Red Queen

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Revolution needs a spark,” I murmur, repeating what Julian would say in our lessons. “And even sparks burn.

Red Queen is set in a world where people are divided into the color of their blood -Silvers, people who have evolved with powers, rule the reds who are considered inferior to them. Mare Barrow is a 17-year old Red girl steals for her family. “It is the best she can do,” she says, “…before she gets conscripted.” In this world, reds are sent to fight a war when they reach eighteen when they do not have jobs. But an accident turned things around for Mare. Instead of living as a Red, Mare must now pretend to be one of the Silvers and marry a prince.

Red Queen, even with the same elements of a dystopian story is kind of refreshing. Red Queen actually reminds me a lot of The Selection Series by Kiera Cass but with powers and a lot more of rebellion and war. Victoria Aveyard did a good job of creating this alternate world. While I was reading, Norta feels more and more real as I read on. The characters, especially Mare, is actually very relatable.Mare was driven by grief and love for family which for me sets her apart from the other main characters in other books. With her as the center, the book did not revolve about romance. It actually portrayed a lot of inequalities and the effects of war to people and families.

Enough about Mare… let’s talk about the swoon-worthy princes of Norta. Maven and Cal. I loved them both but I loved Maven much much more. Throughout the book, I understood where their princes are coming from. I understood their decisions. Cal, being the heir to the throne, was trained to always do the right thing. And Maven, oh Maven, the often overlooked son, my heart broke for him (though he broke my heart a thousand times more). Their love triangle is not a typical love triangle. I questioned more than once if there is really a love triangle at all. For me, it was clear who Mare reallys loves… but then… that plot twist!

The best (and at the same time, the worst) thing about Red Queen is the plot twist in the end. I sooooooo did not expect that. I was convinced that I would read the next books and let myself get lost in this world but that plot twist hurt me so much. I may not read the next book because of that plot twist. I just feel so betrayed. Even if the book already warned me that

Anyone can betray anyone.

Still, that plot twist is so unexpected.

Over all, I loved this book. Maybe  a bit too much – the reason for my review 0f 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend this book for dystopian book lovers. This book is filled with action, a bit of adventure and a love triangle – the ingredients of a dystopian book.

Insignia

Insignia (Insignia, #1)

Insignia by S.J. Kincaid

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Insignia is set in the future where World War III is ongoing. However, unlike the previous wars, this is one is set outside of Earth and fought by machines, eliminating risking innocent lives.

Reading a  book wherein the point of view is from a perspective of a teenage boy is kind of new to me. Most of the books I’ve read are from the point of view of a female or there are two points of view. I actually enjoyed it and I found it refreshing. Tom Raines is actually very funny. I never thought of him as annoying. Sometimes, I really get annoyed of the main character.

Insignia is actually very well-written. The plot was actually extremely good. There’s something more to every character than what I initially thought. There are lots of actions and virtual gaming. This book is beyond interesting! The best thing about this book is that this is not romance-driven unlike other dystopian young adult books. The story focuses on the character and how he manages his new life. There’s some romance there but it’s not heavy. I would like to look at it as friendship more than romance.

I don’t know why though but I didn’t fall in love with this book. It excited me and made me want to read more but I can’t give it higher than three stars. Maybe this book is for younger readers.

 

Slaughterhouse-Five

 

Slaughterhouse-Five

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

People aren’t supposed to look back. I’m certainly not going to do it anymore.

 

I have read this book because of a recommendation of a friend. To be honest, I haven’t heard about Kurt Vonnegut nor Slaughterhouse Five prior to my friend’s recommendation. He spoke so highly of the book, “It’s one of my favorities,” he says. So I immediately searched for a copy of the book and read it.

Slaughterhouse-Five about Billy Pilgrim who have come unstuck in time. He time travels to different moments of his life- his time as a prisoner of the war, his marriage and family life with Valencia, his abduction to another plant and even his time as a baby.

I also like Voneggut’s writing style. It is extremely detailed but not flowery. Almost everything is straightforward which made reading easier for me. I also liked the characters. Even with events like time travel and alien abduction, the characters felt very real to me. I felt like I could walk along the street and meet this people.

I think that Slaughterhouse-Five is a one of a kind book. It is very different from what I have read. I like that he focused on prisoners of the war. Other books about war portray their characters as mainly heroes and men, thus, showing war as an adventure. Kurt Voneggut, who was actually there when Dresden was bombed, chose to show war for what it really is – nothing but destruction. He showed how war breaks a person.Well, for me, Trafalmadore and time travel was just Billy Pilgrim’s way to escape reality. 

Aside from war, one of the main themes of the novel is free will, or rather the lack of it. According to the Trafalmadorians, which Billy Pilgrim also believes, every moment is structured and is happening simultaneously. Like, I was always meant to write this review and I always will write this review. I cannot do anything about it, thus, I do not have free will. I admire the writer for this. I believe that he is very brave for writing about this idea, the idea is very bold for me.

I am not giving this book  five stars, though, because of a couple of reasons: the book ended so abruptly to me and even though my mind was always so excited for what’s next, the book failed to connect with me emotionally.

Over-all, I really think that this book is very different. I will recommend it to people who like reading Science Fiction and War novels.