I have waited a loooong time to share with you the delicacies of this morsel. (I read it October 2013!) Believe me when I say…
Also, I’m part of the RED RISING release day Flash Giveaway! (Thank you to NetGalley and Del Ray for the e-ARC!)
Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better future 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 joins a resistance group in order to infiltrate the ruling class and destroy society from within. He will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies… even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.
Pierce Brown’s first novel, RED RISING (Del Rey Books), debuts January 28, 2014. It is the first instalment in The Red Rising Trilogy.
Pierce Brown spent his childhood building forts and setting traps for his cousins in the woods of six states and the deserts of two. Graduating college in 2010, he fancied the idea of continuing his studies at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a magical bone in his body. So while trying to make it as a writer, he worked as a manager of social media at a startup tech company, toiled as a peon on the Disney lot at ABC Studios, did his time as an NBC page, and gave sleep deprivation a new meaning during his stint as an aide on a U.S. Senate Campaign.
Now he lives in Los Angeles, where he scribbles tales of spaceships, wizards, ghouls, and most things old or bizarre.
Do you know how HARD it is to write a review for a book that smothered you with brilliance? It’s hard, okay? So I’ll attempt to thump my high regard for this novel into a coherent review. (No promises on being logical, though.) IT WAS UNBELIEVABLE! What do I start with?!
The writing: ohmygosh, slay me, I love writing this raw and vicious. There’s no excess.
The characters? Knocked me down! They were all so well written. They breathed fire and ice and you could feel that from the first hundred pages. I’m not joking, guys. In a FEW WORDS the characters blossomed into 3D people.
Darrow is the narrator. He’s 16-years-old, which drones of the typical dystopian age, but he’s cast in a new light. In his hole in the ground (literally), you live hard and die young. At 16 he’s married to Eo, the love of his life.
I’ll slip in a word about the names too. Very Roman, but I loved how they weren’t typical Roman names. Sure they had Pollux, Julian, and Antonia. But there were brilliant ones like: Cassius, Eo (gosh, that is such a good name), Sevrus, Priam, Pax. Just let me take a moment to appreciate the brilliant names.
The plot?! As a vivacious bookworm, I demand a good plot. I love something that’ll keep me on my toes the whole time. GOSH. I was kept on my toes with this one. I confess, it was complex. Not in a detailed way, more in a everyone-has-Roman-names-and-double-identities way. In all honesty, I don’t think there were enough clues laid for the plot twists. They just socked you in the jaw. Nice, but it could have been refined. But seriously – the ending? I didn’t know what Darrow would do. I had half a foot in each camp and the answer he chose: I died and cheered all at once.
BUT (here comes Miss Raincloud), I do have to note here: this is like a more violent and psychological version of THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins. Every other book that has used elements of THG, I’ve automatically disliked. RED RISING is an exception and it took me a while to decide why. I think it does stand apart, even if it uses a lot of the same elements. There’s Roman names and themes, there’s a type of “arena” where students basically fight-to-survive-and-dominate, and there’s a tipping point (Prim/Eo). Honestly, I think RED RISING scrapes way to close to THG for comfort. It annoyed me, but only slightly. I think RED RISING had a different enough sci-fi feel to escape my frownie face. (I really think YA should lay off the Roman-ness, too. Overdone? How about YES.)
Instead of Districts (THE HUNGER GAMES) or Factions (DIVERGENT), we have colours! Yay! I like colours! I love how the colours wore woven in (Gold being the top dog). I love the slang and culture of each colour. There is so much thought in this book. I never once thought, “Well, that wasn’t thought through well, was it?” Everything was spectacular.
I’m in danger of gushing (too late), so I’ll end with AHHHHHH. I needneedneed the next book. (Is it even legal to write this well???)