The Red Queen

Author: Christina Henry | Publisher: Titan Books

The land outside of the Old City was supposed to be green, lush, hopeful. But the verdant fields are nothing but ash and hope is nowhere to be found. Still, Alice and Hatcher are on a mission to find his daughter: a quest they will not forsake even as it takes them deep into the clutches of the mad White Queen or into the realm of the twisted and cruel Black King. The pieces are set and the game has begun, and each move brings Alice closer to her destiny.

Having read and loved Alice, I’d been happily anticipating Red Queen for some time. Sadly, while I did enjoy Red Queen, it didn’t quite live up to expectations.

Alice is creepy and twisted, surprising, and very entertaining. I fell in love with the humanity of the characters, and read the book straight through in one sitting in a sort of frenzy to know what happened next.

Red Queen was just as creepy, just as twisted, but it fell flat for me in the lack of character development and general believability. It seemed like, as soon as there was a problem, a magical solution appeared to solve it. I was torn between thinking the characters were either too stupid to have realised the solution sooner, or it was all just a little convenient and the author had run out of ideas.

The characters were essentially the same throughout. No growth, no progression, no grand realisations. They lost their humanity, and, quite frankly, got a little boring. Even their relationships failed to develop.

It also got a bit depressing. Nothing good happened. Ever. And everyone was miserable. I don’t mind something a bit dark, but there surely has to be some hope, otherwise why am I still reading?

Whereas in Alice the author let you make your own mind up as to whether someone was good or bad, whether the world was good or bad, in Red Queen I found it all got a bit “preachy” and moralizing. I don’t love that in a book.

That being said, I think a lot of these problems had to do with the book simply not living up to expectations. It just wasn’t as good as the first one. And don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy it. It was entertaining, fast paced, fun, and very imaginative. I’m definitely going to read Christina Henry’s Lost Boy next, so it hasn’t put me off too much.

Rating: 3/5

 

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