Book Rambling: Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Title: Red Rising

Author: Pierce Brown

Series: Red Rising (Book 1)

Genre: Science Fiction

Publication: January 28, 2014

Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Summary:

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.

Non-Spoiler Review:

I absolutely adored this book! It has everything from action to love to history to mythology, and every single plot twist was unexpected.  I love the world that Brown created with the different colors as different caste systems, and every character is so complex: there is no pure good or pure evil character.  I definitely recommend this to everyone. It was really easy for me to get into and the world is complex, but still simple enough to understand.  The different technologies introduced in this novel were all really interesting.  Also, I’m a history buff so I loved all the references to the old rulers, and I loved the Greek and Roman mythology that was incorporated into the school.  The different military strategies and tricks were always entertaining.  I really enjoyed Brown’s writing style, and this book is just wonderful!

Spoiler Review:

You do NOT want to be spoiled with this book so turn away if you have not read this yet!

Oh the beginning broke my heart. We got to know Eo for about fifty pages, and then she had to die.  I was already attached to her character, but I understand she was the necessary motivation for Darrow to actually do anything.  I definitely want more of her back story and how she became the martyr that she was.  I also loved Darrow’s character.   He is really complex for the typical hero type.  When he killed those people at the school, during the “game”, Pierce Brown was able to write it so there was that subtle guilt to ensure that Darrow was not a complete savage, but he recognized what was necessary to achieve Eo’s dream.

Also, I actually really liked Mustang. It threw me a curveball when it was revealed that she was the Jackal’s twin sister, but I was crying of joy when she didn’t betray Darrow.  So, there’s definitely going to be romance, and it wasn’t insta-love! Yes, finally a dystopian trilogy without insta-love.  I thought she was a really strong female character even though there was one damsel-in-distress moment but even she said she hated those types, so I love her sass and snarkiness.

With Cassius, I am really torn by his character.  I feel like he definitely is not the worst Gold ever, and I liked him for the first part of the book.  I understand he betrayed Darrow because Darrow was the one to kill Julian, but everything is just so complex.  I do kind of like Cassius, I think.  I’m glad he wasn’t just a ruthless killer; maybe there is hope for Cassius and Darrow despite the bad last encounter.

And we can’t forget Sevro! I love Sevro.  He’s kind of the underdog, but him running around in his wolf skins with his wolf pack was always so much fun to imagine.  There will hopefully be great things for this character in the future.  ❤ He’s awesome.

Furthermore, I love how Pierce Brown made us forget that this is just a game during the entire duration of this “school”, but then he reminds the readers that there are these Proctors/teachers and that this is only school.  The fact that a school allows killing and the ruthless savagery shows how terrible the world is.  This really reminded me of the Hunger Games because of the kids killing each other and trying to survive, but I liked how it was not all killing.  I enjoyed reading the military strategies and tactics used to conquer more land and defeat the other houses.

And, the ending.  That ending.  I feel so bad for Darrow because he is forced to do so many things that he does not want to do, but it’s all for this end goal: Eo’s dream of breaking down the hierarchical society.   The ArchGovernor is probably the worst Gold with all his corruption and ruthlessness, and he exemplifies all the flaws of the society.  I’m really curious to see how Darrow will come about under the ArchGovernor’s care as his apprentice, and let the real war begin.

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