Book Review: Red Queen


With an intriguing blurb, I expected great political intrigue and an action-packed book , however, Red Queen as a result, had poor plot execution and forgettable characters.  Expectations were very high when it came to this book due to it’s immense popularity among fellow book bloggers who has read this book, however, it fell short in the end.

Let’s start with the world-building because that’s my favorite to discuss in every book review.  I am a visual person and while reading Red Queen I was unable to visualize what Miss Aveyard, was trying to show.  The descriptions were quite vague (or kinda confusing?) that it was difficult to paint a picture in my head. There was no clear setting in the book. It takes place in a futuristic dystopian society in which the citizens are split in two groups, the Reds, who live in poverty and the Silver, who are the elite as they have god-like powers and that’s all I seem to have gotten out of the book.  In the beginning I get this medieval feeling, but then as I kept reading on, technology was introduced and my reaction

Other than the setting, I would say that the characters were not that great. Mare Barrow at first, seemed like a great heroine and I had great respect for her when it came to her love for her friends and family;  however, as the story progressed she became unlikeable. She is portrayed as a headstrong heroine especially with her superpowers, but in the end I found her to be whiny, self-centered, hypocritically judgmental and a complete idiot. Yes she is a flawed character, but she never admits that she made mistakes nor did I notice any character development. To put it simply, Mare was a heroine I had a hard time empathizing with.  The two love interests (or is there three?) I didn’t really care about. Sure I prefer one of them for her, but as I kept on reading, the romance didn’t matter as much anymore. As a matter of fact I found the love triangle (square?) annoying. The romance I wished would have developed more, because I had a hard time believing it. Overall the characters I found one dimensional and easily categorized into a stereotype.

Truthfully the main reason that this book was such a disappointment is the fact that while reading, I get this familiar feeling that I have read it somewhere before. This book was filled with tropes upon tropes and cliches that we have all seen in young-adult novels, so in the end, nothing in the story impressed me. I will admit that the secrets that were revealed did surprise me a bit, thus I gave one star for that. As for the other one and half star, that goes for the epilogue because despite my disappointment, I will still read the next book just to see what happens.

Overall Red Queen was just an okay read. Ironically I did read the book in a day and it was good entertainment for a couple of hours; however, I found the book to be so generic–nothing that I haven’t seen before and I truly believe that the book is overhyped.  I’ve also come to the conclusion that beautiful book covers can be deceiving!

Have you read Red Queen? If so what did you think of it?

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28 thoughts on “Book Review: Red Queen

  1. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who wasn’t impressed with this book! I bought it as soon as it was available because of all the hype surrounding it, so of course I had to read it immediately! However, like it did for you, it fell just as flat for me. I feel like we have a lot of the same complaints, especially not really knowing what the setting is and ALL THE TROPES. Thanks for reviewing! It was refreshing to read a review of someone who wasn’t praising this book to the high heavens.

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  2. Completely agree. Didn’t live up to the hype at all. It wasn’t bad, it was just ok, entertaining enough. But, as you say, we’ve seen it all somewhere else before and done better.

    And I get what you mean about the medieval vibe and then suddenly there’s electricity and you think, “SAY WHAT?!?!” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you think the same! It just wasn’t as impressive like a majority of people made it to be. It was definitely entertaining enough when you have nothing better to do.

      HAHA it was so difficult to picture an actual setting for the book because it was all over the place!

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  3. Despite the fact that I realllyyyyy enjoyed Red Queen (for reasons still somewhat unknown to me… I think I just enjoyed it a lot, and that’s it) I find myself agreeing with a lot of your points, esp in the world-building part. Like, Reds live in feudal-like poverty and then the Silvers had surveillance cameras and technology…? That confused the heck out of me.

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    1. Yes! The worldbuilding was just weird. Maybe I’m being dumb, but nothing made sense to me. If it was explained better then there wouldn’t be so much confusion. I mean how can you have armors, swords, and then all of a sudden have surveillance cameras….

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      1. Not dumb at all, Erika! I mean, even to convey the difference in wealth and the magnitude of inequality, I found it reaaaally extreme. But then, there are some countries that exist that way – still, there was nothing really shared between the Reds and Silvers. It was like two different worlds!

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  4. I’ve yet to read it, however, with reviews like yours (and there’s more) I never know if it’s even worth picking up. I am however a sucker for dystopian novels, so in the end, I probably still will. Even though it might not be that great.

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    1. I was disappointed, but I can’t speak for everyone. I definitely would prefer that you read it for yourself because you might like it. I just had high expectations for this book. It’s best to form your own opinion on this particular book.

      Happy reading!

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    1. Well you’re more generous than me! While I thought the concept that Aveyard had was interesting, the execution fell flat. I was hoping something new and had that “wow” factor, but it never happened. It was predictable and too cliched.

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    1. That’s why I’ve learned my lesson. Never have high expectations for certain books especially if they are very hyped! I do hope that the second one will be better though.

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    1. Thank goodness we felt the same way! I knew that a lot of people seemed to love it so I didn’t really want to upset them, but this book was just meh. Haha we can be the few who did not buy into the hype. 🙂

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