Book Review – Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

A royal fantasy with zap…

Red Queen Book Review Pic 01 by Casey CarlisleGenre: Science Fiction, Fantasy

No. of pages: 383

From Goodreads:

Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood – those with red and those with silver. Mare and her family are lowly Reds, destined to serve the Silver elite whose supernatural abilities make them nearly gods. Mare steals what she can to help her family survive, but when her best friend is conscripted into the army she gambles everything to win his freedom. A twist of fate leads her to the royal palace itself, where, in front of the king and all his nobels, she discovers a power of her own – an ability she didn’t know she had. Except… her blood is Red.

To hide this impossibility, the king forces her into the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks her new position to aid the Scarlet Guard – the leaders of a Red rebellion. Her actions put into motion a deadly and violent dance, pitting prince against prince – and Mare against her own heart.

Page border by Casey Carlisle

Red Queen’ received a lot of hype on BookTube, but thankfully, I ignored most of it and went into this novel fresh. I think if I’d had high expectations I would have been disappointed, but as luck would have it, I really enjoyed this fantasy adventure by Victoria Aveyard. This felt like ‘The Selection Series’ and ‘The Hunger Games Trilogy’ had a baby…

Red Queen Book Review Pic 03 by Casey CarlisleMare was cute and spunky. I liked her tenacity. At times the narrative got a little immature and pulled me from the story, but on the whole Mare maintained an air of innocence and conviction. Some of her relationships change, and one in particular felt too convenient for the sake of the plot, and I would have liked to see her struggle a bit more with her feelings… but given that she didn’t know who to trust it was a fine line to walk. Viewing the world through her eyes also had me shaking my head at the behaviour of the Silvers – I still am not quite in acceptance of why they chose the actions they did… but it’s just my brain working overtime on different characters motivations. Her ability is certainly fantastic, but later in the book some of the descriptions on how she used it come too easy, I would have liked to read more on a slow (and maybe troublesome) development.

The eldest Prince, Cal was the most interesting character. We see him conflicted and remaining true to his heritage. I love how Aveyard kept his faults and used them as strengths. His younger brother, Maven had a great story line that kept me on the edge of my seat.

While the writing is eloquent and pleasant to read, the characters were slightly flat. Though, this is only a very small (and personal) issue and did not detract from my enjoyment of ‘Red Queen.’ I was surprised, I got all the feels, and agree this is a great escape. I had no issue with the pacing, there is plenty going on to keep your interest page to page, and it is definitely a title I’d recommend to friends. I’m keen to get ‘Glass Sword’ next year, but am also purchasing the two novellas combined in ‘Cruel Crown’ that take place before and after ‘Red Queen’ to add to my collection.

Overall feeling: *nodding*

Red Queen Book Review Pic 02 by Casey Carlisle

Red Queen Book Review Pic 04 by Casey Carlisle

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Once more with feeling…

Afflicted with writers’ brain…. more commonly known as an overactive imagination.

Once More With Feeling by Casey Carlisle

Like the Emmy Award winning episode of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ giving the musical treatment to a genre that you don’t typically associate bursting out in song with – amongst beheading demons and avoiding the pointy end of wooden stakes. I was wondering what some of my favourite books would be like if re-vamped with show tunes.

Once More With Feeling by Casey Carlisle

Twilight, The Mortal Instruments, The Hunger Games, Divergent, even some of the contemporaries; The Fault in Our Stars,  Flat Out Love, Mara Dyer, and well, Will Grayson sort of already was… there are so many scenes where bursting out into song would appear camp, or just wrong. I was chortling to myself while in the waiting room to visit the dentist.

Trying to avoid the stares from others seating nearby at my spontaneous outbursts of laughter I couldn’t help picturing other real life situations, like say your at the Gynaecologists and the doctor breaks into song…


images (2)It pains me to say

I wish my news was nice

        But in fact my dear…

You have an infestation of pubic lice!images (2)


Or even better you are out walking your dog and he decides to take a crap… and a duet ensues!

images (2)I need to poo

This is so embarrassing

        Look at me poo

        Here comes a cute boy jogging

        ….. poo ….

        Not so entertaining

        Morbid and disgusting

        Vulnerable and compromising

         I really should get moving

        But my dogs’ bowls are evacuating

         Thoroughly disturbing

        Do something distracting

        The cute boy is smiling

         It’s squishy and it’s smelling

        There’s no way of telling

         If that boy thinks I’m amusing

        With my dog who is pooping

         Why o why is this happening

        The cute boy is passing

        I FINISHED MY POOOOOOOO!    … Oh, a bee!

        That’s relieving…

images (2)We’re leaving!


I could go on and on… I was in that waiting room for an hour – do you know how many situations you can dream up in that time?

Keep laughing, keep writing…

UPPERCASE lowercase banner by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.





Film vs Novel – The Mortal Instruments City of Bones… a review by Casey Carlisle

Action and adventure… with just about any supernatural being you can think of thrown in the mix!



Excuse me while I have a fangirl moment, but the absolute first thing I must make you aware of is that I looove the Shadowhunter universe Cassandra Clare has created, and am thankful there are so many volumes in which to indulge. Having said that, comparing the film adaptation to the book is always going to be a futile exercise. Only because you can explore so much more in a novel than in the time limit acceptable for a film. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the big screen version just as much.

City of Bones,‘ the novel, set up the characters really well and the reveals throughout the plot were well timed. I felt the movie left a lot of this out. And consequently I did not feel the love for the characters of Clary and Jace as I did in  the book. I’m not sure if it was casting, script, or the omission of so much build up that the two leads felt a little wishy-washy. Lily Colins did a commendable job, but her representation lacked that righteousness that was the core motivation for Clary in the novel. She was always standing up for the downtrodden, fighting for justice – and she did so vehemently. And sorry, I just didn’t get that from the Lily. The same with Jace – in the book he was extremely handsome, muscular like an athlete, and possessed a lazy gracefulness which juxtaposed his overconfidence and cockiness bordering on insult. With Jamie Campbell in the role, Jace felt practically emo and brooding, losing all appeal for me. In fact, I cringed every time he appeared on the screen. Summing up their chemistry together, as you can guess, was like drinking lukewarm tea and failed to deliver on my expectations. The romance in the film failed to build to that intense attraction it had in the books and felt rushed. I really think if I had not read the book I would have barely rated the movie on it’s own merits for their relationship.

The first evidence Clary sees of the Shadowhunter world, with the slaying of a demon in a nightclub in the book was intense and messy. Clary screaming and calling a scene to shut the place down. It is how Clary conducts herself in the whole series. Rushing in headfirst. That did not happen in the movie. It was more like a cookie-cutter B-grade horror movie scene. Cue actress standing in the wings staring and screaming in horror while everyone else looked on in confusion.

My favourite character from the books is Simon, and even though all the appearances he made in the movie version (played expertly by Robert Sheehan) are relevant to the plot, he felt almost invisible. At the films end I struggled to remember him as prominently as I had upon finishing the novel. With such an excellent actor interpreting Simon’s journey, I suspect that we are only going to get more and more throughout this franchise.

The overall plot of the book(s) gave me a sense of deja vu for some reason – like I had read it all before, and I still can’t put my finger on as to why. But no matter the reason, I loved the book by completing the last page. The plot in the film adaptation worked really well (if a little rushed). Given that it was not solely Clary’s POV, scope and pace held my attention throughout the whole movie, much like a rollercoaster ride. You definitely won’t get bored.

All of the special effects in the movie were incredible, and I have to applaud the post production team for some truly boggling work. I can’t wait to see what tricks they pull out of the hat for the next installments.

Overall, I’d recommend to go see the movie, if you are a fan of the books or not. It’s an adventurous fantasy world to lose yourself in. I’m hoping like’ The Hunger Games’ franchise, where the second film was much better than the first, ‘City of Ashes’ (the second installment of The Mortal Instruments series) turns out to be much more satisfying.

Adore the book – The film: immensely enjoyable, but not amazing!




© Casey Carlisle 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.