Reading time 3 mins
Review: RED RISING by Pierce BrownRed Rising by Pierce Brown
Series: Red Rising #1
Also in this series: Golden Son
Published by Del Rey, Random House Publishing Group on July 15th 2014
Pages: 400
Genres: Fiction, Action & Adventure, Science Fiction, Dystopian
Also by this author: Golden Son
Paperback provided by My Wallet (purchased)

AmazonBook Depository

"Ender, Katniss, and now Darrow."--Scott Sigler
Pierce Brown's relentlessly entertaining debut channels the excitement of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.

"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 reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and lush wilds 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.
From the Hardcover edition.

Words I would use to describe this book; action packed, great storytelling, best dystopian ever, and bloodydamn brilliant come to mind. This book was amazing! I am so mad at myself for not reading it sooner, but I am delighted that I bought the follow up book early. And because the third and final book is out in this series, I can read the whole trilogy without having to wait for it.

Darrow is a helldiver. He works the mines of Mars, along with his whole family and everyone he has ever known. Darrow is a Red and he and other Reds work so that one day the planet will be ready for other earthens. Earth is being destroyed and everyone wants out. He is part of the team of people getting the planet ready. Their toil and sacrifice has purpose. Only, everything he has been told is lie. People of every other color are already inhabiting Mars and him and his family of Reds were left to mine and tunnel beneath the surface until they die. Once he learns the truth he joins the rebels to infiltrate the Mars elite Golds to free his enslaved people. This requires more than Darrow could imagine and it might mean he must turn himself into one of them.

Darrow’s life is hard. All the Reds struggle and toil in the mines for this ideal life one day on the surface. Darrow’s whole world is his dangerous job and the love he has for his wife. He is only 16, but well into his prime in this society. The gloves come off when we follow Darrow above the surface to see the truth. Darrow undergoes so much change in this book, both mentally and physically. The story shifts from the beginning of a revolution, to one boy’s fight to keep himself alive.

This book is unlike anything I have ever read. It has fantastic world building. In the first few chapters we get a good look at how the Reds live. The we see other parts of Mars and get a breakdown of the colors. This world uses literal colors to keep people apart and it creates this clamoring for power within the colors. Everyone wishes they were Gold, but you can’t change how you were born, or can you? I loved learning the slang of each color and the even the clothing of each color is well described. All of this is done brilliantly and without boring info dumps. I can’t imagine the author trying to break this world/societies down for the reader. I won’t even try to sum it up in my little review. Just know that this book is something not to be missed if you enjoy great world building.

Something else about this story that blew me away is that it takes several turns I didn’t see coming. Not twists per se, but for Darrow the rules, and even the game itself, is ever evolving. There is a lot of heartbreak and carnage in this story but it is beautifully done. I loved all the courage in these characters and the friendships tore my heart out. This is a fantastic YA dystopian. I can’t wait to read the next book!

My Rating


The Red Rising Trilogy

About Pierce Brown

Pierce Brown spent his childhood building forts and setting traps for his cousins in the woods of six states and the deserts of two. Graduating college in 2010, he fancied the idea of continuing his studies at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a magical bone in his body. So while trying to make it as a writer, he worked as a manager of social media at a startup tech company, toiled as a peon on the Disney lot at ABC Studios, did his time as an NBC page, and gave sleep deprivation a new meaning during his stint as an aide on a U.S. Senate Campaign.
Now he lives in Los Angeles, where he scribbles tales of spaceships, wizards, ghouls, and most things old or bizarre.

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