Red Queen

 
Title: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen, book 1/4 
Genre: Dystopian, Fantasy, Romance, YA
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: February 10th, 2015 


Mare Barrow is a Red; that is, her blood is red, and that makes her a commoner. All Reds are considered inferior to the Silvers, the nobility who are close to gods with their different powers. They are cruel, ruling over the Reds with unquestionable authority. 
After a chance meeting with a man from the palace, Mare is summoned there the next day to work as a servant, miraculously escaping her inevitable conscription in the war. Her palace duties throw her into a crowd gathered for the competition of the crown prince’s hand in marriage. Mare cannot believe her eyes when she sees that the man she met the night before, is none other than the crown prince himself.

Mare accidentally produces a surge of lightening in an attempt to protect herself. Mare, just as surprised as the Silvers, flees for her life, but is captured. The King and Queen cannot let people know what she truly is, so they form a lie that she is really a Silver, not a Red. In addition, Mare is betrothed to Cal’s younger brother, Maven, as a way to secure her secret. Meanwhile, Cal is betrothed to another. Mare and Cal, both are betrothed to other people, have an obvious attraction to one another.

The theme of this story is betrayal: the secret romance of Mare and Cal; Mare’s involvement in the Scarlet Guard, a resistance group trying to overthrow the royal family; Maven’s own participation in the Scarlet Guard; and the betrayal of family against family that unravels at the end.

I loved this first book of the series. Well done, Victoria Aveyard, for writing such a captivating debut!

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Emerald Green

Title: Emerald Green
Author: Kerstin Gier, translated from German by Anthea Bell
Series: The Ruby Red Trilogy, book 3/3
Genre: Romance, Time Travel, YA
Publisher: Henry Holt
Release Date: October 7th, 2014 
(first published December 8th, 2010) 

 

Note: This post reviews the third book of The Ruby Red Trilogy. You may like to read the first two books in the series, Ruby Red and Sapphire Blue, before reading this review. 

Gwen is still getting used to the idea of time-travel. It is disorienting and downright confusing at times, and everyone involved seems to be keeping a big secret from her – a secret about her destiny as the Ruby in the Circle of Twelve time-travelers. Since no one tells her anything, she decides to figure things out for herself, and make secret visits to the past.

Then there is Gideon, who seems to treat her differently each time they are together. What are his motives for pursuing a relationship with her? Is he really interested in her, or is he, too, only using her to get to what he wants?

In this exciting, page-turning finale, Gwen takes her life, and her heart, into her own hands. She refuses to be anyone’s puppet and boldly discovers the truth for herself – and learns more than she expected. The author masterfully wraps up several different characters’ journeys, as well as tying in moments that she foreshadowed all the way back in the first book.

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Sapphire Blue

Title: Sapphire Blue
Author: Kerstin Gier, translated from German by Anthea Bell
Series: The Ruby Red Trilogy, book 2/3
Genre: Romance, Time Travel, YA
Publisher: Henry Holt
Release Date: October 31st, 2012 
(first published January 5th, 2010)

 

Note: This post reviews the second book of The Ruby Red Trilogy. You may like to read the first book in the series, Ruby Red, before reading this review.

Gwen has been flung into the world of the secret society known as the Lodge and is now expected to follow their every command. Using the chronograph, they send her back in time every day, to collect blood from other time-travelers to be entered into the chronograph and close the circle. Once the circle closes, they believe that they will have a cure for all sickness and disease in the world.

The second of the two chronographs was stolen many years ago by two of the twelve time-travelers, Lucy Montrose and Paul de Villiers, ancestors of both Gwen and Gideon. This chronograph contains the blood of every time-traveler except Gwen, and is believed to be hidden to prevent the circle from closing, though no one knows exactly why. This is one of the mysteries that Gwen, and her best friend Lesley, try desperately to unravel.

As things remain unclear with this secret society of time-travelers, so do things in her relationship with Gideon. They have a relationship, but neither really trusts the other. Gwen must stay level-headed and get to the bottom of the mystery – before she runs out of time.

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Ruby Red

Title: Ruby Red
Author: Kerstin Gier, translated from German by Anthea Bell
Series: The Ruby Red Trilogy, book 1/3
Genre: Romance, Time Travel, YA
Publisher: Henry Holt
Release Date: May 10th, 2011
(first published January 6th, 2009)


Gwyneth Shepherd, a seemingly ordinary high-schooler living in modern-day London, discovers that she has inherited her family’s time-traveling gene. She is thrust unprepared into The Lodge, the secret society of time-travelers spanning over hundreds of years. There are only twelve time-travelers, each one represented by a precious stone; Gwen, the final stone, is the Ruby. She is to close the circle of time-travelers and fulfill a certain destiny – but she has no idea what that destiny is. 
 
Gwen must elapse (travel through time) for a certain amount of time per day through means of the the chronograph, one of only two time-traveling devices in the world, to avoid sporadic trips into the past. Sometimes she is sent into the past for no reason other than meeting her time-traveling quota; other times she is sent on important missions – like meeting the intimidating founder of the Lodge, Count Saint Germain – with her time-traveling companion, Gideon de Villiers. 
 
Gideon doesn’t have the highest opinion of Gwen at first because of her lack of experience, but over time she gains his trust, approval, and possibly his affection. We see the mounting tension in their relationship, which the author masterfully keeps unresolved until the end of the trilogy. As if time-traveling weren’t interesting enough, their romance definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat. 
 

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Reached


Title: Reached
Author: Ally Condie
Series: Matched Series, book 3/3
Genre: Dystopian, Romance, Sci-Fi, YA
Publisher: the Penguin Group
Release Date: November 13th, 2012

 
Note: This post reviews the third book of the Matched trilogy. You may like to read the first two books in the series, Matchedand Crossed, before reading this review.  
 
Cassia, Ky, and Xander are now a part of the Rising, the resistance group that has been moving in secret for many years. They are each assigned to different roles, which leads them in different directions.
The Rising emerges at the outbreak of the Plague, threatening the masses. They provide the cure – not the Society. But when an unforeseen mutation caused by the cure begins to develop, neither the Society or the Rising has a solution. It is up to Cassia, Ky, and Xander to search for a final cure themselves. Some are immune to this mutation – but not all.
 
This conclusion to the Matched trilogy was the most exciting of the three books. I liked the series as a whole, and recommend it to readers of dystopian fiction. 

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