Title: Red Rising (trilogy, book 1)
Author: Pierce Brown
Personal Rating: 4.5 Stars
Where do I start with Red Rising? I started this book via audio on Tuesday and I finished it via kindle that night. I had just about every person I talk to on Instagram telling me I needed to read this book and I’ll be honest, I was scared. I have seen so much abuse on Pierce Brown’s twitter that I wasn’t sure that I was ready to get my heart ripped out of my chest in the way that Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff did. I was sitting there next to my husband saying “oh, what the FUCK” about 50 times by the end. I even recorded myself saying, “are you fucking kidding me,” and sending it to every person who told me to read this book! I don’t even think I can get myself to read Golden Son for a couple of weeks!
Red Rising opens up with us meeting Darrow who is what they call a “helldiver,” someone who mines gasses from under Mars’ surface in order for them to use it to make a livable surface above ground. This is a super dangerous job, one not for the weak, even though the people living underground are called “Reds,” and basically their slave drivers are color coded, leading up to “Gold.” Reds are so oppressed to the point where even their stature in comparison to others is small.
Darrow’s wife opens a rebellion via illegal song and is hanged in front of everyone, saying the words, “Break the Chains,” in order for people to get off their asses and fight their oppressors. Darrow cuts her down, buries her, and due to that being illegal, is hanged. His uncle saves him and turns him over to a group of people who basically tell Darrow that he’s played himself and the surface of Mars is in fact habitable and people have been living like kings up there. Darrow is then “carved” into a Gold and is told to infiltrate the society from within, needing to win a set of challenges in order to be top dog in the Gold’s elite institute.
This basically ends in a bloody version of capture the flag, where the students enslave one another (or kill each other) in order to capture as many houses as possible. Darrow excels, your typical underdog story, and meets a group of people who claim themselves as the Howlers and swear their loyalty to him. We meet other characters he conquers and swears loyalty to him, we lose people we love in the book, and overall, some hardcore shit goes down, especially with the plotting, backstabbing, and all around “wtf moments.” (Jackals hand????) This book is not for the faint of heart. (Jackal cut his damn hand off!) You can totally Wikipedia the plot if this doesn’t do it for you!
**end of spoilers**
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was a solid 4.5. The only reason I knocked off a .5 rating is because at some points in the book it drags a little and I would drift in and out of the audiobook. I really am excited to get to Golden Son in March! I definitely understand the hype and I tweeted at Pierce Brown that he deserves the Twitter abuse that he receives! Ha!