I was so pleased I succumbed to the hype and read Red Queen. But I was a little worried that the sequel wouldn’t live up to my expectations. Very rarely do sequels meet my expectations, it’s a trope we all know and definitely do not love. What is concerning about the Red Queen series is that it could very easily just descend into a series of Young Adult tropes, I know that’s why some people really don’t like them or don’t think they want to read them. But I was already hooked by the characters from the end of Red Queen and I had to know how things were going to turn out.
Goodreads Summary (Possible Spoilers for Red Queen):
If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.
Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.
The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.
Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.
But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.
Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?
The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul
Maybe I just have zero discernment when it comes to YA, maybe I secretly love a cliché, maybe I’m still 15 at heart but I love these books. They just hit that perfect spot for me of feeling entertaining and interesting without being overly weighty (though these books are fairly hefty to cart about on the bus).
Mare is still just as amazing as ever, I liked that we’re getting a good dose of character development for her in this sequel, so often authors forget to really deal with the emotional consequences of their first book because they’re so busy pushing the plot along. I’m not a fan of when the character does something sudden and drastic like having a big cry or cutting their hair and suddenly they are done and ready to save the day again.
What I really enjoyed was all the new powers that the reader gets to find out about in this book. There is a reason superheroes are so fascinating to people, they are amazing and they speak to that love of fantasy that I believe everyone has inside them, whether they want to admit it or not.
Romance, to me, did not seem to be they key element of this book, I know the series has been critiqued by some for having that teen focus on romance when the world is falling apart. I’m not going to deny the romance was there, or suggest that it was amazing and faultlessly written but, bottom line, it didn’t bother me or distract me from the badass elements of the plot that I was loving.
So was this just another YA sequel? I can see how people would think that. But it’s a sequel that stands up to the first book, it’s got plot development for pretty much all the characters, a villain who could still be redeemed (but let’s hope it’s not done through love because they’ve done some shady things to say the least). At the end of the day (review?) I finished the book and immediately wanted to read the next title in the series. If that doesn’t tell me it was a good book then I don’t know what does.
This is apparently going to be a four book (at least) series, so we shall see how King’s cage goes. Look out for my review which should be up soon!
My Rating: 5/5 stars (loved it)
Have you read these? Are you on the fence? Let’s chat about it, in the comments below or on twitter (@judithcmoore). I look forward to hearing from you!