I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Red Rising by Pierce Brown
Series: Red Rising Trilogy #1
Published by Random House LLC on 2014-01-28
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction
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The war begins...
Darrow is a Helldiver, one of a thousand men and women who live in the vast caves beneath the surface of Mars. Generations of Helldivers have spent their lives toiling to mine the precious elements that will allow the planet to be terraformed. Just knowing that one day people will be able to walk the surface of the planet is enough to justify their sacrifice. The Earth is dying, and Darrow and his people are the only hope humanity has left.
Until the day Darrow learns that it is all a lie. Mars is habitable - and indeed has been inhabited for generations by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. The Golds regard Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.
With the help of a mysterious group of rebels, Darrow disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside.
But the command school is a battlefield. And Darrow isn't the only student with an agenda...
I need more. Now, please.
I started this book by being totally and utterly immersed in another world, and I had no clue what was going on. In hindsight, this was probably the best and only way that the storyline could have worked. Otherwise, Brown could have spent hundreds of pages trying to spell it all out, and I would have been bored out of my tree. There is a TON of material to learn before you can really get into the swing of the story. First off, it’s far into the future and humans have colonized the planets and moons. Darrow and his family live on Mars, so everyday life is nothing like what you’re used to. Now to take it all one step further, there is a whole new political hierarchy that you need to understand. Darrow is a red; a lowred. The lowest of the low. He is expendable.
The characters. Darrow’s family is small, and close knit. Just as I was falling in love with them, the powerful Golds were introduced. I hated them on principle, but isn’t that the point? Even the Golds exist in shades of grey, and I soon found that they were burrowing their way under my skin. Even while I despised some of them, I still kinda loved them. Darrow really has to work for the hero status. He makes all kinda of mistakes, most of them ending in bloodshed. There are no toddling baby steps for the MC, only giant leaps. Normally, when a character has so much pent up rage, I would be entirely turned off by the prospect of being inside his head for 400 pages, but he really is likable. I couldn’t help but sympathize with his plight and root him on! Kill ’em all!! I may have gotten a little bloodthirsty myself…
That brings me to the warning. There is blood. There is gore and violence. The swears are cleverly disguised as other, more benign words. This is not for young readers! Originally I picked up this book because it was the “new Hunger Games”. I loved that series so hard that I have an addiction to reading anything claiming to compare. This is the one book that has come closest, yet it is capable of standing entirely on its own. It is a strong read, with its own very loud voice. I can’t wait to see the waves it will make.
With a book of this length, my attention often wanders. It’s no one’s fault except my own. Major ADD since I have kids yelling at me for most of the day. Red Rising kept my interest though. Even when I was forced to put it down, I was still thinking about it. I was dreaming about the story at night, my subconscious mind speculating at what would happen next. My theory on how it ensnared me so much is that the story was constantly changing, adapting. The scenery shifted often, the characters moved in and out, and anyone could die at the next page turn. It kept me guessing and I was utterly hooked. Can’t wait for more!
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