I totally jumped onto the hype-train and picked up Red Queen. It was definitely worth it. I had to pull myself away more than once, so I could deal with real life (those children aren't going to feed themselves). Red Queen was just so immersive, sucking you into Mare's story, wondering along with her about Cal and Maven, thinking beyond her about Cal and Maven, Kilorn and Farley, Shade and so many more. Victoria Aveyard created a complete, full world, that you get to discover as Mare moves through it. As she moved from place to place, I realized that this wasn't just a fantasy world. There was technology present. There was a map of the world from "before". The world changed long ago. It makes you question where the Silver's abilities came from? Were they magic or mutations? Was this world fantasy or dystopian? Both? The more I think of it as dystopian, the more it makes sense, especially if I give it a post-apocalyptic, X-Men spin and imagine Magneto won dominion over the humans.
Some of the relationships in Red Queen reminded me a bit of Shadow and Bone and as with Shadow and Bone, I was hoping I was wrong. I also wonder if we'll have a death scene like at the end of Ruin and Rising, though from what I've seen, the Red Queen series will be more than three novels. The relationships, all the relationships, Mare and her family, the princes, Farley, Walsh, Lucas, were more than what they appeared on the surface. Cal and Maven too, they acted one way, but felt another, about each other and the people around them. I am excited to see how they grow and change over the series.
I know I have compared Red Queen to other stories (I could probably continue to do so). I think that with the media, books and movies, that surround us now, it's easy to draw inspiration from other stories, whether they be comics, fantasy or science-fiction, and everything else out there. It's also easy for a reader to understand a "telkie" or "magnetron's" ability because of those stories. While Aveyard does describe what the characters can do, when she says, a burner controls fire, we really don't need much more information than that to understand what is going on. Maybe Aveyard pulled from everywhere, from every fantastical story to stir together and create this intricate world.
The ending was great and I love a good ending. The novel finishes nicely. The story concludes, but with an ending that makes you excited for the next book. I wouldn't call it a cliffhanger though. It's more of an enticement. This is where Mare is heading, this is how she feels and this is what she wants to do. You want to continue the story with her, but you aren't frustrated by where Aveyard concluded this tale. I think Red Queen was amazing and the perfect read for me right now. It deserves all the hype and praise it gets.