Book Review: Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Red Rising by Pierce Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publisher: Del Rey

Summary:  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 already 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.

This was a good read despite my suspension of disbelief being tested a bit and I’m glad that I read it. There’s nothing wrong with an action packed scifi story and Red Rising delivered, especially after the first third of the book. I admit that I was rooting for Darrow’s hard knocks to come hard and leave lasting scars and some of my wish was granted. With “Chosen One” stories I tend to expect a lot and really want to be shown that the scion earns it. Darrow got his foot in, in a way that much reminded me of GATTACA and I liked it but really kept waiting for his DNA to tell on him. It didn’t happen. I certainly waited for his ties to Eo that he’d brought with him to be discovered because I thought it not a good idea to have brought it along to begin with but alas, that didn’t happen either. All save one verbal slip of his go unnoticed by the Golds and as it’s made excrutiatingly clear that they’re brilliant, I can only imagine that their lack of imagination at the possible is what saves him there. I didn’t get too tied to the characters after The Passage and that suited me fine. It’s a bloody, ragefest and many are not long for the world and those that survive are not whole in the aftermath. I’m much interested in the next installment of the story and very much enjoyed the theme of Ancient Rome & mythology. Some of the slang was a bit to get used to but was easy enough to immerse, I do hope I recall it well when the next book comes out. I’d recommend this one for fans of action packed scifi and if you’re prone, don’t let the YA tag deter you.

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