This must be one of the most hyped up books for early 2015. An over-hyped dystopian book is something I cannot stand, but instead of being disappointed I found myself captivated by this book from the beginning.
The concept of the book was intriguing. Status is determined by blood. Reds are commoners living in poverty-stricken communities, enslaved by a Silver elite in possession of magical abilities. Mare Barrow is a Red. She lives in the Stilts with her parents, stealing what she can from her community to survive. When a chance encounter brings her before the Silver court, she discovers that she possesses an ability of her own. With the help of a rebellion group, Mare discovers that she could be the hope for a better future and fight back against the Silvers.
While the premise was fascinating, issues arose as I read further into the story. Although there was never a dull moment thanks to the action, I found the story very predictable. For me it followed the same road as too many other YA dystopian/fantasy novels that I’ve read, and I wasn’t overly shocked by anything that was revealed.
I also lacked connection to the characters. Mainly with Cal and Maven, who I assume you were supposed to feel something towards as they were a part of the super confusing love triangle that appeared out of nowhere. I didn’t understand the romance in this book at all. It was so irrelevant from the overall plot. Every time a relationship developed, it was considered irrelevant in the next chapter and Mare went on as though it never happened. Friendships would have sufficed in this book. But then again, I suppose you can’t sell Young Adult literature without romance nowadays..
What I did thoroughly enjoy in this book however was the world building. There were still points where I would have loved more development, but as a first book in a series I thought Aveyard did an amazing job of introducing us to this super complex society. What I would have loved however was a map of the world! That would have been a great added addition.
I also have to comment on the superpowers in this book. For me they were definitely the funnest and most interesting component of the entire novel! They had all X-Men types of abilities, but instead of being mutants like in the comics they were the elite. Some of the abilities included: manipulating the elements, reading and controlling someone’s mind and healing. I was wholeheartedly excited to continue reading every time the abilities were mentioned!
Overall, I found this a really enjoyable read and a well-done debut. I am fascinated to know where the story goes. And I really hope we see more of the world in the second instalment.