Title: Red Rising
Series: Red Rising saga (#1)
Author: Pierce Brown
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian Fiction
Published: January 28, 2014
Followed by: Golden Son
My Rating: 5/5
Bloodydamn! I definitely see what all the hype is about!
Living in a meritocracy, society in Mars is divided in colors, those born to a lower color must work so that the higher colors, the Golds, may live in comfort and rule over the rest. Darrow is a Red – a lower color- and works every day in the mines. He takes pride in knowing that all his hard work will make Mars’ surface habitable for future generations…until he finds out that people have been inhabiting the surface for years. Now he wants justice and to bring his enemies down, but for that, must infiltrate the Gold and take them down from within.
The story is divided in three parts:
Part 1: We are introduced to the main protagonist, Darrow. He and the rest of his kin are lower Reds and they work in the mines every day. Darrow is a Helldiver and directly in charge of attaining Helium-3. Being part of the lower colors means that they have the most dangerous job and barely ever make it past the age of 35.
Part 2: After a terrible event, Darrow meets with the Sons of Ares and begins his physical and mental transformation to look, sound, and have the knowledge of a Gold. This transformation will help him succeed in joining the Institute before moving on to the next phase, the School, where he will compete with other students to get an apprenticeship. But what how do they compete in the school?
Part 3: Once students have passed all the tests, they are selected by the highest ranking members of society to join their houses (Apollo, Bacchus, Ceres, Diana, Juno, Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Minerva, Neptune, Pluto, Venus, and Vulcan). Once sorted into their houses schooling begins and Darrow must achieve two things to be successful in getting the apprenticeship he wants:
- He must become Primus of his house.
- To make sure Mars is the last house standing.
Until a Primus is selected, students must try to choose a leader and this is when things start taking a dark turn, and then get even worse.
The beginning of the book is a bit tricky because you have to get used to the lyrical style it is written in, which by the way I loved and made all the book all the more enjoyable! But, logically, there are all these new terms you have to learn and get used to but once you do the it becomes a fast paced read. I do which, however, that some technology had been explained further. Also, everything is happening in Mars but once the students arrive to the school it feels like it’s Earth. I would’ve liked for it to feel a bit more…. Mars like. But other than these two things everything in the book is AMAZING. I especially enjoyed the strong connection Pierce Brown makes with Greek and Roman mythology.
The whole book is from Darrow’s perspective and I really appreciated this because his transformation from beginning to end is very noticeable. At first he is content with his hard yet simple life, but his wife sees the truth and is able to show him everything he is blind to (you can find out how when you read the book! No spoilers). We witness Darrow progressively evolve from a vengeful husband to a future leader of his people. And let me tell you, the force is strong within this one!
All the characters are very complex and I couldn’t help growing attached to all of them, including the ones I ended up disliking because everything feels so personal! As Darrow’s relationship with the other students develops he starts realizing that not everything is black and white, not all Golds are monsters, which I can only imagine will complicate things for him in the future. But worry not, he does not get sidetracked or grow softer.
This books is EVERYTHING and I give it 5 starts because who cares about Mars feeling Earthy at times when you have characters like Sevro, Mustang, Cassius, Pax and the rest! 5 STARS!!!
“You do not follow me because I am the strongest. Pax is. You do not follow me because I am the brightest. Mustang is. You follow me because you do not know where you are going. I do.”