[Review] Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Title: Red Rising
Author: Pierce Brown
Genre: Adult Dystopian
Format: Hardcover, 400 pages
Release Date: January 28th, 2014
Publisher: Random House Canada
Source: Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

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The war begins...

Darrow is a Helldiver, one of a thousand men and women who live in the vast caves beneath the surface of Mars. Generations of Helldivers have spent their lives toiling to mine the precious elements that will allow the planet to be terraformed. Just knowing that one day people will be able to walk the surface of the planet is enough to justify their sacrifice. The Earth is dying, and Darrow and his people are the only hope humanity has left.

Until the day Darrow learns that it is all a lie. Mars is habitable - and indeed has been inhabited for generations by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. The Golds regard Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

With the help of a mysterious group of rebels, Darrow disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside.

But the command school is a battlefield. And Darrow isn't the only student with an agenda...

There has been so much hype surrounding this book and honestly I was a little hesitant to read it because I was afraid that it would not live up to all of my expectations. But although it was a slow start for me, when I got into the story it blew me away.

First of all, the fact that this book is set on MARS made me interested because it seems to drastic and different from out own world. But when the world itself it explained it made so much sense. The natural progression civilization took to get to there made so much sense to me, and I think that is a huge part of why I loved this book so much. It felt like it could actually happen.

Now, reading a lot of the reviews people are comparing it to Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, and honestly I see more Hunger Games than Harry Potter. The gruesomeness that I read in this book makes The Hunger Games look like a picture book and that made me love this book even more. It felt so real and the characters, although sensationalized for the story, were extremely real. Although one character was obsessed with death and hurt, his personality matched his situation perfectly and I think people can relate to that. Yes, these characters live on a different planet, yes, they are part of a "make-believe" war that causes regular kids turn into killers, but that doesn't mean that they are not relate-able. They are put in a situation that no one will ever understand.

I have heard that this book could be for young adults, but I must disagree with that. And not for the reasons you think. Violence is in everything, TV, video games and of course YA novels as well. But Red Rising is in an "in-between" genre in my opinion because although the main characters are all in their teens, the prose and language used is so above that of regular YA reader. I do believe that this book is a perfect bridge between YA and Adult fiction. For me, i had become so accustomed to YA prose that i did find it hard t find a reading rhythm, but after a while I got used to the prose and was fine. I think that this book would be perfect for those YA readers that are looking for a challenge and are afraid or do not want to venture into the world of Literary Fiction.

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  1. I've read reviews of this book that have griped that this book in nowhere close to what it claims (mix of THG and HP), so I'm a bit hesitant to pick it up. I'm always on the lookout for a book that could either be YA and Adult. This one sounds like it fits the bill.

    Great review, Siobhan.