Red Rising by Pierce Brown

January 21st, 2014 Kimberly Review 92 Comments

21st Jan
Red Rising by Pierce Brown
Red Rising
by Pierce Brown
Series: Red Rising Trilogy #1
Published by: Random House
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Darrow is a miner and a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he digs all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of the planet livable for future generations. Darrow has never seen the sky. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better future 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 joins a resistance group in order to infiltrate the ruling class and destroy society from within. He will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies... even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

2014 FAV ADDICTIVE fantasy FED-THE-NERD scifi

Red Rising is a brilliant dystopian and the first in the Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown. From the depths below Mars’ surface to the hills of Olympus; Brown melded science-fiction, complex characters and outstanding world-building in this tale that left me spent and begging for more. Mini review: Epic world-building, brutal, and enthralling with whiffs of a darker Hunger Games.

The tale begins beneath Mars’ crust where men and woman are born and die helping to mine minerals needed to prepare Mars’ surface for humans to one day occupy it. Darrow is a red, the lowest caste in this future society. He digs and sacrifices for the greater good of man. He does so for you, for me, for your children’s children. It is all a lie. Humanity has been living on the surface for generations. He and his fellow Reds are nothing more than slaves for the ruling class. Events cause Darrow to join the resistance, where he will infiltrate the ruling class. The tale that unfolds is brutal, spectacular and spellbinding.

Darrow is such a complex hero. We witness the changes in him like the changing of the seasons. We see him adapt and outwit as he works to contain his rage. We feel his emotions; suffer with him when he is betrayed, laugh even as it breaks him, and weep when the loss becomes to great. Brown makes us experience it all. We meet colors from all the castes. Some we loathe, some make us laugh and others freak us out as we slowly shiver and back away. The author does an excellent job of giving them a voice. Even those we wish to hate, we come to understand and admire. While the tale can be brutal, there is humor and pain. The character  Pax au Telemanus is a fine example of the emotions Pierce brings to the reader through his characters. He made me laugh, giggle aloud and even weep. I absolutely loved that the characters wrought all kinds of emotions from me. Each character had depth and I was completely captivated by their stories.

Red Rising is a dark dystopian, with elements of science fiction and high fantasy. With its epic world-building and Mars setting I was caught up in this compelling and complex society. For those who love solid, controlled world-building you will be impressed. From the castes to the leaders the world is fleshed out, leaving me little to question and yet aching for more. Brown takes us through their society as he exposes the flaws, politics, and drive for control. We see the brutal reality of power and its corruption. Even as we hope Darrow succeeds we feel for others, become angered by the political games and feel the chains of the casting system. This is dark, at times violent, and there is very little light. Brown had me rooting for the underdog and hoping for a better society. The tale ended at a good point and gave us a sense of where the second novel will begin. I for one can hardly wait.

Red Rising begins an epic journey that will captivate its audience.  When the dust settles on the Dystopian genre I have no doubt that Red Rising will be standing among the best. At this time, book two has no set release date and remains untitled. Already it is one of my most anticipated books.


About Pierce Brown

Pierce Brown spent his childhood building forts and setting traps for his cousins in the woods of six states and the deserts of two. Graduating college in 2010, he fancied the idea of continuing his studies at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. 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 in Los Angeles, where he scribbles tales of spaceships, wizards, ghouls, and most things old or bizarre.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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About Kimberly

Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She’s a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat…Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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92 Responses to “Red Rising by Pierce Brown”

  1. Charlotte

    Wooohoo! I am so glad that you love this book, Kimba. It’s one of the best dystopias I’ve read in my entire reading career. I couldn’t believe that RR is a debut novel, you know.

    The characters really felt real. Darrow’s grief and his badassery really left me shredded into pieces. The plot was also worthy of OMGs.

    Charlotte recently posted: Stacking The Shelves {25}
    • kimbacaffeinate

      That was sweet, and I hope you enjoy this as much as I did Michelle 🙂

  2. Nick

    I have to say, this book didn’t really attract my attention at first, but all these praising reviews are definitely changing my mind. It sounds intense and I already love the sound of Darrow. I’ll be sure to pick up a copy when it releases.
    Great review, Kim!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Enjoy Nick, I have no doubt this is destine for my top ten reads in 2014.

  3. Shy

    I have been hearing nothing but great things about this one.I think your amazing review might have moved this one up on my buy list.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This was wonderful Jenea I hope you get the chance to experience it.

  4. Jenny

    This is the second stellar review I’ve read for this book today Kim, I can’t wait to get my hands on it! The characters are what intrigue me most, it sounds like they are all beautifully developed and complex, and I want to meet them immediately. I wouldn’t have given this book much thought if not for reviews like this, so THANK YOU!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Jenny this was really well done from the characters to the world-building and I so hope you pick it up.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      thanks Victoria I love this genre but you know me I read everything..LOL

  5. Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    I have a soft spot for authors who dare to explore and mix genres, which seems to be the case here. I can never resist excellent worldbuilding, everything else just comes second sometimes. This sounds like the perfect book for me.
    Lovely review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Agreed Maja I can see you enjoying this one and I loved the subtle blend of genres here.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yes, hype can be hard. I went into this blind and I am so glad I did.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I totally missed all the hype and went into this one blind, but I am so excited to hear it is being well received.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Exactly -the world-building was fantastic so glad you plan to read it.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I do get passionate from time to time. Dystopians are a personal favorite and when the world building is this excellent and the characters breath within the pages..yeah I begin to drool…LOL

  6. Andrea

    Wow! Red Rising sounds pretty fantastic. Everyone seems to be loving the story and the author’a writing. Great review, Kim!

  7. Kristen

    I was lucky to read this one prior to release date as well. I was blown away with Pierce’s writing and details in this world and society he’s created. I agree this book stands out from the rest and like you I can’t wait to see where it goes next. Beautifully written review.

    Kristen recently posted: Review of Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen
    • kimbacaffeinate

      The characters were amazing, dark, unique, gah…brilliant is what they were..LOL

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Enjoy Lauren and I look forward to your thoughts as well 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Awe, thanks and this may be a dystopian but it is a new breed 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Love Darrow..hope you pick it up. It is shelf space worthy!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      You would be giddy over the world building and I think you tend to like dark like me.

  8. Stephanie

    Okay- I have to get my hands on this one. Back in the 80s when I was growing up I thought I would live on Mars as and adult (I read an article about how people would live there by 2010). I am sure this is not the Mars of my dreams, but it sounds like a fabulous story with great characters. Loved your review!

    Stephanie recently posted: Answer to Monday's Riddle: War or Peace?
    • kimbacaffeinate

      This was a fantastic tale not the Mars we may have envisioned but an incredible tale

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I hope that you do, the blend of fantasy would appeal to you my friend 🙂

  9. Michelle {Book Hangovers}

    I am super freakin excited about this debut!!! I’ve been waiting forever for it’s release!! UUuuuugghhhh! I don’t want to wait anymore. Luckily it’s not that much longer.

    • Michelle {Book Hangovers}

      I’m sorry! I just realized I’ve already read this post and left you a comment! You even replied back to me. WHOOPS! I just saw the post on my page, seen the picture of RED RISING and automatically commented! lol

      • kimbacaffeinate

        :snort: Michelle you can come by and comment everyday till the release if ya want..your excitement makes me smile and I cannot wait to see what you think when you read it!

  10. Nicci

    Stopped by to let you know I purchased the book. I read the review here and quickly became excited about the reading the series. The hardback is staring at me as I write. I can’t wait to start this series. I haven’t read a non romantic scifi in a long time.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Eep, enjoy Nicci and I cannot wait to hear your take on it! 🙂