Before I get started in the review, I should admit that I read this for hype. I got on the hype train and followed everyone on the adventure. The hype did not cause me to have high expectations for this novel, in fact, it did the opposite. From all the reviews that I have read complaining that this novel was a total rip off from Red Rising, I expected the novel to be bad. I didn’t like the novel, but it doesn’t mean that it was completely bad. Red Queen was a decent book, and I’m sure others out there will enjoy it.
Now where do I even start with Red Queen? I absolutely have no idea. It wasn’t memorable to say the least. This might be due to the fact that Red Queen felt like it was confused. It’s as if the author couldn’t make up their mind on whether or not the story should be a Science Fiction or a Fantasy, so they mixed up both genres. It didn’t help that the novel was pretty much void of description, which can be a good thing, but it can also be a bad thing. I do like it when stories allow me to use my own imagination to visualize things, but it is also up to the author to help ease that process of imagination. The author for Red Queen did not do that.
In the beginning, when Mare was in the Stilts, the village and atmosphere felt like something from a fantasy novel. Thus, I imagined it as such. Then Mare was sent to the world of Silvers and that came off as more of a typical technologically advanced dystopian society with a hint of steampunk here and there. Then again, the author could have used the words airbus to mean a modern airplane, so I don’t even know anymore. The author could have did a better job at guiding the reader along with her settings. The ending was good, it definitely left the reader wanting more. Even for me, who didn’t like the book, was curious as to how the rest of the story would play out.
I thought the characters could have been much deeper. I felt like they were shallow, except for a few of them. The main character didn’t really interest me. I didn’t connect with her as well as I could have. I felt like the author gave Cal certain items and characteristics, so that he could come off as super cool. It felt like fan service material, which made me just roll my eyes at.
At least the romance ended up in a non-annoying way. I felt like the romance in the novel was unnecessary. Maybe Red Queen would have been better if Mare was not interested in any of the other characters.
The action scenes felt well done. Although the god-like powers in Red Queen felt like another word for magic, which again made me very confused at what Genre this novel is. The powers felt like magic, but they try to explain the reasons for the powers with “science” using terms like genetic markers.
I don’t know. I’m just completely apathetic to this novel. It takes so many things from all the other YA novels. It just felt like Red Queen was a Frankenstein of YA novels. What bothers me the most is reading all the other GoodReads reviews about Red Queen being specifically a knock off of Red Rising, which is completely absurd. There are tons of those reviews and it really feels like they have not read either of the novels before making such a base review. Since I have read both books, I made a post about the comparison between Red Rising and Red Queen, which can be found here.