Review: Red Rising

Lovely readers, I AM READING. Along with my recent Sarah Dessen book, I’ve been reading other things too! I am completely on track for my goal, and people are thinking I’m crazier by the minute.

Now, I have to tell you about how I found the subject of today’s review. If you’re not a believer in fate or serendipity, you may think this was just a silly coincidence. But I’m a believer (yeah, get that song out of your head now), so it was pretty cool…

A couple weeks ago, my good friend Angie texted me close to 11 at night (or 8, for her out in Sacramento) asking if I’d read the book “Red Rising… or, more importantly, its sequel.” While it sounded familiar, I certainly hadn’t read it. Her next response was jaw dropping. “I’ve been reeling since I finished it and I need someone to read it so I can talk about it!… It seriously impacted me.”

As all readers know, those are big words to say. Books are written to make us feel, but only the best ones truly impact us.

She then gave me this description of the book: “It’s like Gladiator meets The Hunger Games written by someone who obviously loved Star Wars.” WELL OKAY THEN! How fun does that sound?! To me, pretty fun. Especially because it sounded so different from anything I’ve been reading lately.

So give thanks to Angie, without whom you wouldn’t have this lovely review…

REVIEW: Red Rising, Pierce Brown
Published: 2014
Length: 382

Plot: Darrow lives beneath the surface of Mars. He toils away, mining deep within the surface to prepare Mars for its future society and civilization. There are strict rules, meager supplies, and lots of death. At 16, Darrow is an adult. His wife, Eo, is his biggest priority. They are Reds – red hair, eyes, coloring. All Reds live in settlements like they do, and they are ruled by the Golds. Darrow knows the cruelty of the Golds, but chooses to live within their rules. When Eo is taken from him, however, Darrow joins the rebel group Sons of Ares and begins a journey to become one of his enemies in order to take them down. As he does, he realizes that everything he always thought he knew was a lie.

Most Memorable Line(s):
Red Rising
I thought this line was so awesome, I took a picture of it. “A single raven promises eerie things.” It’s just so simple, so telling, so engaging. I wanted to know what those eerie things were, because the feeling in my heart was there. I needed to find out.

What I liked: What an incredible world! Brown is incredibly detailed, and in that detail he creates an amazing narrator in Darrow. I understand Darrow’s wants, cares, needs, and priorities. I feel what he likes, what he dislikes, and what he doesn’t understand. I am Darrow when I read this story. And honestly, it wasn’t just Darrow. Every single character, even the incredibly minor ones, felt developed to me. Though they were told through Darrow’s voice and eyes, I felt like I knew who these people were and why they made the choices they did. It is so fun to read a book where you feel like every character is important. Every choice they make matters and affects the direction of a story. It’s not often you see that. I also really enjoyed the pacing of this book. It was quick moving, but I didn’t feel as though things were rushed – except for a couple of moments I will discuss in a moment.

What I didn’t like: While Brown did a phenomenal job with his characters, I felt like the places and worlds he created could be slightly dense at times. I often found myself stopping to say, “okay, wait, where is this again?” Luckily, it did get easier throughout the book to understand where this world was, as well as who all of the Colors were and what they did. I have no doubt that things will continue to clear up in Golden Son, the sequel. But there were definitely points were I felt like a lot of information was simply being thrown at me without having the chance to digest it as I said above, specifically when Darrow learns of the other Colors. It got slightly confusing because of the pace. There was a LOT to learn about in this book, and while I think I did a pretty good job, I’m not sure I got it all.

Grade: 7.5/10… Due to the density of information with not enough explanation at points. Looking forward to Golden Son!


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