Book Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Book Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Publisher: HarperCollins

dystopia, young adult, fantasy

X-Men meets Hunger Games is the best way to describe this book, I think. This is a debut novel, first in a YA series by Victoria Aveyard. Our protagonist, Mare, is a Red, a second-class citizen with red blood and no special powers. The ruling class is made up of Silvers whose blood runs silver and who are able to manipulate water, fire, metal, control other’s minds, and become invisible.

There is a generational war being waged by the Silvers, being fought mostly by Reds. Mare’s brothers have all gone to the war and she lives with her sister and parents in The Stilts, a poor Red village. While her sister has honest work as a seamstress, Mare spends her days pick-pocketing in the streets… until she is thrust into the world of the Silvers and discovers that, even though her blood runs red, she has somehow developed her own powers.

She must navigate through this new society parading as one of their own while she figures out the source of this power and what it means. Her Red allegiance gets her involved in a rebel group that she tries to assist through her new position. Tables are turned… a number of times… and she might have gotten in over her head. How can she save her friends and family back in The Stilts? How did she come to have these powers and are there others like her? Can she secretly take down the Silver regime from the inside?

I found this book enjoyable though not overly engaging. Honestly, I don’t see myself reading past the first book in this series. The writing is pretty predictable. This is very much your standard YA dystopia about a girl who ruffles feathers and meanwhile there is a romantic triangle. There is some interesting commentary about terrorism vs rebellion that I appreciated, though.

All that said, I am glad I got to know it so that I could recommend it to others who are looking for what to read post Hunger Games and Divergent.

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Book Review: Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry

Book Review: Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry

Peter and the Starcatchers (Peter and the Starcatchers, #1)Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dave Barry’s take on Peter Pan takes us back to when Peter was an orphan making a trip on a ship called The Neverland. He gets entangled with a girl named Molly whose family has long been tasked with protecting starstuff that falls from the sky. They protect it from falling in to the hands of The Others who only want to use it obtain power. The Starcatchers seek out starstuff that has fallen from the heavens, hide it, and return it to the sky during very specific times.

Peter ends up helping Molly which takes us on a wild and funny ride slowly introducing us to the elements of the Peter Pan story so familiar to us: Captain Hook and his pirates, the crocodile, the island, the mermaids, Tinkerbell, and “pixie dust”.

Peter, cocky kid who refuses to grow up from previous adaptations, is shy and insecure, going along for the ride in this story. Over the course of this and the following title in the series, Peter and the Shadow Thieves, we see him grow into that character. I wish that Tinkerbell had been given more depth instead of being immediately the jealous female. Molly, daughter of a major player in Starcatcher circles, takes the lead in this adventure. Until Shadow Thieves, that is. I found her to be pretty lame in Shadow Thieves which is why I might not make it past the second book in this series.

Over all, I found this first book a delightful read that added a layer to the now familiar tale of Peter Pan. I actually listened to the audiobook of this title read by Jim Dale. It was fantastic! Jim Dale’s expressive voice adds so much to the stories he reads. I was taken back to the time I listened to him read me some of the Harry Potter books. He alone adds a touch of magic.

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