Release Date: Feb 2015
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Dystopia
Page Count: 383
I read this book back in 2016, and for once actually wrote a review back then too on Goodreads. I mentioned that I had mixed emotions about the book, and I think that still stands, but I definitely don’t feel as scathingly towards it as I apparently did back then – which surprised me when I found my old review, as I thought I liked this book.
The world we’re introduced to feels like a post nuclear world, with a twist on what all the radiation has done to the world and its inhabitants. There are reds, akin to us, and silvers, humans who have mutated to have silver blood and abilities (such as manipulating fire, or metal etc.). To me this is such an interesting concept, but I don’t feel like it gets fleshed out enough in this book – we’re told so and so can do this or do that, but we don’t see a lot of it, and most of the time its literally just that ‘telling us’ we get. The view we’re given is fairly basic, rather than something fully fleshed out in all its glory.
“The gods rule us still. They have come down from the stars. And they are no longer kind.”
The dynamic between the two blood types consists of the silvers being considered superior and hold all the power, while the reds are thought of as little more than slaves born to do all the work, and be used like cannon fodder in a war that has been going on for at least 100 years. Our main protagonist is Mare, a hot headed 17 year old with a penchant for thievery. Born red, she unwittingly discovers she has an ability like the silvers do, and queue our story so I won’t say much more.
I’m not going to lie, Mare’s interactions with the rest of the characters irks me a little – if they’re female there’s a good bet they won’t like her, if they’re male there’s a good bet they’ll like her. It gets a bit predictable. We also have that lovely old trope of a love triangle – but one that I feel never really fully forms in this book. We can see she obviously likes them and them her, but there’s not a whole lot of romancing that actually happens.
“Rise, red as the dawn.”
Bubbling away in the background, which I would have rathered in the foreground, there is a revolution in its early stages. I’m keen to see where this leads, and the heartbreak I would have thought will happen (there’s a cost to these things, surely), but I just need it to take on some more substance. Give me everyone’s stakes in this, their personal histories, their own thoughts and fears – rather than here’s some brooding people, fighting for this really important cause, the end.
Although I suppose this review has turned out relatively negative again (sorry), I’m once again left with that ending that calls to me to read more. The ‘give me more revolution’ I’ve talked about looks like it will happen, the love triangle is shifting to something a bit more complex, and the stakes are starting to hit home more for Mare – rather than continuing the more of an airy-fairy approach it feels she took over the course of this part of the story.
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