Review: Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Posted February 24, 2014 by lockhartbecca in Uncategorized / 9 Comments

Red Rising

Author: Pierce Brown
Series: Red Rising Trilogy #1
Publisher: Del Rey (Random House)
Genre: YA Dystopian/Science Fiction
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: January 28, 2014
Source: Received from Publisher at ALA MW 2014
Rating: 4 Stars
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***I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This
has in no way changed my opinion of the book. The review below is my
open and honest opinion.***

from Goodreads:

The war begins…

Darrow is a Helldiver, one of a thousand men and women who live in the vast
caves beneath the surface of Mars. Generations of Helldivers have spent their
lives toiling to mine the precious elements that will allow the planet to be
terraformed. Just knowing that one day people will be able to walk the surface
of the planet is enough to justify their sacrifice. The Earth is dying, and
Darrow and his people are the only hope humanity has left.

Until the day Darrow learns that it is all a lie. Mars is habitable – and
indeed has been inhabited for generations by a class of people calling
themselves the Golds. The Golds regard Darrow and his fellows as slave labour,
to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

With the help of a mysterious group of rebels, Darrow 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…

I have been super
stoked about this book ever since I first heard about it. A dystopian set in
space? Yes please! When I was at ALA, I happened to see a copy at the Del Rey
booth (a tiny little separate booth from Random House). I started talking to
the guy who was working the booth and he was kind enough to give me a copy!
Thanks, Random House!
This book you guys.
Where should I start? How about with the world? I absolutely loved the world
that Pierce Brown created. An elaborate caste system in space. Caste systems
are one of my favorite things in books. I don’t know why, I just love them. The
different classes are separated by color and each color does a specific job.
Golds are the highest and Reds are the lowest. There are many classes in
between like Pinks and Greens. It was so interesting to read about this caste
system and what each color meant.
The space. The story
takes place on Mars which was pretty awesome. The author did a great job of
describing the planet, the landscape, the climate. It was so interesting to
read about a completely different planet. There was also reference to a number
of other planets/moons that had been terraformed and were abundant with life.
The main character,
Darrow, is a Red. He believes that his job to mine the underground depths of
Mars for the good of the future. Because he has no idea that Mars has already
been fully terraformed. Something tragic happens to him which eventually leads
him to discover the truth. He is taken in by a group of rebels and they “carve”
him into a Gold so he can infiltrate and ultimately lead a rebellion. The whole
idea and mindset of the Golds thinking that they are better than everybody else
sickened me and made me truly hate this government.
Darrow was such an
awesome main character. He was not perfect and that’s what I loved. He was
perfectly flawed, quick-tempered and honestly a bit ragey at times. But Darrow
is proof that this caste system was unfair. He wasn’t stupid like they believe
all Reds to be. Darrow was extremely intelligent and he developed very well
over the course of the novel. Darrow attends a prestigious “school” for future
Gold leaders. He learns a lot over the course of his insane journey (because
this “school” is anything but average) and he truly becomes the man that he needs
to be to lead a rebellion: strong, confident, and determined to do whatever it
takes to win.
I will give you a
warning though. This book was brutal. Bloody and extremely violent. It honestly
wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, but I really enjoyed it. I loved that the
author was able to show us through this violence and bloodshed just how sick
Golds really are. I shook with rage over some of the things that happened in
this book and wanted to jump inside and rip their leader’s throat out. The
politics in this book were super shady and twisted which really allowed the
reader to develop a strong hate for the antagonists.
The secondary
characters were all really cool too, although I didn’t feel a huge attachment
to any of them except maybe Sevros, but even he didn’t completely steal my
heart. This book was super fast-paced and one that I stayed up way too late
reading. I can’t wait to continue on with this new series. If you’re looking
for a new, unique dystopian to fall in love with, this is the book for you.
Marketed as “Hunger Games in space”,
this book is so much more. Happy reading all! 

Have you read this one? What did you think of the caste system? What were your thoughts on Sevros? And Darrow? 

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9 responses to “Review: Red Rising by Pierce Brown

  1. OMG! Okay, I am not allowed to read your review (self-rule) because I'm reading & reviewing this soon, but I am so excited to read this book! Your rating makes me feel hopeful that I'll enjoy it too! I'll be back to read your thoughts when I finish it! 🙂

  2. So glad you really liked the book, I loved it. Darrow was such a fantastic character and I usually don't like books as much when the MC is a guy, but this book was the exception. The politics, the world-building, the brutality…dark but so good. Great review! ~Pam

  3. Okay, now I REALLY need to read this soon. I've had it on my list for a while but this sounds truly awesome. I also love reading about caste systems for some reason… I don't know why. Maybe because it's so clearly defined? Awesome review!! Thanks, Rebecca!

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