Red Rising by Pierce Brown – Review

Genre: Adult, Science Fiction
Publication Date: July 20114
Series: Red Rising Saga
Pages: 382 
My Rating: 3/5

Synopsis (1)

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.

Break the chains.

Live for more.

Goodreads link: Red Rising


Red Rising is another book that I struggle to rate. I did enjoy the book, but it didn’t blow my mind. I think it’s just an “It’s not you, it’s me” kind of situation. For the best part of the story, I felt like I was reading a retelling of the Hunger Games (and it was a movie I felt it was just ok, haven’t read the books) and mixed with The Punisher (guys loses his wife and needs to get his revenge). I had fun, but that’s all.

Things I liked:

  • The writing was very good. Simple, clear, just the right amount of information and exposition to make us understand the world and characters.
  • We have a cast of charters with different and distinct personalities and well fleshed out.
  • I really enjoyed the fourth part of the book. At this point, I felt like it lost the Hunger Game vibe. We don’t have just one person that needs to take down the system but a whole army that marches against corruption.
  • Towards the end, we had two nice twists. One of them had been foreshadowed for a while and the second one I personally saw it coming. Although to be honest when you have 20 pages left you can guess that things will go in a different direction what the author is making you believe. Despite that, I really liked those twists.
  • I really like Darrow and Mustang dynamic and relationship. I thought it was well done, and it felt natural.
  • Now that the Huger Game part of the story is done I’m curious to see what Darrow will do outside in the world and how his plan will unfold.

Things I didn’t like

I don’t have many negatives. There was nothing wrong with the story but I’ll try to point some aspect that bothered me.

  • As I mention I didn’t care about Hunger Game and throughout a large part of the story I couldn’t help but thinking of the similarities.
  • I’m a little tired of the “They kill my wife and I need to get revenge and keep her dream alive” trope.
  • The story is written in first-person POV and present tense and this is really my least favourite way to tell a story.
  • I feel like Darrow is a little bit of a Gary Stu. On so many occasions we have Darrow say things like “I’m stronger, I’m taller, I’m faster than he/she, I know better than them” etc. This is why I don’t like first-person POV. When it’s the author or another person telling us that the main character is stronger or taller or whatever it feels like an observation. When we have the main character telling us about the fact that they are better than everyone else, for me, they come across as obnoxious and annoying. And because of that, I struggle to really connect with Darrow.
  • Rape is used a couple of times to move the plot forward. I don’t mind when it’s used once but when it’s used again, and again it feels like the author didn’t know what else to do to get the plot going.

So here you have it. It wasn’t a bad book there was nothing wrong with it and I understand why so many people rave about it. But personally, I couldn’t get into the “this is a great book” place. I’m curious about the rest of the series, I don’t feel the need to start right away like with other series, but I will get to the second book eventually.

What about you guys? Have you read it? What are your thoughts? Do you think I should pick up the next book right away?

Published by Natacha

Hello and Wellcome! My name is Natacha. I'm a book and travel blogger.

2 thoughts on “Red Rising by Pierce Brown – Review

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