Red Rising – Review


Title: Red Rising
Author: Pierce Brown
Release Date: January 28, 2014
Publisher: Del Rey Random House

GoodReads Blurb:
The Earth is dying. Darrow is a Red, a miner in the interior of Mars. His mission is to extract enough precious elements to one day tame the surface of the planet and allow humans to live on it. The Reds are humanity’s last hope.

Or so it appears, until the day Darrow discovers it’s all a lie. That Mars has been habitable – and inhabited – for generations, by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. A class of people who look down on Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

Until the day that Darrow, with the help of a mysterious group of rebels, 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.

Red Rising is set in the future, a future of a caste society and slavery. The lowest caste of society are known as the Reds, they live under the surface of Mars, and are ruled over by the very highest caste, the Golds. The Reds, including Darrow’s immediate relations and friends, known as Lambda, believe that they are mining for a material that will help to terraform Mars’s surface so that humans will be able to inhabit it. However, after Darrow is extracted from under Mars by a resistance group known as the Sons of Ares, he finds out that he and everyone he knows have been duped. Humans have inhabited Mars for the past five hundred years. The Sons of Ares recruit Darrow to be the face of their resistance and their fight for the freedom of all Reds. Red Rising is a book of love and war, obedience and resistance.

I read Red Rising about 6 months ago and it is still on my mind. This book is truly beautiful and heart wrenching, but also down to earth and relatable. This book was the first book that I read this year that couldn’t put down. I chose to write this review now because I now know how this book truly affected me. This book shows the shame and the disgrace with which men and women can act. It portrays the very core of what people are capable of becoming. Most importantly, I believe, it reveals that even the most self-centered and angry of men can become the face of a people fighting for freedom. “Man cannot be freed by the same injustice that enslaved it.”
Pierce Brown’s writing style is certainly one to be reckoned with. The short descriptive sentences, reminiscent of Ernest Hemingway, allow us to see Darrow’s world in an incredibly vivid manner. From the disgrace of the Pink servants to the glowing and severe beauty of the Golds, every word is written in such a way that you are able to truly see the way in which this world exists.

I believe that the the true beauty of this novel lies in the fact that our hero, the main character, Darrow, is not inherently good. While reading this I did not in any way feel obligated to agree with or support everything that he did. In many other books, including other young adult dystopian novels, the main character is typically seen as all good and always right. The true emotion of the reader comes out in the fact that you are able to interact by disagreeing, and that, I believe, is the greatest feat of this wonderful book.

This book truly affected me and I know that many others have enjoyed it as well. As Red Rising was Pierce Brown’s debut novel, I eagerly await the January debut of the second book in the series, Golden Son. I am quite certain that the next book will delve deeper into the lives of secondary characters and keep me hooked the whole way through.

This novel can be purchased at Amazon and you can enter to win the second book at Live For More Red Rising.