Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. 383 pages
In this world, you're either a Red or a Silver. Silvers are elite, with god-like superpowers, and the Red are the commoners, serving the Silvers and also fighting their wars. To Mare, a Red living in the poverty-stricken Stilts area, it seems like nothing will ever change. However, when she finds herself working in the Silver palace, she discovers she has an unusual power of her own. Afraid of Mare's potential, and her potential to bring down the carefully constructed social norms, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring Mare to be a long-lost princess, raised among Reds. Putting herself in great danger, Mare decides to silently work to help a Red resistance group. However, it's soon clear that no one, Red or Silver, can necessarily be trusted and Mare's in even more danger than she thought.
I'd describe this book, the first one in a planned trilogy, to be Hunger Games meets X-Men. Kind of. The powers that the Silvers have are pretty awesome: manipulating water, manipulating metal, and even manipulating minds are just a few. Mare is our rebellious outsider, coming from the trodden-down class and now infiltrating the upper class. She's smart and independent, but unsure of who she can trust, and even what her own powers may be. I enjoyed this book and really liked the world that Aveyard has created, with its layers of society and layers of intrigue and danger. This book is aimed at younger readers, so as an adult, I can see some foreshadowing and predict a few things. However, that doesn't make this book less enjoyable, and I always appreciate a female character who is independent, and whose main strength doesn't rest solely in her physical appearance.