Review: Red Rising – Pierce Brown

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◄ Book Info

Series: Red Rising Trilogy – Book #1
Genre: Dystopian, Science Fiction
Pages: 416 (paperback)
Publication Date: Reprint Edition – July 15, 2014
Publisher: Del Rey
Website: Pierce Brown Official Website
Red Rising on Goodreads
Pierce Brown Profile on Amazon
My Review Copy: Purchased
◄ Where to Get Your Copy:

     Barnes & Noble
*If you would like to purchase as an E-Book, the kindle app is free to download on any device. You can download for FREE at – Read eBooks using the FREE Kindle Reading App on Most Devices*


Flourish One, Horizontal clip art

“‘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.” – Goodreads

My Pick One Favorite
Flourish One, Horizontal clip art

“The measure of a man is what he does when he has power…”
Character: Pax Au Telemanus
Loyal Pax… Such a soft heart in such hard form.
So even though I really do enjoy the development of Darrow throughout the story, Pax has to be my favorite of everyone. Pax au Telemanus is another Gold at the Institute and ends up providing the comedic relief as your reading. He doesn’t play the biggest role in the story, but he sure does show up when you need him. He is a massive boy with a loyal heart and the strength of 10. Once you prove yourself to him, he will be by your side until the end. How many of us can say we truly have many friends like this nowadays? Anyway, Pax reminds me of a big muscled teddy bear – in a Greek God sort of form. He provides the light when it is most dark and I appreciate this character for having the ability to do so.
“‘PAX AU TELEMANUS! PAX AU TELEMANUS!’ He shoves me aside. He’s shirtless, massive, muscled, screaming.”


Thoughts About The Book
Flourish One, Horizontal clip art

Red Rising is the perfect dystopian concoction. Darrow, like the rest of the low-reds, is deceived by the higher classes. He lives in a state of ignorance, thinking that the slave-labor the low-red clans are forced into is for the good of humanity.  Sometimes ignorance is bliss, right?? He has already had to grow up so fast in a world where reaching 30 years of age is old.  Pierce Brown beautifully crafts the story so that you really understand and share the growth Darrow must face now that he knows the Golds have been hiding a whole world from them. With so much already sacrificed, Darrow makes the ultimate choice – become his enemy to defeat his enemy.

His growth has a natural progression throughout the book. What starts off first as simplistic ideas and mannerisms, turns into a brilliant mixture of wisdom and understanding. Pierce Brown writes so that we are able to laugh and cry with Darrow; we feel his pain as if it were ours and we sympathize with his hardships. Although he is in a world of his own, trapped on Mars with a hierarchy of colors that each has their own place, Darrow has a level of relatability.

What I really love though, is how Pierce Brown incorporates underlying themes into the story. It is not just that he writes these themes in there, but he creates an understanding of the themes. There are events and examples cleverly placed before the theme is more openly disclosed – yes! Thank you Pierce for being so brilliant!

My overall description of the book: In general, it is sort of a cross between The Hunger Games and Divergent, but with less of  a young adult feel. It is humorousdarkinsightful, political. I would consider it a fantastic dystopian story to par with the epics. This is a must-read and I would always read it again – it has quickly become one of my favorites! There are two other books in the trilogy, Morning Star was just released in February 2016 (yay!):

Golden Son (Book 2)                                                       Morning Star (Book 3) – Newly released

*Another tidbit, the Red Rising Trilogy is currently in the works of being converted to the Big Screen and Television! Also, Pierce Brown is working on sequels called Irongold. Yes, yes and more yes!!

My 5 Cup Rating:

What were your thoughts on Red Rising? Favorite character, quote, scene?
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