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Red Rising (Red Rising Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 401 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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- Book 1 of 5 in Red Rising Saga
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“[A] top-notch debut novel . . . Red Rising ascends above a crowded dystopian field.”—USA Today
“Red Rising is a sophisticated vision. . . . Brown will find a devoted audience.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch
“A story of vengeance, warfare and the quest for power . . . reminiscent of The Hunger Games and Game of Thrones.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Fast-paced, gripping, well-written—the sort of book you cannot put down. I am already on the lookout for the next one.”—Terry Brooks, New York Times bestselling author of The Sword of Shannara
“Pierce Brown has done an astounding job at delivering a powerful piece of literature that will definitely make a mark in the minds of readers.”—The Huffington Post
“Compulsively readable and exceedingly entertaining . . . a must for both fans of classic sci-fi and fervent followers of new school dystopian epics.”—Examiner.com
“[A] great debut . . . The author gathers a spread of elements together in much the same way George R. R. Martin does.”—Tor.com
“Very ambitious . . . a natural for Hunger Games fans of all ages.”—Booklist
“Ender, Katniss, and now Darrow: Pierce Brown’s empire-crushing debut is a sprawling vision.”—Scott Sigler, New York Times bestselling author of Pandemic
“A Hollywood-ready story with plenty of action and thrills.”—Publishers Weekly
“Reminiscent of . . . Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games . . . [Red Rising] will captivate readers and leave them wanting more.”—Library Journal (starred review)
About the Author
Pierce Brown is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Red Rising, Golden Son, Morning Star, Iron Gold, and Dark Age. His work has been published in thirty-three languages and thirty-five territories. He lives in Los Angeles, where he is at work on his next novel.
- Publication Date : January 28, 2014
- Print Length : 401 pages
- Publisher : Del Rey (January 28, 2014)
- Word Wise : Enabled
- File Size : 2532 KB
- ASIN : B00CVS2J80
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Language: : English
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #5,715 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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And yet one day, four days ago to be exact, a copy happened to fall into my lap and upon reading the first page I was instantly, irrevocably HOOKED. I write this now having ripped through the entire trilogy in THREE DAYS.
Did I surreptitiously read it on my phone at work? YES. Did I battle exhaustion trying to read one more chapter into the late, late night despite loving sleep almost as much as chocolate? YES. Did I pounce on every vaguely bookish person I know and blather with the crazed look and incoherence of a fanatic about this novel, despite not even being a sci-fi reader? YES.
Don't be put off by the proliferation of all caps in my review. I haven't been this excited about a book in such a long time, plus I was in a bit of a reading slump, having been adrift in a sea of discarded books. So you must forgive me.
Okay, I will concede that the comparisons to Hunger Games and the Lord of the Flies have merit. Not only that, there are heavy Greek and Roman allusions. There are recognizable, familiar elements. This is after all a classic Hero's Journey. The lowly Darrow, motivated by grief and revenge manages to rise to the highest strata - to even the realm of the gods.
It is not original and yet it is. Like Sevro and the Howlers and the rest of the House of Mars, I want to follow Darrow and see what next audacious step he takes. I was constantly surprised, on the edge of my seat trying to see how he would win or recover from a failure.
I'll admit there are problems. The female characters do not seem fully realized. There's a helluva lot of rape going on. But even with its flaws, Red Rising slayed me. I was all in from the first line to the last. I got the next book after a hundred pages in.
One thing I am thankful for, having come into this series rather late is that I had the entire trilogy at my disposal, reading one right after the other, without that agonizing long wait in between.
So far, Red Rising is probably #6 (out of 35) in my top reads of 2017.
"Red Rising" struck me overly lofty, sanctimonious, and obsessively violent. The main character seemed to just kind of morph into whatever he needed to be for the plot to continue without a real feeling of growth. Phrases like "I screamed like a rage god" made me cringe. Everything before all of the teenagers were thrown into their death camp felt like a preamble, with occasional interesting world building elements thrown in. There were definitely times where it felt like the book was relishing in the deaths of characters, trying a little too hard to make the reader feel loss for someone we didn't have enough time to get attached to.
Overall, not the book for me.
Society in Red Rising is a caste system (based upon birth), where the inhabitants fall into a hierarchy of 14 “colors” representing their ranking within society. At the top of the hierarchy are the Golds, who through genetic and surgical manipulation have evolved as superior human beings. At the bottom of the hierarchy are the Reds, who are unskilled manual laborers, conditioned to a brutal environment. The remainder of society falls into one of the other “colors” that fill a specific need within society.
Red Rising focuses on the Golds and Reds: the Golds rule society with an iron fist and no compassion; the Reds toil all day in their underground city where they remain miners from generation to generation. These Reds have no actual knowledge of the rest of society; they have been deceived into believing that by mining helium-3 they are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. In reality, Mars and the rest of the solar system had been successfully colonized centuries earlier. The Golds control not only what and where the Reds live and work, but what they know. Our hero, Darrow, is a Red. He and the Reds like him are essentially slaves to a decadent ruling class, enslaved for generation after generation with no voice and no hope.
But there are those who have learned the truth and want change. The story takes shape as Darrow is rescued by a group of rebels known as The Sons of Ares; Darrow has been selected to infiltrate the Golds at its highest levels.
The book is fast paced and exciting, although it takes roughly two thirds of the book to establish the backstory. This is both a positive and a negative: it takes a long time to get to the exciting part, but one of the things I liked about this book is the in-depth character development and backstory. I gave this book a rating of four out of five due to the excellent character development and backstory, and the quick pace once it reached its stride.
Top reviews from other countries
Set in the distant future, where the human race is divided by a rigid class system of colours, colonies of Red miners toil under the surface of Mars, harvesting natural elements that will terraform its surface and make it an inhabitable environment in the future. Sixteen year old Darrow is one of these Reds, born underground and raised to risk his life on a daily basis. Food is scarce and life expectancy is short. The rules are enforced by a strict hierarchical class system that’s preceded over by the Gold’s – supposedly superior to all other colours both physically and mentally. When Darrow discovers that his life is built on a lie, he’s given a dangerous mission to integrate himself into the very heart of Gold society.
Darrow is sent to the Institute, where young Gold’s play deadly games to win power. It’s a trial by fire that is designed to push them to the limits and teach them how to wage war and become the leaders of tomorrow. Weakness isn’t tolerated and not everyone will make it through. Parallels could be drawn to the Hunger Games, but it’s a very different type of competition. The aim here is for power and ultimate victory – achieved through intellect and strategy and the ability to command their peers.
Darrow is a great character. He’s definitely not perfect – he’s reckless, angry and overly bold. He’s smart but he also shows that he can be ruthless and brutal. This means that he’s not always a particularly likeable character, but you still end up rooting for him all the same. Throughout the book he goes through some intense challenges, questioning his own identity, who to trust and what actions can be justified for the greater good.
There are inevitably a lot of the generic running themes that seem to pop up in every dystopian YA – a challenging and brutal landscape, segregated society and a deadly competition, as well as an angry and repressed protagonist rising up against the ruling classes. That said, I think the author does enough to make Red Rising stand apart from the masses.
There are plenty of action scenes and the tension remains ramped up all the way through. There are also ongoing political undercurrents as Darrow struggles to keep his ultimate goal of infiltrating the highest level of society within his grasp. Immediately after finishing this book I downloaded and binge-read the next two in the series – and as much as I liked this book, I think they get even better as they goes on.
At first, when I first read about this, I was unimpressed. It seemed like every other YA, dystopian novel out there. How many books have the classes separated by something? Whether that be numbers, colours, looks or something else? It’s now a new concept. This was a breath of fresh air for this genre for me.
I was more invested in the characters than I’d care to admit. Darrow, Mustang and Servo were just great characters. If you don’t like Servo, then I think there’s probably something wrong with you. He was my favourite character because he wasn’t perfect like the other golds. He wasn’t traditionally handsome and tall, but boy was he smart.
To be honest, most of it isn't YA. This is a quote from the first few chapters, and when I really started paying attention to this novel:
On Mars there is not much gravity. So you have to pull the feet to break the neck. They let the loved ones do it.
Like, bloodydamn, that’s terrible. Why have hanging as a method of death, if the act of hanging doesn’t even work? This was the first hint that this form of society had big problems, and the problems only grew more severe from there.
I definitely want to read on. Perhaps I won’t start the book at 10pm at night, so that I get some sleep the day I read it.
This book grabbed me from the first page and wouldn't let me go. The characters are all richly detailed without extraneous detail used on those who are only in the story for a page or two. I felt like I was with Darrow every step of his journey, felt every emotion he felt and wanted the same goals as he did because I could understand why they were so important to him.
The locations, while not obviously places we are familiar with, felt alive to me, the descriptions were so clear and well-written. I read this story on my kindle and have since bought the paperback and therefore seen the map that is in it, something I didn't have in my ebook. The descriptions were so clear throughout the story that my imagined layout that I had in my mind was almost identical to the map in the book, that's how good the writing is.
This isn't a non-violent book but I felt the violence there was fitted with the story. It's also not a book with a complete ending as it is the first in the series, however, the ending does tie things up to an extent so there is a feeling of an ending of sorts which I liked and don't always get with books that are part of a series.
If you're one of the few people on the planet who have not yet read this book then I would urge you to give it a go. It might not be your usual genre but why not step outside of it and try something different. Life can be boring if we never try new things, at least occasionally.
For anyone who wants a fast paced, well-written read that will keep them glued to the book for hours then I highly recommend this one. The only regret I have in reading this book is that I didn't do it sooner.
The characters in the Sons of Ares didn't much interest me either. They felt like cardboard cutouts and there was never any warmth from them, especially with what they wanted Darrow to do and I read very mixed reviews about the people he meets later. As much as I wanted to see the games (I was a big Hunger Games fan), I just couldn't persuade myself to plough on through the detailed descriptions and slow plot to actually get there. I found his initial lifestyle and that transformation section way too slow for my personal tastes. I just didn't feel enthused with it. If I had cared more for Darrow and the other characters, maybe I could have ploughed through but I wasn't really interested enough to try. I know a lot of people loved this series and I can see why they did but sadly it didn't work for me.
About the book, I really liked it! I would say I was a bit underwhelmed at the start, I didn't know what was happening with all the new words (for example: clawdrills) and all the drama and injustice got me a bit depressed but then it started to take pace and a lot happens... Some of the things I saw them coming, others not at all...When I reached three quarters I couldn't put it down, I had to know.
About the plot, I really don't want to say much to avoid spoilers but I would say it is a dystopian with a lot of action and mythology that keeps you guessing all the time, it is very well done.
I agree with other reviews that there are some ideas that had been used in other books but to me, that is not necessarily a bad thing because it is the way those ideas are combined and the new ideas added that makes this book so great and enjoyable. Also, it treats well a lot of tough themes and has good morals.
About the characters, they felt real to me and they matured through the book through the experiences which I appreciate. Moreover, they didn't feel childish though they are relatively young. I really loved the main characters and I despised their enemies during all book, it was a rollercoaster of emotion. Especially, I liked that Darrow is smart and doesn't do silly things even though it hurts him sometimes. Also, I like that the situations where he gets involved don't have a clear right choice. It makes you think, what I would do in his skin?
Overall, it is a very good book and I didn't have any issues with the delivery!