Red Rising | Book Review
Series: Red Rising #1
Also in this series: Golden Son
Published by Del Rey (Random House)
"I live for the dream that my children will be born free," she says. "That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them."
"I live for you," I say sadly.
Eo kisses my cheek. "Then you must live for more."
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.
Red Rising by Pierce Brown is a book that offers a lot within its 388 pages. We follow Darrow, a Red miner under the surface of Mars, as he becomes a Gold – the elite in society. Brutal is the only way to describe this book, there are so many lies and enslavement of people it’s unreal. I just adore the way the book becomes something you never expect.
I personally think this book has a good mixture of everything, without losing anything. The story has romance, a phoenix that rises from the ashes and the unlikely allies that you begin to root for. The complex military strategy never seems to be leaden; it never drags the story down. It allows you to think like a warrior and for me I found that to be more interesting than anything else. I loved the fact that the book transported into a brand new world of survival. You begin to question what you would do in the same situation.
I touched on this slightly above. This book is completely immersive. You question motives, come up with your own plans of action. It becomes very real. The story flows in a natural arc, it never feels rushed but there is always action that’s keeping you on the edge of your seat.
When I first read this book (this was my second time) you could never predict what was going to happen next. Even this time around I was gripped, I couldn’t put the book down. I learnt more about the world and society.
You have a perfect mixture of Roman God mythology and something completely original. The mythology never overwhelms the story, it compliments perfectly. I adore this about Red Rising. I have never read a book that does it so well, apart from maybe the Percy Jackson series (I know it’s Greek Gods, but you get my drift).
Our hero of the story, a Red miner carved into Gold after a life working on the drills. I have to say I was fearful that Darrow would become the flaw in Red Rising. It would have been easy for him to become brooding and angsty. I’m not saying he never brooded, because he did, but he got on with it. It didn’t slow the story and it wasn’t the focus either. I loved how refreshing that was within the character.
House of Mars
After being categorised into the Houses of various Roman Gods, it’s clear to see how much of an influence personality has. It’s the clearest within the workings of the House of Mars. This is something that Red Rising has done extremely well. Titus, is a perfect example of the rage, and the burning power that Mars is known for. Cassius is the perfect example of the relentless rage and the perseverance that comes from that. I could go on, but my favourite character from House of Mars are definitely Sevro
Sevro is the little weirdo that doesn’t really fit in with the clique, but you’re strangely rooting for him because of it. He keeps the team on their toes and his loyalty is unwavering. I think his entire character brings something brand new to the story, it breaks up what could have been constant machoness.
What a brilliant female character. She wasn’t strong because she had to be or because of some traumatic past. She was just strong. I loved the character. She never failed to make me smile. The way Darrow and her interact was natural and believable. It was just a trustworthy relationship and I adored that aspect off it.
The loveable giant with the loyalty to rival Sevro’s. He is the typical large kid that should be feared, he should be frightening, the one that everyone cowers away from. His personality sets him aside. He uses his size to his advantage, but he also recognises that he has a lot more to offer in his skill set. He becomes someone that Darrow begins to rely on and goes to for counsel.
Would I recommend it?
Definitely. This was my second time reading this book, and I enjoyed it even more. It has an amazing plot and characters. Its genuinely one of my favourite books. Pick it up!
Have you read this series? How much did you enjoy it? What were your favourite parts? Let me know in the comments!