Rating: ★★★★ 1/2
Genre: Science Fiction
Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.
Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.
But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.
Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies… even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.
In my quest to read more science-fiction, I decided it was about time I picked up the beloved Red Rising by Pierce Brown. I had no idea what I as getting into prior to this book, but man, was I super impressed with what I read.
Red Rising is a novel that follows a Red named Darrow. And in this society, people are separated into colour groups, based on what they do. Golds are at the top, and Reds are right down at the bottom. And so basically in this book, we follow Darrow as he tries to infiltrate the Golds, and get his revenge on those who have wronged him and his people. That’s all I’m gonna say about the premise, because anything else I would consider spoilery.
We’re really chucked into the deep end with this book; leading to the first 70 pages being super confusing. But after that point, things started to settle and I got a hang of things. The pacing picked up and it got super actiony, particularly the last half, making it very hard to put down. It felt like there was one big moment after the next. The ending was absolutely insane, making me wanna read the next book as soon as (which of course I haven’t done).
The writing in Red Rising was a bit jarring for me at first; making it difficult to get into the story. I had never read a style like it before. But once it grew on me, I was flying through it. It had this detached quality to it, that surprisingly made it extremely readable, and lent itself perfectly to this very harsh, dystopian world. I love the fact it was straight to the point. It allowed the more heartfelt moments in the story to really packed punch.
For the most part, I know pretty early on whether I like character or not. But that wasn’t the case with Darrow, our main protagonist. I didn’t know what I felt towards him, and I spent the first chunk of the book trying to figure that out. It was after one specific point, that I started to like him. We got to see more of his character, and his perspective became much more fascinating to read about.
A character who took a lot less time to liken to, was Sevro. The moment he step onto the page, I knew I needed to know everything I could about him. He was by far the most intriguing character, and it was so frustrating we didn’t get much info on him. I’m really hoping we get to see more of him because he is, thus far, my favourite character in the trilogy.
Everybody else in this book was awesome too. I loved Mustang and I can’t wait to see more of her. She is one bad-ass bitch, and she seems like she’s gonna be a force to be reckon with in the later books.
So to conclude, Red Rising was an immensely entertaining read. It did have some issues with world-building, but overall I’d have to say it was one solid book. I can’t wait to pick Golden Son, and find out what happens next to our carefully guarded protagonist.
I’d highly recommend.
As always, thanks for reading.