by Victoria Aveyard
The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.
To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.
Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.
But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?
Again for this review I’m going to give my thoughts on the cover, storyline, and characters.
As I previously noted in my top ten post on favorite book covers, I love the stark contrast in this cover. The bright red blood oozes against the cold blueish-grey opalescent background. I honestly would have read this book because of the cover alone. The design sends a message while remaining simple. Just from this image, the reader can deduce that the story follows royalty because of the crown, that some conflict is occurring against the monarchy because of the upside down crown in addition to the blood. The color contrast suggests opposing ideals as well.
This book was extremely hard to put down, I had to be dragged away from it once I started. Victoria Aveyard’s new world at times had me thinking of other Young Adult novels and series I’ve read like “Graceling”, “The Selection”, and even “The Hunger Games”. While Aveyard does not have children killing children… yet, the idea of starting in a new world already wrought with violence and fundamental issues made me think back of Collins’ dystopian world. The aspect of the Queenstrial brought “The Selection” to mind. While our protagonist was not necessarily a candidate for queen, she certainly had the prince falling for her, just like America, who doesn’t want the crown in the beginning, having the prince fall for her. The idea of having a caste system, while Cass had an eight section, clearly defined, system; in Aveyard’s case the system is reds (those who bleed read), silvers (those who bleed silver, whom also have supernatural abilities), and royalty (which only consists of silvers). The whole two types of people, one being your average human being, the other being a supernatural being reminds me of Cashore’s Graceling where there are a few, identified by their unique eyes, who have special abilities. While I seem to be rambling on and on over Aveyard’s similarities to other YA literature, I have a point to it. I feel that while this book tells an amazing story, it just wasn’t original enough for me. (Hence the deducted half star on my rating)
One thing Aveyard managed, that many other YA authors haven’t is creating unpredictable characters. That’s all I’m going to say on characters because too much may spoil the plot, but many of the characters surprised me often, and that is a hard feat to manage.
Overall I most definitely recommend this novel. I will be eagerly awaiting the rest of the trilogy.