Author(s): Pierce Brown
Series: Red Rising Trilogy #1
Published by Del Ray on 01/28/2014
Genres: Science Fiction
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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.
I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Red Rising is the story of a dystopian future and a lie that has been perpetuated against workers on Mars. For those who love a good sci-fi novel set in a less then idyllic future this book really aims to hit all the points you would want.
The plot itself is very well done. The overall setup with multiple castes and the inherent tension that causes and a huge secret that could rock the very foundation of their society is well thought out. That premise alone offers a lot of possibilities and on top of it a Brown does a good job living up to a lot of those possibilities. This is further supported with excellent and well thought out world building, which helps give the rest of the story pretty solid bedrock. Unfortunately, while the story is good the pacing is only ok. It tends to drag in sections, which is unusually considering how violent other parts of the book are.
The other real problem I had with the book is the characters. There are enough that the names come and go and it the main character just isn’t that relatable. Not that they were all cookie cutter. They felt will fleshed out but there were just too many named characters. For a really good story to work, you have to empathize and root for the protagonist, and here I found it hard to really care for Darrow.
The idea behind Red Rising was solid but the execution left a little to be desired. It’s not a bad book, but it isn’t great either. There are interesting ideas to be found but you might not have the satisfaction you really want when you finish the book.
Review by Travis Starnes