I don’t know what it was about this book: maybe I was influenced by the fact that it had quite a lot of bad reviews on websites like Goodreads mingled with the fact that initially, I had really high expectations of it when I read the blurb in Waterstones a couple of weeks ago. At last, the Library have obtained a copy of it for me, and I just couldn’t wait to venture into a world of divided society, dominant royalty, following the journey of an admirable heroine… The blurb is absolutely fantastic and so is the front cover, but regarding the actual text – personally, I couldn’t get past the first chapter.
My first impressions were that the main character (from who’s perspective the reader sees the story) is quite a dislikeable person. She is a pickpocket and she seems quite snappy and impatient in general:
The market deflates, with everyone closing up their stalls for the day. The merchants are distracted, careless, and it’s easy for me to take whatever I want from their wares… (Page 1)
She gives us no reason for her actions, just the fact that she needs to steal things from honest, working people. And when she is speaking to her friend, Kilorn:
“Mare, this is supposed to be fun…” (Kilorn)
“It is supposed to be a warning, you dumb fool…” (Mare) (Page 3)
The story itself was peppered with other ideas that have been popular in literature, over the last few days. For instance, there is arenas where people fight to the death in, to prove that the Silvers (who are in charge) are powerful. There is a capital (capitol in the Hunger Games). It just all seems a bit samey samey – but less effective, in my opinion.
The text is very well-written, but the plot and characters seem very two-dimensional to me. The blurb taunted me with promises of a game of betrayal and lies, a heroine like no other, and a clever blend of The Hunger Games, The Selection, Graceling, and Divergent. Now I’m beginning to understand how appropriate that tag line is. So far, this story is jut a blend of other stories.
I hope Part 1 of my review doesn’t seem too harsh. I was excited by this book and I am just disappointed so far. I am going persevere and Part 2 of my review will log my thoughts on the rest of the book. But for now I am going to have a break from it and read The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle and return to Red Queen (with an open mind, of course) in a couple of days time. Watch out for Part 2 of my review. 🙂