Red Rising by Pierce Brown

red rising

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Published: January 28th 2014 by Del Rey

Amazon: Red Rising: Red Rising Series 1

“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.

Read Red Rising, they said.  It’ll be fun, they said. Well, I can say that I have read it and I feel like I need therapy. I will be sending Piecre Brown the bill. This book was absolutely FABULOUS! I cannot even believe it took me this long to pick this up because I really should have picked it up sooner and I didn’t… what even is my life?!?

I will start with the one bad thing I have to say about this book, and that is the fact that it was a little slow to start and it takes a few pages to really wrap your head around what is actually going on and where they are etc. As soon as I got my head around that, I was completely hooked! I had already been kicked in the feels by around page 50 (I cried in the corner) and I knew that it was going to be a complete rollercoaster ride.

The world building of this book was out of this world (see what I did there?) I think that might have been whatI needed to get my head around – the fact that it was set on Mars! I loved the idea of colonising Mars and the way that it was written and done. The book definitely did a great job of showing a futuristic setting and world with a very backward way of thinking and colonising etc. The hierarchy itself was extremely interesting and I would have loved to find out more about how the colours came about. I also loved the way that Brown weaves in historical aspects, like Pluto and Cicero and the Romans, into what is a futuristic sci fi world.

As soon as the book really got started and I managed to get my head around the setting etc. the plot was amazing. It was a fast paced, pretty bloody affair and I had no idea what was going to happen next. I loved the lessons that were being taught to the students and the way in which it was being taught – the school is pretty ruthless! Brown did a great job of showing the evolution of mankind in various situations and whether they evolved to be better people or whether they succumbed to their more basic and primal instincts. Nothing was done without a reason in this book and it all came about to teach another lesson to Darrow and the other students – which also helped with the world building and understand the society that is currently in control on Mars and how they came to be there. It was easy to get lost in the plot itself – especially because I had no idea what was going to happen next, or who was going to die etc. The author did a great job of making the reader forget completely why Darrow was there and what he was there to do – until something happened and the reasoning hits the reader in the face!

I loved Darrow as a character! He wasn’t perfect and had a lot of flaws, which makes him all the more relatable to the reader. He was pushed into doing something that he didn’t really want to do and he tries to keep the memory of what happened at the beginning so that he doesn’t lose himself. He makes a lot of mistakes throughout the book, from which he learns as the events of the plot unfold. It was interesting to watch Darrow try and navigate himself through an unfamiliar world, without becoming the people he hates. He struggles to consolidate the fact that not all Golds are evil with everything that happened at the beginning and everything that the Golds have done to the Reds.

I loved the fact that you never knew who you could trust. Some people that Darrow trusts end up betraying him, others that he doesn’t trust, stick by him etc. It made it difficult to really size up the characters as to who to like and who not to like. Sevro was a character who I was expecting to hate throughout the book, but as the book continues, I grew to like and understand him, despite his rough outer edge. On the other hand, Cassius was a character who I expected to like throughout the book and it turned out completely different after certain things happen. I loved his character development and the hypocrisy he shows throughout the book because of his brother and what happened. I’m interested to see what role he plays later in the series! This book was very much a character development based book and was complimented by the amazing plot, which helped to shape the characters into the people they are by the end of the book!

All in all, I absolutely LOVED this book! The plot kept me on my toes and had me crying within the first 50 pages! I loved the character development within this book and I cannot wait to see where Darrow ends up! I gave this book 4.5/5 stars!

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11 thoughts on “Red Rising by Pierce Brown

    • lry93 says:

      Absolutely! It does take a couple of pages to get into, but definitely push through that because it’s an amazing read!! Let me know why you think of it if you decide to pick it up next!

  1. Shanti says:

    I’ve heard a lot about this book. Clearly I need to read it sooner or later! I do like complex characters with moral ambiguity, so it sounds like it would be right up my alley.

    • lry93 says:

      Yes! Takes a couple of pages to really get into, so definitely push through that, but it’s definitely amazing and I loved watching the characters either evolve into something better through the lessons they are given or give in to their baser instincts! 🙂

  2. Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

    YAY! Lauren I am so so glad to see you loved this book (also I have to say whenever I’ve told people to read Red Rising I’ve never said it will be a fun read, just that it’s an amazing book which it totally is). The first time I read it it took me ages to get past the first few chapters just because they were so slow like you said, but I stuck with it and wow was I glad I did because when the plot finally got going it was incredible. 😀
    Great review, and I can’t wait to see what you think of Golden Son and Morning Star. Hopefully you’ll enjoy those two even more! 😀 ❤

    • lry93 says:

      I know. I meant it in more of a sarcastic way than anything else because everyone always says how amazing it is 😅😅 such an amazing plot line and I loved the development of the characters! I’m part way through Golden Son and I’m loving it so far! 😂😊😊

      • Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

        Ha, yeah there are plenty of books that haven’t necessarily been fun to read because of the emotional anguish they’ve caused me but are just amazing stories all the same. 😀
        Oh that’s great to hear, hopefully it will continue to be amazing all the way through. 🙂

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