Saturday, July 19, 2014

Book Review: Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Red Rising
by Pierce Brown

Series: Red Rising trilogy #1
Genre: YA, dystopian, sci-fi
Published February 18th 2014 by Del Rey
Source: Publisher
Local purchase: Fullybooked * National Bookstore

Blurb (Goodreads):
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.

My Thoughts:

I'm a little bit hesitant about whether to read Red Rising or  not. First, because I saw it was shelved as "adult" genre on Goodreads by some reviewers and there's no information about the age of the protagonist or the age group of this book on GR. Apart from the age group, the cover and blurb screams high fantasy/high sci-fi, not to mention that it's told on male POV. I have a perception about guys and their love for fantasy and sci-fi and that is something I cannot understand. Literally. Words that are hard to mention, words or terms I've never heard before, something about being a guy, and all the manly things. BUT most of GR reviewers (including my friends) loved it and there's always a curious part of me that would never die unless I read the book. So I read it. Never mind the male POV or high fantasy/high sci-fi thing.

What I confirmed once I started reading was it was a sci-fi dystopian told on a 17-year old guy. It's YA. (Yes!) It surprised me to find myself liking what I read on the first chapter. The introduction made the story very interesting and I can already see the epic tale and I know I made the right decision to read it or else I'll be missing this amazing-ness.

Red Rising was set in Mars. The planet Mars. Awesome, huh? But that's not all. They also have this caste wherein they're divided by colors. Gold is the highest and Red is the lowest. This caste thing reminds me of The Selection by Kiera Cass where they're divided by numbers. The story is different of course, silly. While The Selection is about finding the perfect lady for the prince (like The Bachelor, they say), set inside the castle, and competing to be selected to be on top, Red Rising is about the life outside the castle/luxury, the revenge of the aggrieved, and being strong physically and emotionally. I realized that books with caste is more interesting and unique because it gives more edge, story, and possible additional exciting twist to the story--especially if it's dystopian. I find dystopian books the same nowadays so I need something new. And apart from the caste, Red Rising stood out because of clever plot and story progress. Darrow is a character who had the perfect characteristics and back story that is perfect on this novel. The supporting characters isn't something you'd forget either.

It took me a longer time to finish this book compared on the usual. Despite of its fast pace, my reading pace is slow because it's hard for me to digest some parts. I cannot exactly pinpoint or describe it but I guess this is the one I'm saying about guys and high fantasy/high sci-fi. *chuckles* And because it's told in male POV and written by a male author, the scenes are full of action, war, bloodbath, suspense, and frustrating but amazing twists. You would never find a boring or girly page. When I say girly, I meant about boys and romance and daydreaming. No. This book does not evolve around or contain 99.9% romance. And I find it a good thing. It's about a fearless and tough protagonist who works hard in order to give justice to his people.

Now the only thing that I considered off on this book is the connection of title/blurb to all the things that happened. It doesn't fit. It's different from what I assumed/expected. If I were the one to title this book, I'd call it Rising Red or Gold Games.  3/4 of this book was spent in games or what they call a school or academy--whichever, their saying is to kill or be killed and cheat or be cheated. Nevertheless, this book is incredibly written. Heart-pounding and emotional read. If you like an interesting action-packed novel or new series to love, read Red Rising.

P.S If it wasn't obvious from my review above, this book contains foul languages (which is told in weird terms. At least for me) and harsh scenes.

*Thank you so much Jennifer and Random House International for the review copy in exchange of honest review!



  1. Thanks for the very informative review. I've been trying to decide if I would enjoy this book or not, and this helps!

  2. You know what they, don't judge a book by its cover??? When i first saw this i immediately thought it was paranormal because of the red wing in the cover! I know i should have tried to found out if it is. but never got the time.
    I am changing my mind. I am adding this to my TBR list. A very LONG list


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