Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Review: Red Rising by Pierce Brown

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.

(taken from goodreads.com)
My Rating: 5/5 Stars 

Well. That was a bloodydamn good fantastic book. Sheesh. I mean, I knew I was going to love it. After seeing numerous book bloggers sing Pierce Brown's praises and reading the intriguing synopsis, I knew I was in for a ride. So, I ordered the book online and anxiously awaited its arrival on my doorstep. 

Where to even begin? I guess we'll start with Darrow, who bears a striking resemblance to Orson Scott Card's Ender. Cunning and wise beyond his years, Darrow vows to avenge his broken people after realizing that they have been serving as "Reds," or slaves, for the upper class "Golds" over the past few generations. Darrow, or as some would call him, Reaper, is one of those characters who sends chills down your spine. A brilliant strategist with a heart full of rage and passion, he takes on the rulers of his society in hopes to bring justice to Mars. 

Brown truly is a gifted narrator. Countless times while devouring Red Rising, I paused simply to appreciate the beauty of his phrasing. Although his plot is convoluted at times and packed with action, I was easily able to follow his meticulously placed words. The story is just so intelligent. 

Some would debate the originality of Red Rising, and honestly, I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought of more than a dozen similarities between Brown's novel and The Hunger Games. The game-like qualities of the "school," the savagery among young adults, the revolution stirring within the chains of a cruel civilization; all of these elements point to an overdone, dystopian plot line. And you know what? I just didn't care. Brown is that talented. His fearsome characters and intense story were intoxicating, and I dismissed my criticisms of his imagination quickly. 

This is not an easy book, and by that I mean you will shudder and grimace as you read about Darrow's battles. I would hesitate to recommend Red Rising to young readers due to its surplus of violence, as well as a smattering of sexual references and fowl language. However, I would hurriedly thrust this book into the hands of willing readers. The rumors of an upcoming movie in the works only fuel my recommendation: get on the bandwagon now.  


Favorite Quote(s)
“I would have lived in peace. But my enemies brought me war.” 

“Funny thing, watching gods realize they've been mortal all along.” 

“Dancer, Darrow is like a stallion, one of the old stallions of Earth. Beautiful beasts that will run as hard as you push them. They will run. And run. And run. Until they don't. Until their hearts explode.”