Red Rising by Pierce Brown | Review

Red RisingRed Rising by Pierce Brown
by Del Rey on January 28th 2014
Young Adult, Romance, Sci-fi, Dystopia


The Earth is dying. Darrow is a Red, a miner in the interior of Mars. His mission is to extract enough precious elements to one day tame the surface of the planet and allow humans to live on it. The Reds are humanity’s last hope.

Or so it appears, until the day Darrow discovers it’s all a lie. That Mars has been habitable – and inhabited – for generations, by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. A class of people who look down on Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

Until the day that Darrow, with the help of a mysterious group of rebels, 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.

Red-Rising-ReviewRed Rising by Pierce Brown is the first book in the Sci-fi Dystopian trilogy Red Rising. It follows Darrow, a Red miner that is in the process of cultivating the planet Mars with the res of his people. After a tragedy he is swept up to be the spear head of a revolution against the Golds. He must become one and infiltrate the system from within.

With a lot of action and adventure we get to see Darrow overcome every obstacle as he climbs the Gold ladder and make his wife, Eo’s dream come true.

Red-Rising-Plot-and-WritingDarrow is a Red. In a world many years into the future, civilization is split into a caste system by eye color. Reds are miners, Obsidian are soldiers/police, Browns are servants etc. Then there are the Golds, the elite class. They reign over all other colors. The best humanity has to offer. Darrow is not a Gold, and could care less. He enjoys being a Helldiver, making a difference for the future of humanity. Cultivating a new planet for future inhabitants, but after one wrong move and an act of defiance by Eo which doesn’t end well, Darrow knows things have to change and Eo was the fuel to his fire.

“We grew together, and now are grown. In her eyes, I see my heart. In her breath, I hear my soul. She is my land. She is my kin. My love.”

With a lot of plot specific terms, it made it quite difficult to follow the story at times. I found myself often getting confused with the new lingo and the effects they had on the plot line. But besides that, I found the plot line really enjoyable. There was a lot of growth and eye opening sequence of events that always kept me on my toes as the reader. I began getting really invested in the story when Darrow was being transformed into a Gold that I began asking myself curious questions. “How is Darrow going to handle this? Darrow’s in real trouble now, is he going to get out of it? OMG, what just happened? etc”

Pierce Brown took an over used plot line (Hunger Games style), and made this journey a remarkable, and refreshing experience. He brought the world to life with story specific lingo, a great cast of a variety of different types of characters, deep plot lines, and a cruel hierarchy. What may have been a simple premise transforms itself into a highly brutal and violent setting, full of blood, hate, vengeance, and ultimately hope – a hope to make a difference amidst the sins of the world, amidst the blood on their hands. He turned a savage story into a story that was vastly thought provoking.

Red-Rising-CharactersThere were many notable characters in the story worth mentioning but I strictly want to talk about Darrow. He was so complicated and intricate that no one else really compared to his level. He starts off as a hard working, yet sometimes reckless teenage boy who is so involved with his family and community of Reds. It’s not until he is truly tested after Eo’s act of defiance do we get to really see his true character.

Never in my life have I read a character that has gone through so many emotions and hardships in one book like Darrow has. We see him in love, dealing with grief, and have suicidal thoughts. We see him angry and vengeful, broken down and vulnerable. We see his bravery and leadership skills, and we see him struggle morally. My heart weeps for him and his experiences. His growth throughout the story is insurmountable and he is truly a hero who fights for whats right.

“You do not follow me because I am the strongest. Pax is. You do not follow me because I am the brightest. Mustang is. You follow me because you do not know where you are going. I do.”

In the future installments I would like more insight like this with more of the characters! Especially Mustang and Sevro~

Red-Rising-SettingI haven’t read many stories set in space so I didn’t have too much experience in the genre of Science Fiction. So because of that my eyes were open to the creative world Brown created. With vivid descriptions and the vast landscapes it really felt like I was on Mars! My favorite part of the story was when Darrow and Eo sneak off to find this little green forest habitat on the vastly red planet. They lay on their backs in the grass and star up at the sky. All their hopes and dreams for a better future are all brought to life through the scenery. A calm, peaceful, and lively scene before the chaos of the story ensues. Beautiful way to end such a happy moment in the book.

“ ‘I live for the dream that my children will be born free. That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.’
‘I live for you,’ I say sadly.
She kisses my cheek. ‘Then you must live for more.’ ”

Red-Rising-In-ConclusionBrown has given us glimpses into a vast and complicated world. We have only seen a small part of it so far but what I’ve seen is dark, cruel and intricate. I could use a little less confusing lingo and more insight into other characters as much as Darrow was explored though. But it was an amazing read and definitely worth continuing on! I can’t wait to see what happens next in book two!

If you’ve read Red Rising by Pierce Brown, I would love to hear what you thought of it! Was it as great for you as it was for me? Let me know in the comments and let’s start a conversation!

Until next time,


Red-Rising-About-The-AuthorAuthor 10Pierce 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.

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Jesse Nicholas lives in Toronto, Canada. He is an aspiring writer and one day wishes to have a novel published. Along with writing, Jesse enjoys music, travel, trashy TV, and is an avid reader of anything in the Young Adult and Fantasy/Sci-Fi genres. He is currently posts reviews on the novels he reads on his blog, and spends hours upon hours coming up with ideas for a future stories.

17 thoughts on “Red Rising by Pierce Brown | Review”

  1. I’m so stupendously happy you enjoyed this book overall Jesse! It’s one of my favourite reads this year – I promise you that Golden Son will answer all those issues you had with the book. I advise reading it closer to the release date of the last book though. I’m still a wreck over that ending!!

    My niggle with this book is that Eo got fridged. She was so awesome. Aside from that the writing was bloody damn beautiful. I found the terminology and slang hard to grasp at first but again with the second book it improves and I took it on strides.

    Oh I always get so overly excited when I hear someone else loves Red Rising! yay!!!


    1. I agree about Eo! She was such a stand out character for me that I was distraught when she was hung.
      I was hoping that she was turned into a Gold too and tht she was actually Mustang. But alas she couldn’t be since Mustang is the daughter of the arch governor.
      I do plan on reading the second book closer to the release date of the third one. But the wait is brutal.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. If you read the second one the wait will be approx 482762x worse tbh. Spare yourself! Haha!


  2. This was a fantastic review and since Red Rising has been on my TBR for quite some time now, this review has me motivated to pick it up much sooner than I planned! It sounds fantastic. I love great character development and world building and sci-fi is one of my favourite genres. I also really want to read more books set in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This has become one of my favourite series. I think Pierce’s characterization is on point. I mean Darrow is not perfect and at times is very unlike-able but that just makes his character a lot more complex and fascinating. The fact that Pierce was able to establish a character like Eo and have us care about her in such a short amount of time is a credit to his writing abilities.

    When it comes to Golden Son, all I can say is be prepared and expect the unexpected cause it’s one hell of an emotional rollercoaster.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree with you. I love to hate Darrow and his rash decisions. As for Eo, I can’t believe she left us so early in the book. At one point I was hoping that she was also taken and created a gold too and that she was Mustang. But alas, my hopes were squandered when we find out she is the Jackal’s sister.

      I can’t wait to read Golden Son, but I was warned to read it closer to the release on Morning Star because it’s too heartbreaking!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I couldn’t agree more. I love that despite the fact that Eo was only a physical presence in the book for about 50 pages or so, we still got a feel of her character and also managed to continue to feel her presence throughout the rest of the book through Darrow and her dream.

        I would definitely wait until you get closer to the date cause it’s so unpredictably and painful.

        Liked by 1 person

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