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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Red Queen

A while ago, my mother went to England for her work with a company. I asked her to bring souvenirs because we've never been to England before and she came home and brought me... a book! Who would have thought? She brought me Red Queen from Victoria Aveyard! Which is absolutely funny because it had been on my wishlist for some months. I don't understand how it's possible that I didn't bought this book earlier though!

Basically it's about a world that's divided into two separate races: the red and the silvers. The red ones live in bad conditions, have to work all day long so they have money to support their families. Some live on the streets while others may have a house but no food on the table. Above that when a kid turns 18, they can be send as a soldier into war.
Whereas Silvers have the best life of them all. They have powers, they have money, they have a palace, they have families. For short: They're royals and are in possession of god-like superpowers while ruling over the Reds.

For Mare Barrow, a red girl that lives in poverty, it seems like nothing will ever change. Her brothers are send off to the war and she can be next. Above that there's also her best friend that can be risked going to war and she doesn't want that for him. 

All of a sudden, things start changing. She finds herself working in the Palace. Surrounded by, in her point of view, the enemies she feels something is changing. She is the change, because she possesses a deadly power of her own. It can destroy the balance of power that's on earth now. 

The Silvers find this out and hide her, saying she's a long-lost Silver princess and will now marry one of the royal princes. Mare hates that they're doing this to her and engaging with one of them is a nightmare coming true. One misstep and it would mean her ultimate death. 

She finds out more about the Silvers and that while working together with a militant resistance group: the Red Guard. They all want the same thing: bring down the Silver regime. Bring down the people that call themselves Gods. Without fully realizing it, Mare has entered a dangerous game in a world full of lies and betrayal. Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart... Who will win this game?

Let's start with the book itself. The cover is simple but very beautiful, as my teacher would say less is more. The upside down crown with red blood flowing over it... I'd say it was a reference to Mare trying to take down the Silvers with her as a Red blood. And it has feeling! As well the crown and the blood are lifted out of the cover. (Is that how I have to say such things? Sorry for my bad explanation!) The letters of the title are also red and shine when you hold it in the right angle, even the spine has this and I love books like that. Those are simple details that can bring a smile of excitement on my face!

The inside of the book has also detail in it. They're both red with white sweeps along it and in the middle there's a drawing. I don't really know what they mean or what they stand for but again it's something unique and different because I don't know any other books that have this! And a few pages in the book there's a map of the new world. I really think it's useful because the main character does talk about certain area's and then I can check it out and see where she is and where others are. It comes in very handy, if you ask me!

Now the characters! Starting with Mare, she's unbelievably strong and independent.  She'd do anything to protect her sister and her parents while her brothers are at war. It's very intriguing how she's handling the situation fearing that she might have to go to war too and leave behind her family. On the other side she's also longing for her brothers and fear that they have died. Something that I loved most about their family bonding is something I can't say because it'll ruin the moment. But there is something that will make you hate the Silvers for sending off people to war. 
The Silvers were the absolute villains when I first started reading it, but during the changes as explained in the description of the book, I started having mixed feelings for certain Silvers. I do think others are still the devil and I'd kill them with my own hands if I could but I can't! I also won't go into the characters any further because I don't want to spoil any more.

The plot was very interesting, I didn't see it coming. Some parts during the books I was like 'aha! I knew it!' because it was a little obvious or because I was paying very closely attention to certain details in previous chapters. You get the 'aha!'-feeling more in the beginning of the book than at the end really because the end... The end was breathtaking? Mysterious? Betraying? Lies? I've had many feelings during the endgame nearing. The 'aha'-feeling was totally gone and I did not, absolutely not see it coming. It didn't left me unmoved or emotionless, I had all sort of emotions and I was really longing for the next part in this series. 

You're so into the world of Silver and Reds that you feel like you're Mare. You hate them but then things change and people start changing because you know them more. Other people are like you expected them to be. The world is totally different there and it kept you reading the book. As a reader you felt what Mare felt, you'd say 'go girl!' and the next moment you're like 'Oh no you didn't!' towards an enemy.
It's as much as an exciting  read as a thrilling one, especially when the end is just pages away. You've get your own suspects, you create your 'own lies' with the main character and that's the most thrilling about it. We're in a world of betrayal and lies and it's shown throughout the book. She's playing a very dangerous game.

However I did have one little complaint and that may be because of me. My mother tongue is Dutch and for me it was really hard to get into the first few pages because I found it really difficult. I had to keep my head in the game when I read because otherwise I wouldn't get it. But as I said, it can just be me because English isn't my main language and then something switched during the following chapters which made me understand what was happening. It may either be the language or be the fact that I wasn't paying attention enough. 

Other than that I really enjoyed this read, especially the end that left me wanting more. The second book in the series is coming though! It's called Glass Sword and seems even more thrilling than the first one. Normally it'll be released on the 9th of February 2016 which is still 3 months away but it's closer than ever since I've read this book in the summer. And more exciting news is that these series is going to get another 2 books! I'm so happy about that! I need to know more especially because I had all sorts of boys in the first book that I wanted to ship with Mare. I want to know how and where they end up and if I ever see my ultimate ship leaving to the Bahamas. Doesn't that sound romantic in a world of war and two races that hate each others guts? 

"Power is a dangerous game"

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