You guys, I LOVED this book. This is so not the type of book I typically read, and I wouldn’t have read it if it hadn’t been for a buddy read I participated in with Sarah from The YA Book Traveler. And, HOLY CRAP! Am I glad I did. This book is like the Hunger Games played by Roman gods and goddesses. And it’s AWESOME.
Red Rising by Pierce Brown
I would recommend pairing Red Rising with this red Casale de Giglio Mater Matuta, because the society in this book has a very Romanesque vibe to it, and this lovely wine just happens to be grown right outside of Rome.
*All wine recommendations are for strictly for those of legal drinking age only.*
It’s All In The Details
- Title: Red Rising
- Author: Pierce Brown
- Publisher: Del Rey (Random House)
- Pub Date: January 28, 2014
- Pages: 382
“I live for the dream that my children will be born free,” she says. “That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.”
“I live for you,” I say sadly.
Eo kisses my cheek. “Then you must live for more.”
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.
I really, REALLY want everyone to read this book! It is incredibly popular already, but I do feel like there are a lot of readers, like me, who take one look at the cover and description and think that it’s not the type of book they’ll like. If you are one of those people, I’m 98% positive that you’re wrong, and you will LOVE this book too.
Darrow’s journey from a lowly red in this futuristic society to a high-ranking gold is so fascinating. After losing his beloved wife at the hands of a gold, Darrow has to undergo a torturous physical transformation in order to infiltrate their society. And once he makes it, he has to prove not only that he’s one of them, but that he is the best among them.
This book is so well-written and is the perfect example of so many genres. It’s got the technology, set-in-space, futuristic components of a sci-fi. It is a brilliant example of a YA coming-of-age novel. And more than anything, it is the PERFECT dystopian novel. The government, which is based very heavily on ancient Rome, is unspeakably corrupt, and watching Darrow find the desire and courage to fight against that corruption is so incredibly inspirational.
The characters in this book are flawed and absolutely fascinating. From the reds that we get to meet at the beginning of the novel to the god-like golds. There were so many unique characters that I just could not get enough of. Pierce Brown has created an incredibly dynamic cast that I was absolutely enthralled by.
The world-building is INSANE. It is such a complex, layered society, and Brown delivers each wonderful detail about it at just the right moment, so as to continue to pull the reader in and immerse them in the story.
I’ve heard from some fellow bloggers that the next books in the series are even better. That’s hard to imagine at this point, but there are definitely some loose threads, and I am just dying to see how Brown ties them all together.
So, I have to admit, this isn’t my favorite book cover. And it’s part of the reason that I didn’t want to pick this book up in the beginning. However, after reading the book, I actually like it more than I initially did. It just fits the story so well and also echoes the Roman vibe this book has going on.
Darrow is so in love with his recently deceased wife Eo that there isn’t much room for romance throughout the rest of the novel. However, there is definitely some major romantic tension going on, and that is one thing I would expect in the next books. Also the way he loves and grieves his wife is incredibly endearing. And, I mean, we’re talking about a cast of characters written to look like Roman gods and goddesses. Enough said.
About the Author
Pierce Brown spent his childhood building forts and setting traps for cousins in the woods of six states and the deserts of two. Graduating from college in 2010, he fancied the idea of continuing his studies at Hogwarts. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a magical bone in his body. So while trying to make it as a writer, he worked as a manager of social media at a startup tech company, toiled as a peon on the Disney lot at ABC Studios, did his time as an NBC page, and gave sleep deprivation a new meaning during his stint as an aide on a U.S. Senate campaign. Now he lives Los Angeles, where he scribbles tales of spaceships, wizards, ghouls, and most things old or bizarre.
Have any of you read Red Rising? Did you think it was as incredible as I did? Have you read the other books in the series?