By Jenny

Welcome to Cracken the Spines. I am Jennifer McCracken, English teacher by day and novice blogger by night! This foray into book blogging began as an experiment to see if I could create and maintain a website, while working two jobs, being a devoted wife, and the loving mother of two boys - as if I don't have enough to keep me busy!

I am obsessed with literature - specifically fantasy - and it isn't enough that I get to teach books for a living. I want to discuss them obsessively on the Internet as well.

*Review* Echo ~ Pam Muñoz Ryan ~ 4/12/16


 

Goodreads Summary: 

Winner of a 2016 Newbery Honor, ECHO pushes the boundaries of genre, form, and storytelling innovation.

Lost and alone in a forbidden forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and suddenly finds himself entwined in a puzzling quest involving a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica.

Decades later, Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California each, in turn, become interwoven when the very same harmonica lands in their lives. All the children face daunting challenges: rescuing a father, protecting a brother, holding a family together. And ultimately, pulled by the invisible thread of destiny, their suspenseful solo stories converge in an orchestral crescendo.

Richly imagined and masterfully crafted, this impassioned, uplifting, and virtuosic tour de force will resound in your heart long after the last note has been struck.


 

I have read a lot of books in my time, but I can honestly say that I have never read a book quite like this one. Echo is one of the most beautifully crafted stories that I have ever had the privilege of listening to.  I took the opportunity to read this book, via audiobook and I am not even a little bit sorry that this was the route I took.  I know that audiobooks generally take me a bit longer to get through, but this book was so worth it.

Pam Muñoz Ryan spun a tale that was so tightly woven, I would have had a difficult time not devouring it in one sitting had I been reading the story book-in-hand.  However, with the audiobook, I was transported through space and time with music, accents, and a special brand of magic shared so beautifully between the three different narrators, that I felt like I was watching the story unfold as I listened.

This story definitely deserved to win the Newberry Honor this year.  I loved every minute of it and I have been pushing it into the hands of readers since I finished!

Gold star

*Review* Half-Blood ~ Jennifer L. Armentrout ~ 1/27/16

Goodreads Summary: The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi pure bloods have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals–well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures.

Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. Unfortunately, she’s crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn’t her biggest problem–staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is.

If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.


Hello, everyone!  I’m back from a little blogging hiatus and I am hoping that I will be able to get into a stronger routine of posts as we move forward into 2016.  I had some issues with my computer going caput at the end of last year, which made blogging extraordinarily difficult, and I started taking classes toward my Doctorate in Education!  Needless to say, my plate was getting a bit too full and I had to figure out how to manage my time a bit differently before I could get myself back into a regular blogging routine.  The good news is that I have a back log of books that I need to write reviews for, so I should have book review content for the foreseeable future!  Thank you so much to everyone who takes the time to read and comment.


Half-Blood was a fast-paced read that had me intrigued from the very first pages.  I loved the concept Jennifer Armentrout designed that twisted Greek mythology and created a world full of pure-blood and half-blood Sentinels who were fighting against evil forces threatening to keep an entire species oppressed.  The vicious, aether-addicted daimons were another wonderful addition to this world that kept me hooked and wondering what was going to happen next!

While reading, I definitely felt similarities to the Vampire Academy novels – especially with the love story between Alex and Aiden.  However, I wasn’t bothered by the connections that were similar to the Vampire Academy because I loved the series. Aiden and Alex gave Rose and Dimitri a run for their money in this first book of the Covenant series. I thought the connection between Aiden and Alex was realistic, if a bit predictable at times, but I LOVE them as a couple – even if the laws of their society mandate that their union would be punishable by DEATH.

Overall, I loved this book as an introduction to a series and I have already read the next two books!  Keep your eyes out for more reviews to follow!

Gold star

*Review* Tease~ Amanda Maciel

 

Goodreads Summary: Provocative, unforgettable, and inspired by real-life incidents, Amanda Maciel’s highly acclaimed debut novel Tease is the story of a teenage girl who faces criminal charges for bullying after a classmate commits suicide. With its powerful narrative, unconventional point of view, and strong anti-bullying theme, this coming-of-age story offers smart, insightful, and nuanced views on high school society, toxic friendships, and family relationships.

Emma Putnam is dead, and it’s all Sara Wharton’s fault. At least, that’s what everyone seems to think. Sara, along with her best friend and three other classmates, has been criminally charged for the bullying and harassment that led to Emma’s shocking suicide. Now Sara is the one who’s ostracized, already guilty according to her peers, the community, and the media. In the summer before her senior year, in between meetings with lawyers and a court-recommended therapist, Sara is forced to reflect on the events that brought her to this moment—and ultimately consider her own role in an undeniable tragedy. And she’ll have to find a way to move forward, even when it feels like her own life is over.


 

Wow!  This book is a game-changer, folks.  I have never read anything like it before, which I really appreciate.  Amanda Maciel has spun a controversial and thought-provoking tale and yet, she did an excellent job of keeping the writing objective when it could have come across as accusatory to the readers.  Personally, I don’t think it matters whether or not people love or hate this book, I think it matters that people READ this book and that they continue to have the discussion about bullying and suicide in schools.  I thought the writing was brilliant.  I thought the story was poignant and I think it is up to the reader to decide how they feel about Sara Wharton and the role she played in Emma Putnam’s death.

Gold star

*Top Ten Tuesday* ~ 9/1/15

top ten tuesday


 Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.  This week’s topic is the ten characters you just didn’t click with.  As a school teacher, this list grabbed me because I have had to read a ton of books starring a host of characters that have ranged from despicable to diabolical.  I have had difficulty clicking with a great many characters over the years, but that is not to say that the literature in which they are featured is not valuable.  For whatever reason, I just had a hard time connecting with these heroes and heroines of the written word.  Let me know what you think!


  1. Holden Caulfield – The Catcher in the Rye ~ J.D. Salinger
  2. Catherine Earnshaw – Wuthering Heights ~ Emily Bronte
  3. Libby Day – Dark Places ~ Gillian Flynn
  4. Piggy – Lord of the Flies ~ William Golding
  5. Rachel – Girl on the Train ~ Paula Hawkins
  6. Esther Greenwood – The Bell Jar ~ Sylvia Plath
  7. Estella – Great Expectations ~ Charles Dickens
  8. Lady Macbeth – Macbeth ~ William Shakespeare
  9. Juliet Capulet – Romeo and Juliet ~ William Shakespeare
  10. Hanna Baker – Thirteen Reasons Why ~ Jay Asher

*Review* In The Lake of the Woods ~ Tim O’Brien

Goodreads Summary: First published to critical acclaim by Houghton Mifflin, Tim O’Brien’s celebrated classic In the Lake of the Woods now returns to the house in a gorgeous new Mariner paperback edition. This riveting novel of love and mystery from the author of The Things They Carried examines the lasting impact of the twentieth century’s legacy of violence and warfare, both at home and abroad. When long-hidden secrets about the atrocities he committed in Vietnam come to light, a candidate for the U.S. Senate retreats with his wife to a lakeside cabin in northern Minnesota. Within days of their arrival, his wife mysteriously vanishes into the watery wilderness.


 

In The Lake of the Woods by Tim O’Brien is a masterfully crafted tale of love, sadness, and desperation. I haven’t ever read a book quite like this one. It was emotionally challenging and mysterious, while still being a relatively easy read. Tim O’Brien has a way of making a war experience accessible for someone who has never experienced the trauma. However, while feeling present during the action, readers are still very much on the outside. I got the sense, while reading this book,  the reader isn’t really ever supposed to fully understand the experiences of the main characters. Though the characters are fully developed, certain details of their pasts are left out of the narrative in order to create a unique sense of mystery and allure. The structure of the book is also very different from other novels I have read in the past. Each chapter is labeled as Evidence, Hypothesis – Or, the reader is getting a first person account from the main character, Wade, a washed-up politician who also happens to be a Vietnam War Veteran. It’s hard not to like Wade. He is smart, charismatic, and entertaining. However, Wade hides a shadowy past and he uses his talent with magic as a diversion so that the people in his life won’t discover his deeds – including himself. He is constantly looking for the next angle and the best way to manipulate a situation to his advantage.  The real question is: Did he do it?  Is his wife’s disappearance the greatest illusion Sorcerer ever pulled?

Gold star

*Top Ten Tuesday* ~ 6/15/15

top ten tuesday


This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is dedicated to the books on my TBR list for Summer 2015! I am so excited about these books.  My list offers a wide variety of titles in both YA and adult fiction.  Please feel free to share your top ten choices for this summer!  I would love to hear all about the spines you’ll be cracking!


 

I’ll Give you The Sun ~ Jandy Nelson

Goodreads Summary:

A brilliant, luminous story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal for fans of John Green, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell 

Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah’s story to tell. The later years are Jude’s. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

This radiant novel from the acclaimed, award-winning author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once.


 

2. These Gentle Wounds ~ Helene Dunbar

Goodreads Summary: 

Sometimes I wish I’d lost a leg or something. Everyone can understand that. They never get it when what’s been broken is inside your head.

Five years after an unspeakable tragedy that changed him forever, Gordie Allen has made a new home with his half-brother Kevin. Their arrangement works since Kevin is the only person who can protect Gordie at school and keep him focused on getting his life back on track.

But just when it seems like things are becoming normal, Gordie’s biological father comes back into the picture, demanding a place in his life. Now there’s nothing to stop Gordie from falling into a tailspin that could cost him everything—including his relationship with Sarah, the first girl he’s trusted with the truth. With his world spinning out of control, the only one who can help Gordie is himself . . . if he can find the strength to confront the past and take back his future.


 

3. Kissing in America ~ Margo Rabb

Goodreads Summary:

In the two years since her father died, sixteen-year-old Eva has found comfort in reading romance novels—118 of them, to be exact—to dull the pain of her loss that’s still so present. Her romantic fantasies become a reality when she meets Will, who seems to truly understand Eva’s grief. Unfortunately, after Eva falls head-over-heels for him, he picks up and moves to California without any warning. Not wanting to lose the only person who has been able to pull her out of sadness—and, perhaps, her shot at real love—Eva and her best friend, Annie, concoct a plan to travel to the west coast to see Will again. As they road trip across America, Eva and Annie confront the complex truth about love.

In this honest and emotional journey that National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr calls “gorgeous, funny, and joyous,” readers will experience the highs of infatuation and the lows of heartache as Eva contends with love in all of its forms.


 

4. Made You Up ~ Francesca Zappia

Goodreads Summary:

Reality, it turns out, is often not what you perceive it to be—sometimes, there really is someone out to get you. Made You Up tells the story of Alex, a high school senior unable to tell the difference between real life and delusion. This is a compelling and provoking literary debut that will appeal to fans of Wes Anderson, Silver Linings Playbook, and Liar.

Alex fights a daily battle to figure out the difference between reality and delusion. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a Magic 8-Ball, and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. She’s pretty optimistic about her chances until classes begin, and she runs into Miles. Didn’t she imagine him? Before she knows it, Alex is making friends, going to parties, falling in love, and experiencing all the usual rites of passage for teenagers. But Alex is used to being crazy. She’s not prepared for normal.

Funny, provoking, and ultimately moving, this debut novel featuring the quintessential unreliable narrator will have readers turning the pages and trying to figure out what is real and what is made up.


 

5. A Hanging at Cinder Bottom ~ Glenn Taylor

Goodreads Summary:

Stylish historical fiction in the tradition of True Grit and Carter Beats the Devil, A Hanging at Cinder Bottom is an epic novel of exile and retribution, a heist tale and a love story both.

The year is 1910. Halley’s Comet has just signaled the end of the world, and Jack Johnson has knocked out the “Great White Hope,” Jim Jeffries. Keystone, West Virginia, is the region’s biggest boomtown, and on a rainy Sunday morning in August, its townspeople are gathered in a red-light district known as Cinder Bottom to witness the first public hanging in over a decade. Abe Baach and Goldie Toothman are at the gallows, awaiting their execution. He’s Keystone’s most famous poker player; she’s the madam of its most infamous brothel. Abe split town seven years prior under suspicion of armed robbery and murder, and has been playing cards up and down the coast, hustling under a variety of pseudonyms, ever since. But when he returns to Keystone to reunite with Goldie and to set the past right, he finds a brother dead and his father’s saloon in shambles—and suspects the same men might be responsible for both. Only then, in facing his family’s past, does the real swindle begin.

Glenn Taylor, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, has a unique voice that breathes life into history and a prose style that snaps with lyricism and comedy.


 

6. Revolver ~ Marcus Sedgwick

Goodreads Summary:

Razor-sharp, psychological thriller set in a snowy Arctic wilderness.

“They say that dead men tell no tales, but they’re wrong. Even the dead tell stories.”

It’s 1910. In a cabin north of the Arctic Circle, in a place murderously cold and desolate, Sig Andersson is alone. Except for the corpse of his father, frozen to death that morning when he fell through the ice on the lake.

The cabin is silent, so silent, and then there’s a knock at the door. It’s a stranger, and as his extraordinary story of gold dust and gold lust unwinds, Sig’s thoughts turn more and more to his father’s prized possession, a Colt revolver, hidden in the storeroom.

A revolver just waiting to be used…but should Sig use it, or not?


 

7. Shadow Scale ~ Rachel Hartman

Goodreads Summary: 

Seraphina took the literary world by storm with 8 starred reviews and numerous “Best of” lists. At last, her eagerly awaited sequel has arrived—and with it comes an epic battle between humans and dragons.

The kingdom of Goredd: a world where humans and dragons share life with an uneasy balance, and those few who are both human and dragon must hide the truth. Seraphina is one of these, part girl, part dragon, who is reluctantly drawn into the politics of her world. When war breaks out between the dragons and humans, she must travel the lands to find those like herself—for she has an inexplicable connection to all of them, and together they will be able to fight the dragons in powerful, magical ways.

As Seraphina gathers this motley crew, she is pursued by humans who want to stop her. But the most terrifying is another half dragon, who can creep into people’s minds and take them over. Until now, Seraphina has kept her mind safe from intruders, but that also means she’s held back her own gift. It is time to make a choice: Cling to the safety of her old life, or embrace a powerful new destiny?


 

8. All The Light We Cannot See ~ Anthony Doerr

Goodreads Summary: 

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When Marie-Laure is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris, and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.


 

9. The Invention of Wings ~ Sue Monk Kidd

Goodreads Summary: 

Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

Kidd’s sweeping novel is set in motion on Sarah’s eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership of ten year old Handful, who is to be her handmaid.We follow their remarkable journeys over the next thirty-five years, as both strive for a life of their own, dramatically shaping each other’s destinies and forming a complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the uneasy ways of love.

As the stories build to a riveting climax, Handful will endure loss and sorrow, finding courage and a sense of self in the process. Sarah will experience crushed hopes, betrayal, unrequited love, and ostracism before leaving Charleston to find her place alongside her fearless younger sister, Angelina, as one of the early pioneers in the abolition and women’s rights movements.


 

10. Desecration ~ Jamie Brooke

Goodreads Summary:

Death isn’t always the end.

LONDON. When the body of a young heiress is found within the Royal College of Surgeons, Detective Sergeant Jamie Brooke is assigned to the case. An antique ivory figurine found beside the body is the only lead and she enlists Blake Daniel, a reluctant clairvoyant, to help her discover the message it holds.

When personal tragedy strikes, Jamie finds her own life entwining with the morbid fascinations of the anatomists, and she must race against time to stop them claiming another victim.

As Jamie and Blake delve into a macabre world of grave robbery, body modification, and the genetic engineering of monsters, they must fight to keep their sanity, and their lives.

*Review* ~ A Court of Thorns and Roses ~ Sarah J. Maas

Goodreads Summary: 

A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Timesbestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!


HOLY COW!!! I adored every bit of this story. It started with a very beauty and the beast type of feel but transitioned into an awesome tale about an impending war between humans and faeries. It is a beautifully descriptive work of fantasy that was deliciously magical and I wallowed in it!  Sarah Maas managed to create a world of faeries that were both incredibly beautiful and fierce at the same time.   I haven’t been this sad to have to wait for another book in a series to come out since Maria V. Snyder was working on Shadow Study!  Sarah J. Maas builds worlds like Kristin Cashore and is quickly climbing her way up my list of favorite authors.  Believe me, any comparisons to Kristin Cashore and Maria V. Snyder are considered extremely high praise in my universe.  

I wish I could put my finger on exactly what I loved so much about this book, but the truth is that I loved everything.  I realize I’m gushing a little bit here, but I honestly felt completely transported into a world that I wanted to believe could exist alongside our own.  Feyre and Tamlin were both strong and independent leads who managed to evolve beautifully throughout the course of the narrative.  I appreciated the pacing of the story – it had a very YA pace.  However, the romance felt distinctly more adult.  Both main characters suffered through tremendous hardships in their formative years.  And yet, instead of being bitter and broken by the responsibilities they have had to face, Feyre and Tamlin have flourished.  They are real examples that successful relationships require partners who trust one another.  They worked as a team, even when both of them would rather sacrifice themselves for the good of one another.

I finished this book last week and I haven’t been able to pick up a single book that has felt as incredible as A Court of Thorns and Roses. Sarah J. Maas’ writing has pushed me to an abysmal book hangover and I’m not sure I’ll be recovering anytime soon.

Gold star  

My Favorite Books to Re-Read

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When summer hits, I get so excited for the opportunity to re-read some of my favorite books! My loving and supportive husband constantly shakes his head at my choices to re-read because I have so many stacks to address on my TBR list.  However, I just can’t let a year go by without visiting some of my favorite worlds and characters again!  For me, re-reading a favorite novel is like taking a luxury vacation every year.  Below, I have listed a few books/series that I never grow tired of reading.  I hope you enjoy this list as much as I enjoyed making it!


 

1. Harry Potter (Series) ~ J.K. Rowling

2. Graceling (Series) ~ Kristin Cashore

3. Poison Study (Series) ~ Maria V. Snyder

4. The Lord of the Flies ~ William Golding

5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time ~ Mark Haddon

6. Walk Two Moons ~ Sharon Creech

7. The Night Circus ~ Erin Morganstern

8. The Secret Life of Bees ~ Sue Monk Kidd

9. The Hobbit ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

10. Revolution ~ Jennifer Donnelly

*Review* ~ The Darkest Part of the Forest ~ Holly Black

Goodreads Summary: 

Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?


I loved this book!  Holly Black has crafted another fun, fabulous, faery tale that was a feast for the senses.  Her writing is captivating while being both gritty and whimsical.  I have been a huge fan of Holly Black’s for several years now and either her writing keeps getting better or I find myself falling further in love with her writing style!  Either way,  when I read her stories, I end up feeling like I’ve taken a vacation from the problems of everyday life and have returned feeling rejuvenated by the magic and mystery of the Fair Folk.

Holly Black did an incredible job with the world-building in this novel. Fairfold is a sleepy town on the edge of a forest where humans and Faeries live as peaceably as possible side-by-side.  Although, both sides take their hits from time-to-time.  I would describe the relationship between the humans and the faeries as tenuous at best.  Humans constantly struggle with wanting to have everything that the faeries have: beauty, magic, and mystery.  However, the faeries are teetering on the brink of desire for humanity through their population of changelings as well.  Both sides have members who would do anything to keep the peace, but there is always someone, with a taste for conflict, who is willing to push beyond the tipping point of the natural boundaries.

Hazel and Ben are two humans who have been venturing into the darkest part of the forest for all of their lives.  They fancy themselves to be young warriors who will slay the evil monsters in the woods, while preserving the beauty and the magic of the lighter faeries.  Their story rapidly evolves and changes, which kept me on the edge of my seat throughout this reading.  I adored how both characters recognized that they were flawed and that they were willing to make the necessary changes in order to evolve.  Not only was this story deeply driven by the world-building, but it was also extremely character-driven.  I found myself dying to know what was going to happen to each of the major characters, but I also wanted to know if the humans and faeries were going to end up at war with one another.

I love faery stories and this tale did not fall short of my expectations.  I cannot wait to see what Holly Black has in store for her next faery-filled adventure!

Gold star

 

*Review* ~ Red Queen ~ Victoria Aveyard


 

Goodreads Summary:

The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of
those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?


Victoria Aveyard has crafted a thoroughly enjoyable tale in her novel, Red Queen.  I enjoyed the well-crafted world of the Silvers and the Reds.  The caste system created through the powers of the Silvers really highlighted the poverty and the struggles of the Red population.  However, I think that Aveyard’s character development fell short of her world-building capabilities.

Mare Barrow, is an interesting character in this novel, but I didn’t find any of the love interests presented in this tale to be fully believable. While reading, I found myself waiting to get back to the parts of the story that weren’t revolving around her weak interactions with potential suitors.  However, I loved the intrigue and the rising rebellion that arrived later in the tale.  Let it be known that I am a sucker for the kind of story where corruption is vanquished and evil rulers are brought to their knees.  In this sense, Aveyard told a fascinating story.  Overall, I enjoyed this book and would definitely be interested in seeing what Aveyard comes up with next.

4-star-review3