Red Rising – Review
Title: Red Rising
Author: Pierce Brown
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi, Dystopia
Accolades: Goodreads – Debut Author 2014
When my partner initially recommended Red Rising to me he described it as “The Hunger Games in space”. As a huge fan of YA dystopia and science fiction I was immediately sold. Set in the future, society is separated into a colour-caste hierarchical system. The colour you are born into dictates the rest of your life from how you live to how you die.
“My people sing, we dance, we love. That is our strength. But we also dig. And then we die. Seldom do we get to choose why.”
The protagonist male, Darrow, is a lowly Red. He works as a Helldiver (a dangerous job, manually drilling into the depths of the planet) on Mars to ensure that future generations will be able to live and thrive on the red planet. He is playing a huge part in changing the future of humanity… or so he believes.
Red Rising has a whole host of fantastic, complex and vivid characters. There are few series that I have read where I have enjoyed as many different characters as I have in this book and trilogy. Darrow is a great protagonist. He is intelligent, very human and bloodydamn well written! The stars in the series however are the supporting characters. Sevro has to be one of my favourite characters of all time. He is funny, disgusting and the oddball that you just have to root for. Then there’s Cassius, Roque, Pax… The characters are all very interesting and well-developed. I can confirm that they only get better later in the series too!
The plot of Red Rising is more complex than a lot of other YA dystopia. The opening is enjoyable and has a good pace considering it introduces the reader to a lot of different ideas at once. It lets you get to grips with the world, how things work and then throws you straight into the main story line. There is friendship, death, love, anger, betrayal… and most importantly, surprises! It definitely has a lot of familiar elements but the world is much richer, the plot thicker and I personally found it to be less predictable than other books in the same genre. The world building is brilliant. The tone and the pace of the book are also spot on!
Red Rising is a great book and I have recommended it to a lot of people. It is frequently mentioned alongside The Hunger Games. It is different and has the strength to stand alone but you have to forgive the comparison because if you like The Hunger Games, Divergent or are a fan of YA/dystopia you will probably love this series. Red Rising is a 5 star read that should be at the top of your TBR list!