book review

Book Review: Red Rising - by Pierce Brown

1:48 PM

Summary from goodreadsDarrow 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.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Red Rising was...interesting. With a rocky start, the book served to be an immensely entertaining sci-fi dystopian novel with a diverse cast and a decent amount of bloodshed (considering the plot).

The beginning of Red Rising certainly did not give the book the kick beginnings are supposed to give. It threw information about the difficult-to-grasp world the character was living in at the reader and it didn't really explain what most things were or how certain things worked. But with common sense and context clues as tools, the reader is more than capable of working out what's what.

Time and time again, there are great books with great plots and great scenery etc, etc. However, the characters in about eighty percents of these books are just...boring. Whatever the reason may be, whether it's because the character is static or predictable, the character just makes the read a disappointing one. Red Rising is not one of these books. As the reader delves deeper into the story, the plot gets more intense and more characters are introduced at a steady pace. Which is great, because just about every single one of the characters has an interesting storyline and a personality that keeps the reader hooked - even if the character wasn't likable or brought about destruction to other characters the reader was rooting for. That's probably because they were well written, and that's probably what made this book.

The plot and setting of the book were unique. Many compare it to The Hunger Games because it has some parallels: dystopian novel, teenagers put in a game to find the strongest, but that's where the similarities end. The story of Red Rising is fast paced. Something is always happening, but the deeper we go into the story, the more the overall plot and purpose is ignored. There are mentions here and there of what drives Darrow, the main character. But the mentions were few and far between, and they almost seemed like an afterthought.

Aside from the plot, there was an abundance of imagery. Sometimes, it was overwhelming since it took place on Mars, so there had to be a lot of imagination on the reader's part. But for the most part, the imagery was well placed and fully appreciated.

If Red Rising succeeded in anything, it was in thoroughly entertaining its readers. But it is not for the faint hearted. If you easily get attached and will cry buckets of tears for a character you loved and lost, then Red Rising is not the book for you. However, if you are a fan of sci-fi dystopian novels and appreciate character development and a well thought out plot, then this might be your cup of tea.

Afterthought: This book had a lot of "Don't cry like a girl" and "He screamed like a girl" or "He  giggled like a girl", so if you're not willing to overlook those lines, steer clear of Red Rising.

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  1. I'm SO glad you liked this book. It hasn't been released in my country, and now that the whole thing is out, I'm considering importing the whole thing!


    Aditi @

    1. You should definitely give it a go. I'm hoping the rest of the series doesn't disappoint...

  2. I loved the kindle sample of Red Rising but the book has been langishing away on my ereader. I will have to read it soon after this great review. Thank you for reminding me about it.

    1. My advice to you: don't get attached to the characters.