Red Rising || Pierce Brown

2:07 pm

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the colour-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. 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. Inspired by a longing for justice, 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 is unlike anything I have read before. It does feel heavily like a mix of The Hunger Games, Ender's Game, and Braveheart, with some Greek and Roman mythology thrown in, and the result is something completely unique.

Good things:

  • The cast of characters was fantastic. I felt like they were all well developed, with depth to each of them, even the side characters. There were some characters that I expected to behave in a certain way, and they didn't, which I found very refreshing.
  • The world that Brown created is amazing. He just drops you into this totally different time and place, and it was so well crafted. It was totally believable. 
  • I found the plot really compelling. The twists and turns kept me turning the pages.
Not so good things:
  • Toward the end of the book things played out a little too conveniently. I wasn't sure if I could let my guard down or not; it felt like something bad should be around the corner because that's usually what happens when things seem to be working out for the main characters, and that totally threw me off.
  • It wasn't too much for me, but this books is often quite brutal and bloody. There is a heavy battle element to this book, which is where that comes in, so I just want to point that out for people who don't handle things like that well. I would definitely recommend this for more mature readers.
A tip for readers: I suggest keeping a list of who all of the characters are as you encounter them, just their name, the house they're associated with, how they relate to Darrow. There is a large cast of characters and sometimes it was hard to keep track of them, especially people that we hadn't seen for a good chunk of the book. Luckily, book 2 does have a list of the cast, but that would have helped me out a lot in this one. 

Overall thoughts:
Red Rising was such an intense ride. I have book 2 sitting on my shelf, and book 3 was published in January, so I am really looking forward to seeing where things go for Darrow! 

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