Book Reviews





Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard - review

In the fairy tales, the poor girl smiles when she becomes a princess. Right now, I don't know if I'll ever smile again."  

Title: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Publisher: Orion
Source: ARC from Netgalley
Available: 12 February 2015
Buy it: Here Here


Mare Barrow, a Red from the poverty stricken Stilts, finds herself in the world of Silvers; once-mythical gods that now live on earth in silk and splendor while Reds struggle to serve them and fight their wars. But the balance of power is shifting, and Mare is just what the rebellion has been waiting for.


I’m torn about Red Queen.

On the one hand, it was an exciting and well paced dystopian YA, with interesting characters and an intriguing world. On the other, I just really didn’t feel it. It’s like I had read Red Queen already, in about 4 or 5 other books, each having characters in them I cared more about than the central characters here; Mare, Cal and Maven.

I know that sounds quite harsh, and nothing is going to be completely original anymore, but I really think Red Queen flags up a bit of a saturation point in a certain kind of dystopian YA. Everything felt so familiar. Even the twists felt like they were meant to be there.

That said, I truly loved the world created for Red Queen. I loved the mythical creatures of the ruling class and their powers, and the castles of glass and walls of diamond. It was all very lush and extravagant – the perfect foil to The Stilts which, although given only a brief introduction, felt every bit as horrible as it should.

I also enjoyed the characters of the revolution. I wish they could have played a bigger part as they felt fresher – I wanted more Farley, more Tristan and Kilorn. Their unpredictable actions gave the only sense of the unknown in the book.


I can’t say I didn’t like Red Queen, because I did. It was an easy and enjoyable read that I finished quickly and felt satisfied at the end of. I just wish there was a bit more of a spark for me.  I recommend it to fans of the genre looking for an underdog to root for in a great fictional world.




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The Slump and DNF round-up

Hi everyone. Today I want to talk about "the slump". I've covered it before, and I'm pretty sure it happens to everyone who loves books at some point: you just can't find a book that you like, and so your approach towards reading becomes defeatist, which gives books a harder chance to impress you - and on and on!

I've been experiencing a HUGE slump recently. Since before Christmas I haven't completed a book. I don't know what caused it. I hadn't just finished something amazing that nothing could live up to. I hadn't just read something emotional that left me with a book hangover. I had (and still have) plenty of wonderful titles on my TBR. I just haven't been motivated to read them, and the choices I was making just weren't working out. It sucks!

Happily, I have some amazing people on Twitter who respond brilliantly to any call for slump help! Having other book lovers send out their favourite book titles like prescriptions seemed to reignite my excitement about reading again. Luckily I have just read a book that seems to have broken the reading down-turn but there are a whole slew of books I didn't complete in my wake. I don't review DNFs as I don't think it's fair, but as there hasn't been a review on this blog for at least a month, I feel I should at least list the ones I would have reviewed ;)

So, here are my DNFs from Dec-Jan. I will probably revisit a few later in the year as I think I was the problem, not the book!

Broken Monsters - Lauren Beukes
Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel
Attachments - Rainbow Rowell
Shiver The Whole Night Through - Darragh McManus
City Of Bones - Cassandra Clare
Serena  -Ron Rash

Were any of my DNFs definite "return later"s? I think I'll definitely give Serena a second chance, but I might be "one of those" people and watch the BBC adaptation of Wolf Hall! ha!