Book Review: Red Rising*

image– Pierce Brown

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.

My thoughts:
I have heard brilliant reviews about this book, and it has been all over my twitter for the past month, so I was a little disappointed to begin with. I found Red Rising really difficult to get into and it wasn’t until around 80 pages or so until everything made sense and had a meaning. Probably the point – however I just struggled to keep up with everything in the beginning. I think there’s just so much detail and depth to the world that it was kind of thrown at me and I couldn’t take it all in! Usually you sort of get an idea of the world and what is happening, but in this book we’re just placed right into the middle of it and we’re following Darrow as things are happening to him – things that not even himself quite understands. The first half of the book took me around 6 days to get through, the second half around 2 days. I think that shows enough!

Now, once we understand what is actually happening, and get to the main point of the story, I thought it interesting and I wanted to see how everything would work out. This book kind of reminds me of The Hunger Games, only in that a group of young teens are put together and have to basically fight it out for a year. There are different houses and each one has a Procter, or a helper if you like. However, it isn’t about fighting to the death. This year is a challenge of proving yourself strong and worth, to become powerful and ultimately impress the drafters to gain apprenticeships/jobs in high places afterwards. To become part of the elite race.

Darrow doesn’t know that Mars is in fact inhabited on it’s surface by Golds – he’s under the impression that no one can live on the surface and that is what his lower classed people are working towards. The darkness and confusion in the beginning does sort of make sense with the storyline, as Darrow is in the dark and that is why we are. As the story goes on and Darrow learns more about his planet and the lies he has been fed, and we learn too. I guess it immerses us fully into the story because we only know as much as Darrow throughout.

I really enjoyed all of the characters. I wouldn’t say they each had a lot of depth – only a few did – but they all had their own stand out characteristics and you could definitely see the group dynamics working together. Stand out characters for me would be Mickey, Sevro, Mustang and Cassius. (As well as Darrow!) I think Sevro might actually have been my favourite!

There were many little twists in the book, and I was always kept guessing. I didn’t really get any sort of idea of how everything would end, nor did I guess certain things about people and relationships. To me, that is a sign of a good book. Nothing too obvious and and turns at every corner is what keeps me reading.

So, I’ve given Red Rising 4 stars overall because although it was very confusing to begin with, the whole idea is brilliant and I was fairly hooked towards the end. Everything tied together nicely and I loved all of the characters. I am really looking forward to book two.

My Rating – To see my book review rating guide click here.

*Thanks Bookbridgr for the review copy!