Hey! What’s up, you guys? It’s promotekdbook.com, and today I’m gonna be doing a book review for Red Rising by Pierce Brown.
If you guys don’t know, Red Rising is the first book in a science fiction, adult, dystopian series that follows a main character named Darrow.
In this future science fiction world… universe, humanity has gone and started to terraform the different planets within our solar system and to colonize them. Humanity has also been categorized and separated into different castes.
So the Golds are at the very top of the caste system, and then there’s a bunch of colors in between. And the Reds are at the very bottom. The main character Darrow is a part of the Reds of society. He’s a part of the low Reds which is even worse, and they are kept down and oppressed.
And they don’t even know about it! At the beginning of the book he is living in this mining town underneath the surface of Mars trying to gather these certain elements to be able to terraform Mars so that in the future his progeny and everyone else are able to live on Mars.
But obviously being forced to work in a mine all the time with really terrible conditions being treated horribly is going to eventually wear on this group of people, and at some point, there is going to be a breaking point. And Darrow struggles to pronounce… I can’t remember… is a part of that whole fighting back breaking point.
Darrow is used by this rebellion group to infiltrate the highest-level society, the Golds and to try to break it down from within. As usual with my book reviews, I’m going to go through my pros, go through my cons, give you my rating, and be done.
I actually did not expect to enjoy this book as much as I did, so my first pro for this book is that I really enjoyed the world building. This world and this entire society is based around this idea of these different groups of people based off of color.
There’s also a lot of Roman mythology influences in this society. They use a lot of ancient Roman names, so a lot of the people in the gold class of society all have Roman names like Tiberius and stuff like that.
And also later on in the novel when there is this competition training situation going on, all of the different groups of people are all labeled according to different Roman mythology god names.
And as you guys know as a Classical Studies major, I loved seeing that included. I thought it was really interesting that they went with the Roman side – probably because of the different planets and how they’re named, but I feel like most science fiction and fantasy novels always use Greek names because they have a lot of similarities.
But this one goes for the Roman ones. I will say at the beginning, you’re kind of dumped on with a bunch of science fiction terms, but they’re not hard to follow. They’re not hard to figure out what they mean. Like, the main character is a helldiver, and you can tell that is a more dangerous job within this mining society, and that they have to be very dexterous, and that they have to have strong hands and everything like that.
So you get a feel for what the science fiction terms mean, and you’re not gonna be overwhelmed. But they are there. Like, gravboots means that you can float in the air kind of thing. Just know that going in there’s a lot of terminology, but it’s definitely understandable.
Just beyond all of those things, I think that Pierce Brown did a really good job of sitting and thinking about this world and thinking about how everything was going to work because there are different groups of people for every single possible thing in society.
It seems like someone was sitting there and being like, “Well, why not this, and why not that?” And he always had an answer, and he built it into the story very well so that you can believe that this world would function the way that it does. And a big reason why the society hasn’t collapsed so far is that they’ve hammered into everyone’s minds that obedience and complacency are good things in society.
And so people strive to be obedient, and people strive to follow the status quo. I just think that the world building was very solid, and it served as a very firm foundation for this novel and then the series as it goes along. I really enjoyed the characters as well.
Darrow grows a ton in this novel, and there are different stages of his growth. So he starts off as this very complacent, very content Red. He thinks that he’s doing the best thing that he can for his progeny, for his future, for everyone, and he’s okay with that. And then later on when he decides it’s not okay, he has a lot of growth in terms of first getting super angry and getting angry at the Golds and everything like that; then he starts to discover that not every Gold is the same.
And he just has a lot of growth. I really appreciated seeing that throughout this novel because it’s in this first book already. So I can just imagine that the future books will have even more growth, and I’m looking forward to that.
I enjoyed that Darrow is young and imperfect. He makes mistakes, and he doesn’t do the right thing all the time which can get quite annoying… even though I think Darrow is a bit overpowered. He’s like a superhero basically in this world. He’s just so much better than everyone else that it was hard to believe, but I like that he still made mistakes even though he was super overpowered.
In this world, you’re separated into different categories based off different colors. Well you’re not just assigned to a color, and you have to wear that color.
You have certain physical attributes that make you look like that color. Like the main character Darrow has red hair at the beginning of the book, and other classes of people have other physical attributes. Like Greens have green eyes, and Golds have gold eyes, I believe.
They, like, radiate golden energy, so for Darrow to infiltrate the Gold society, he had to physically change his appearance so that he would match with the golds and he wouldn’t just be identified as a Red being like, “Oh, I’m a Gold!” That wouldn’t have worked, so he had to take on all of these Gold attributes.
I appreciated that even though he looked extremely different inside, he didn’t think differently. He had to learn how to portray himself as a Gold. He had to speak a certain way. He had to act a certain way. He had to hold himself a certain way, but internally he was still a Red.
And he still thought about the Golds as something other and he himself as a Red. And I really appreciated that he didn’t just immediately transfer over to this, like, super snooty, uppity Gold. I think something that was really well done was that every side character had tons of secrets of their own.
Every character had something of their own going on behind the scenes that was causing them to do certain things instead of doing other things. You find some of the secrets out, but you don’t find others.
So it’s just one of those things that it really keeps you entertained and into the story trying to figure out what’s going on with these characters, and who’s gonna betray whom, and everything like that. It’s always something that’s nice when all of the secrets aren’t given to you straight upfront.
You have to learn about these characters and learn about their backstories before you can understand what’s fully happening. And with all these side characters, I honestly could have any of the side characters pop back up into the story and be just as excited to see them because I want to know what’s happening with them.
Like, even side characters at the beginning of the book and side characters that are kind of with him during his transition period. All of them. I want to know what’s going on with all of them, so I’m happy to know that it doesn’t just stop off with this trilogy. It actually continues after that, and I’m hoping that we get more information about those side characters. I actually read this book as an audiobook, so I really enjoyed the narrator as well.
The narrator has an Irish accent which makes sense because the Red society in this world is all based around Irish stereotypes, I guess basically. The Reds are known for being very heavy drinkers, and they sing songs, and they dance, and they all have red hair, and just a lot of things about the Reds reminds me of stereotypically Irish things.
So the fact that the narrator was Irish kind of made sense in my mind, and I think he did a really good job of telling the story. So I definitely recommend the audiobook if that is something you’re into. I really enjoyed the plot of this story as well. It starts off as this very I’m a Red, and I’m down and out. And then it goes into this infiltrating the Gold society, and then he has to survive this Gold training at this school called the Institute.
That’s where people start comparing this book to the Hunger Games because there is this survival testing game sort of, but I would say that it’s significantly different than the Hunger Games. And there’s a lot more tactics that go into this testing. There is also more brutal violence and sexual assault in this.
There’s a lot more strategy involved, and I really enjoyed seeing all of that. I really enjoyed the plot of this story. After it really ramped up, it started moving very quickly which I am a plot-driven book kind of guy. And the book was just a fun time. I had a very good time while reading this book.
I think that’s enough for my pros. I could probably keep talking about this book, but if you guys have any other pros that you had while reading it, leave those down in the comments. But now we’re going to talk about a couple of cons that I had.
At first I was very against it. I was like, “This is just Irish stereotyping, and I don’t appreciate it. blha blah blah blah blah.” So that kept me from connecting to the story and kept me from connecting to the characters, but as the story went along, that changed. And I definitely got invested, but regardless of that the beginning of this book is a little bit slower because he’s trying to set up everything.
So it takes a while for things to get going, and the only other con that I had was that the game training section of this novel took a little bit too long for me. I started to get a little bit bored. I was like, “Let’s be done with this game. Let’s move on.
Let’s do some other things, and let’s progress the overall plot of trying to take down this ‘Gold’s on top’ society.” So I thought that the game situation was just a little too long. Overall, I really, really enjoyed it. I did not expect to as I said before because this book is so hyped. I was very hesitant to pick it up, but people just kept recommending it to me over and over and over again, so I eventually gave in and bought it.
It’s got great world building and great characters. It’s got a great plot, so I definitely recommend it.
So that’s my review of Red Rising by Pierce Brown. If you liked it, please give it a big thumbs up and comment down below how you felt about this book. Did you have similar feelings to mine? As I said before, if you had any other pros, leave those down in the comments and let’s get a discussion going because I really did enjoy this one and I’d like to discuss it with you guys.
Anything else you want me to know, leave it down below, and I will talk to you guys next time. Bye!!