Series: Red Rising Trilogy #1
Published by Del Rey on January 28, 2014
Genres: Science fiction, Young Adult
My Reviews in this series: Golden Son
Darrow 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 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.
Red Rising starts off great in my opinion. I love the set up, the fact that facts aren’t just told to us, but rather us (as the reader) witnessing this world on our own. Yes, at times it can be very confusing. The style of writing may be easy to understand, but the use of jargon makes it hard to know what’s what in this book. There are so many times in Red Rising where I am clueless as to what the words mean.
But at least I am given some sort of clue as to what things/people/events are and the purpose for them. But diving into it from the beginning can definitely estrange you from the novel and leave you thinking if this is even worth a read if you have to actually learn new terms. For me, it was.
I loved the setting, but I really got frustrated with the lack of details when it came to where exactly they were. Maybe I skimmed over it, but I still have no idea where this is taking place? Mars? Earth? There are so many houses of other planets that I tend to get confused on who is where? What saved this part for me was the battles and strategies between each house. It was game-of-thrones-esque but doesn’t come nearly as close as Martin’s attention to detail. It did have me interested though, so kudos for that.
The relationships also drew me in. They were very real emotions and I absolutely adored Eo. Then, 40 pages in and I was shouting at the book in utter agony and you will too once you read the book!
I just want to applaud Pierce for creating some great female characters. Honestly, they were all done in a way that makes women look beautiful and strong–that is the only relation I see to the Hunger Games. I absolutely loved Eo, Harmony, and Mustang.
I feel bad saying it but I thought all the characters were great (even the brutal Titus, and if that’s a play on Shakespeare then I love Pierce even more)–except for the MC, Darrow. I just didn’t connect with him. I only like him because of his love for Eo, but really that’s the only interesting thing about him. He’s got nothing going for him and somehow he manages to make it through and it’s all rainbows and fairy-dust. I just…I guess I didn’t see him vulnerable enough. He just seems too special with no actual reasoning behind it other than that he’s a red (which should actually make him less special).
I was going to give Red Rising a three, but the ending had me hooked. I even stopped playing my game to read the rest of it and could not put it down. AND I NEVER DO THAT. I’m a pretty avid gamer, so that ending with all of the battles definitely had me. And I’m really REALLY looking forward to how this series goes.
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