Review: “Red Rising” by Pierce Brown

Somehow I am finishing a bunch of books at once so I have to pace my reviews. XD

I actually own Red Rising but I checked it out from my local library a few weeks ago in audiobook format so I could listen to it in my car. Seriously, listening to audiobooks while driving in my car is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I find it incredibly fun to listen to what the narrator brings to the story.

The final book in this trilogy, Morning Star, released a few months ago so I thought it was finally time to read the series. I’ve also heard such great things about this book so I thought I’d hop on the bandwagon! 🙂

red rising

Title: Red Rising
Author: Pierce Brown
Publisher: Del Ray (Random House)
Release date: January 28th, 2014
Length: 382 pages (hardcover)
Genre: Young adult, science fiction, dystopian, action/adventure
Synopsis: (from Goodreads) 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.”

My rating: 3.5/5 stars

I’m so glad I listened to this audiobook. Like I said, I actually own a physical copy but lately, I haven’t had a super large amount of time to read so audiobook, ftw! 🙂 The audiobook narrator is Tim Gerard Reynolds. He does a fantastic job narrating, giving life to each of the characters in their own way.

I’m not the biggest fan of science fiction but I’ve seen this book around the #bookstagram community and the raving reviews for it that I thought, “Why not?” Normally, that might sound like a bad idea and I was afraid I would experience the dreaded “over-hyped book” syndrome, but this was truly a great beginning to an epic story.

One of the elements I really loved is the Roman/Greek mythology aspect of it. Each of the characters hail from a particular “house.” Darrow, the  main character of this story, is from the planet Mars, and he, along with other Reds, are “prepping” the planet to be habitable by others. When he’s caught in a place he shouldn’t be, things spiral downward quickly. Darrow loses many things precious to him but his eyes are open and he realizes he’s been living in the ignorance and darkness.

Darrow’s entire makeover from a lowly Red to a high Gold is ridiculously brutal yet so fascinating. Everything about the process is just so far behind my mind. He literally becomes a different person in everything but his mind. Then his journey, the gritty war with the other houses is both interesting yet… I found myself so bored at some points, lol. It’s strategic and military so sometimes I found myself tuning out but at the same time, it’s gritty and intense!

I had trouble defining the passage of time and that bothered me a bit because it’s not mere months passing by in this story, I want to say it’s years. I could be wrong. Someone correct me if I am.

I really liked Cassius but I knew that what Darrow did would be a sharp turn in their friendship. I was hoping it came later rather than sooner.

I put the 2nd book, Golden Son, on hold at the library so I’ll pick that up whenever it’s ready! From here on out, I’m thrilled to see how Darrow will accomplish his plan and purpose and that of the other revolutionaries.

Have you read this? What did you think?

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