Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Synopsis: "This 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."
Review: I've had a copy of Red Queen for over a year now and I CAN'T BELIEVE IT TOOK ME THIS LONG TO PICK IT UP. I am SO excited to pick up the following books, but for now let me explain why I love this book so much.
This book was essentially a perfect mix of a couple other YA books that I really enjoyed. YES, that makes this books feel somewhat "unoriginal", but it was written so well and it a way that still gave this story its own style and uniqueness.
What is Red Queen essentially formed of?
Red Queen = The Selection + Storm Siren + SJMaas writing style + (I'm not sure why? but hunger games/divergent vibes)
Victoria Aveyard did everything right with this novel, despite the fact its similarity to other novels, everything still felt so new. Let me just split this up into categories to make it easier to explain:
- I'm a sucker for a great plot and it almost always depends on predictability for me (as I love guessing what might happen). I completely overestimated myself and was much too confident about my guessing abilities when it came to this novel. Although I did end up predicting a minor detail or two, the main plot twists really had me surprised. The way the whole story weaved together was beautiful and I really could not put down this book.
- Mare is wonderfully complex and I definitely argued her character's choices at points, but I was easily dragged into her mind and her thoughts. This novel also includes so many amazingly written characters that you will love and hate, but I won't say anymore.
- I often pick up books with romance, but this novel had so much complexity that made the romance all the more engaging. I will say however there is a somewhat annoying love triangle(?) that I didn't particularly enjoy, but they are practically unavoidable and with all the other amazing plots going on, it was easily ignorable.
- OMG This entire creation is mindblowing. This dystopian society is so well thought out and just incredible to learn about and I loved it from the first sentence! The whole idea of red versus silver was so unique and something I really loved throughout the story.
All in all I just wish that I had picked up this book sooner and I plan on getting Glass Sword asap!
Cover: ★★★★★ (um yes)
Favorite Quote(s): "You don't see us, and so we are everywhere."
"And we will rise up, Red as the dawn."
"It takes hours to paint and polish me into the girl I'm supposed to be, but it seems like just a few minutes. When the maids stand me up in front of the mirror, silently asking for my approval, I can only nod at the girl staring back at me from the glass. She looks beautiful and terrified by what's to come wrapped in shimmering silk chains. I have to hide her, the scared girl; I have to smile and dance and look like one of them."
"It does no good to dream."
Branded by Eric Smith
*I received an ARC of Branded from Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.*
Synopsis: "Eric Smith returns to the world of Inked in this adventurous new sequel. No longer a sheltered farmboy, Caenum is caught in the crossfire of the rebellion he ignited. As the final battle with the Citadel approaches, he must choose his own destiny one last time…or let the Citadel choose it for him."
Review: When I first received this book I was STOKED. Inked (the first novel) was an absolute amazing novel and I was incredibly excited to see what was going to happen next!
Reading this novel however, I found both good and bad surprises. Starting with the bad news, I found that I preferred the first novel to Branded. Inked was full of world building and although Branded introduces some new characters I didn't feel like enough of the world was developed for the reader. This sucked because the settings sounded cool, but there could be so many interesting details. I also found that this novel would fare much better as a movie. Lots of pieces felt awkward and only included one perspective. If Branded became a movie I feel like it would be incredibly interesting for not only the plot, but also by providing those extra details about the landscape. Due to this it took me awhile to get through this novels, and even longer due to finals and other events.
Despite its setbacks, Branded also brought in a lot of aspects that I did really enjoy. For instance, I really enjoyed the twists that this story had. As an avid book predictor, I found this novel to really surprise me along the way! I'm also still in love with the concept of magical tattoos. Overall the concept was still fun and I did like Flycker as a character and those were what was really keeping me reading. However, the romance was also bittersweet. His romance was Dreya was obvious from Inked and was still as sweet as ever, but this novel really took a turn and (no spoilers), but I definitely did not agree with how the romance took a turn in this novel.
A fan of anything fiction, furry, & fun.