Mate gets more interesting as the book goes on, but yes, she does kind of feel like one more Katniss-Tris-America type character. And I haven’t read Red Rising so I wouldn’t be able to compare, but that’s what I keep hearing.


  2. I didn’t like the romance in this book at all – but I felt that the world building has potential to be interesting and I did enjoy Mare. I hope it will improve with Glass Sword, as I think Victoria Aveyard has decent writing!


  3. Hah, it’s so adorable that you thought this was an Alice in Wonderland retelling! I guess that can be possible because of the title. I did like this one some, though~ I liked the writing enough, but the premise was a bit unoriginal for me, and the complicated romance made me roll my eyes a LOT. I’m still not shipping anyone though because none of the love interests were interesting for me >_< But yes, all things considered, I thought it was a decent book nonetheless, and I'll be reading the next book too!

    Faye at The Social Potato


    1. The complicated romance was…weird. I spent the book going “was this really necessary?” Have her fall in love with just ONE of the princes, or, better yet, NO ONE AT ALL, because //gasp, teenage girls DON’T ALWAYS NEED A BOYFRIEND. Or a fiance and the fiance’s older brother.


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