Red Queen

Red Queen - Victoria Aveyard Christine from Polandsbananasbooks ranted that mentioning that there is a plot twist in a book is a spoiler. After reading this, I agree with her. Jessethereader had said there was a plot twist, Polandsbananasbooks said that knowing there is a twist makes you try to guess what it is. I correctly guessed two of the twists: I knew that Maven was trying to take the throne, and I knew that Shade was alive. I have to say I was disappointed (even if unsurprised) by Maven's betrayal. Maybe it's for the same reason so many others have been disappointed in this book; it has so many similarities to other books. I don't even know which ones. None come to mind. The first half seemed very unique and unusual, but as it went on, everything started to look familiar. I really wish that Maven had not been a villain. Even though I already knew he would betray Mare, I still thought that he was the only interesting one of the love interests. He could see that Mare had a crush on Cal, yet still, he seemed as though he fell in love with her. He was overlooked, weaker, sadder. He wanted attention, but he was kind. Except for that he wasn't. He was a love interest that was actually interesting. His being a villain ruined everything. Cal is boring. He has power, he's strong, he fell in love with the main character the moment he saw her, she immediately fell for him. He is the love interest that (except for Hunger Games) the main character usually ends up with at the end of the series. I hope not. He's not very interesting as a character, or a love interest. I wish that Mare hadn't had her case of love at first sight with him. I wish she would have kept her heart to herself. It was interesting to see her falling for Maven. We already knew that she would fall for Cal, from the moment he let her go after he caught her pickpocketing him, we knew she'd fall for him. I knew he was a silver the moment that happened. I knew he was the prince.

Besides the two brothers, there is one other potential love interest. Kilorn. He is the Gale of the series, except for that he's actually nice. He seems to have some jealousy of Mare's other potential love interests, and he gets angry about it, but he isn't nearly such a whiney brat as Gale was. It doesn't seem like Mare views him as a love interest, which is sad because, with Maven as a villain, Kilorn is the other love interest who I actually found interesting. It would be unusual for the best friend of the love triangle to get the girl in the end, and, while Kilorn isn't super interesting right now, he has the potential to be, at least far more that Cal. Kilorn is vulnerable, frightened, protective of Mare, protected by Mare, frightened, weak, willing to work through that weakness to achieve something worthwhile, and he doesn't have a superpower to do so. We don't see much of him in this book,, but he has potential to be a much more interesting character than he is in this book, and to be far more interesting than most of the others. If Maven is irredeemable, then I want Mare to end up with Kilorn. It would at least be something less predictable than the rest of the book.

There was also a glaringly obvious plot hole: Either King Tiberius and Queen Elara (and the Silver Court) is extremely stupid or in this world, girls don't get periods anymore. Even in the extremely unlikely case that Mare had grown up (in the difficult life of a red, no less) without ever scraping her knee, don't you think that the silvers would have wondered why she didn't figure out she was 'silver' when she started her period. So yeah, the king and queen's story about her being an almost eighteen-year-old silver who was raised by reds and never knew she was a silver until she fell into the electricity shield is one that would not, could not, work to explain her having powers as a red. I mean, I can understand how the men would fall for it since they don't have to deal with periods, and even I took a couple of days after completing this book to think about it, but come on, you can't expect that all of the women in the silver court wouldn't have once in all the time Mare was at court considered that when Mare started her period she would have noticed the color of her blood. My original rating was three stars because, yeah, I did like the book, even if it wasn't exceptional because Aveyard has a really good writing style, but my discovery of this little absurdity was enough to lower my rating to two stars.

If the characters had been more interesting. If I hadn't guessed the twists. If the only interesting character hadn't turned into an uninteresting villain, if there wasn't a plot whole... This book almost could have been four or even five stars for me, but there were too many disappointments.

Victoria Aveyard has a wonderful writing style and interesting world building, though there could have been a lot more of it. Most of her characters, while not necessarily interesting, are at least likeable. The only area where her writing really suffers is lack of creativity in characters and plot. I plan to continue reading Aveyard's books, though hopefully she will learn how to be more creative and unusual.