Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children. But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity 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 sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity' s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society' s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies...even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.
©2013 Pierce Brown (P)2014 Recorded Books
Criminal defense attorney. Love audible and I'm kind of obsessed with writing reviews. No plot spoilers please. Seriously.
I'll be honest. I wasn't sucked into this book right away- it felt like Brown needed some time to really warm the story up. I also realize this is the foundational work for a saga, or trilogy at least. Once it got moving though... amazingly good. The four stars is just because of my perception of slow starting- other's mileage may vary.
There will be comparisons drawn to the Hunger Games. Having read those as well, I can say this is a far *far* more complex meditation on those themes in a much more adult way. It is worth the listen. I am left, as with other series I love that are just getting started, wanting more immediately. But, it looks as if we will have to wait some time for book two (Golden Son, Early 2015 release).
I loved the narration, but it imparted an interesting and almost assuredly unintended subtlety- I thought the Author was Scottish or Irish and making a commentary on English rule and oppression. Turns out the fellow is American and lives in LA. That's what I get for taking things to literally and then drawing subtle conclusions which others may not see, at all. A different narrator would have changed the book dramatically for me. I don't know whether in a good or bad way.
In the end, Brown drew me into an all encompassing vision of a dystopian future. I was fully invested in the outcomes of the major characters. I cannot wait for Golden Son.
This brilliant new author manages a great story set in a technologically advanced future, while nonetheless recapitulating the whole of human history in one action packed novel.
Starting from a place of repression, murder and slavery (the reader's Irish accent reminding one of the class wars of Great Britain's empire stage), the protagonist is transformed and becomes a member of the ruling class, while going through a brutal rite of passage. He emerges triumphant but within himself still torn and tragic, the paradox of his birthright painfully intact.
The story is completely absorbing and draws the listener onto a stage of high drama and classic tragedy. A compelling classical theme of Roman flavor, complete with the mythic implications of its various houses and gods, supports the whole plot.
Altogether a most promising first novel, and the next in the series promises further excellence. I am a fan and hope we have more from Mr. Brown at the earliest opportunity.
Yes. Already have. This book has everything a fantasy/sci-fi/dystopian lover could ever want.
There were so many! I don't want to spoil anything. Suffice it to say, there are many ups and downs, lots of twists and plenty of tension to go around. The rise and fall of allegiances and friendships, betrayals and unswerving loyalties, is always surprising. Other than that, I guess I'm always a sucker for a good makeover...
A red son rises.
The only reason I didn't give Red Rising five stars (and maybe this isn't fair) but many elements of this novel seem cliche... like Hunger Games, Ender's Game, Sparticus and various classic mythologies thrown in a blender. Makes a very delicious smoothie though... Plenty in there to distinguish it from other dystopian works but enough similarities that it was a touch... banal? Still enjoyable. Still a thrill-ride.
"I was born in high heels and I've worn them ever since." ~Helena Christensen
Yes, absolutely. The characters had many nuances, and there were so many with such varied and unusual names - I'd like to hope I didn't miss anything! The story itself was compelling, and I honestly cared for the characters...unlike some books you can compare it to.
Its certainly in the hierarchy, dystopian, sci-fi fantasy place that's popular right now - but the characters made so much of the story. They are complex...bad and good, well-intentioned often in their own way, privileged but broken, deprived yet empowered. Some are redeemed, some are evil, some are nearly perfect (like Eo)...but...and the big but...you don't necessarily know how each character will remain. They feel real. You can't advance the story in your head 5 chapters and get it right, you can't predict all the choices they'll make. I love that.
Darrow building his merry band of rejects!
Sharpened by hate. Strengthened by love.
If you're a fan of the genre - then you will not regret Red Rising. I'm eagerly awaiting Golden Son and most likely won't be able to wait on the AudioBook - so let's see if we can get them both released at the same time!
First, let me say that the fact that this book was narrated by Tim Reynolds was a primary reason I took a chance with this story. I was not disappointed in the least. The story is told in the first person, which I particularly enjoy, and begins with a very dark and hopeless setting for our main character and his family and people. Even though our main character, Darrow, is only 16 when the story starts, I would hardly call this a young adult fiction. There are some pretty gruesome moments but nothing that is out of bounds.
The beginning is a bit clunky as the author is setting the stage for our young hero, and confusing at times if you let your mind wander. However, once Darrow's path is set, the story moves along smartly. As Darrow is faced with challenge after challenge, he learns about sacrifice, compassion, patience, and qualities that leaders must have in order to overcome incredible adversity. He learns...
Brown is effective creating believable characters, both good and bad, that are complex and struggle with life and death choices. There are some lighthearted moments which help ease the tension, but not many. I've read some comparing this to Hunger Games, which is a stretch I believe. Maybe some elements such as overcoming oppression and injustice but everything else is quite different.
Reynolds is at the top of the class in terms of quality narrators and bringing a story to life. Simply outstanding.
The story does end a little abruptly and clearly sets up the next story, but hardly detracts from the quality of the book. If you like epic fantasy yarns, and this one clearly sets up nicely for the remaining two books of this trilogy, you will enjoy this one. Most highly recommended.
This is, by far, the best YA book I've encountered. I've seen it compared to Divergent, a society with stratified classes each serving a specific purpose, but the similarities end there. Divergent is as far from Red Rising as Plan 9 from Outerspace is from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
The complexity of story and characters that Brown has created makes it difficult to pigeon-hole Red Rising as a YA fiction. It is simply a great novel that can be appreciated by anyone of any age. It avoids the angst filled love story, ever present in YA fiction, and instead focuses on the inner turmoil of a young man born into near slavery who has a chance to save his class and his society from the tyrannic rule of a master race.
Brown has penned a novel that transcends genre and should be read by all.
A couple reviews call this a young adult novel? I don't quite understand where that comes from other than the fact that the story line resembles hunger games. It's a brutal fantasy novel that was inlayed into a dystopian universe like Lord of the flies / brave new world/ender's game. I also love the song and the singing of it several times. I think the audio book brought something more than the plain text version can offer.
I'm a web developer based out of Sacramento, I listen to books while I work, and love audible.
This book was really hard to rate because it was well written, but it felt like a collection of YA book tropes.
Is it set in a Dystopian future? Why yes it is.
Is the main character avenging the tragic rebellious death of a loved one that happens to get played on TV? Well, now that you mention it, yes.
Does the main character have to attend a special school, where more than 70% of the students die in training (which is utterly ridiculous by the way)? How did you guess?
Is there a game in which the contestants fight each other to the death? Yes, there is.
Is the main character very cocky and smarter than everyone else, despite the fact that they are all better education than him? Yes, yes he is.
Name some more YA tropes and they are in this book.
Now if I had not read any other YA books in the last 5 years, this would probably be ranked as one of the best YA books ever written. However, there is just way too much, "been there done that" feeling when reading this. Which makes it an OK read but not great, and thus 2 stars, which means, "It was OK" per good reads.
I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath
THAT'S WHAT CONVESATION IS.
This is entertaining and it is smartly written. It starts out similar to Wool Or Silo. One reason this appeals to most people is the, can do attitude, of the main characters. The book starts with The Reds, who are the most oppressed group in the Universe, a Universe they do not even know exist. Once they do realize that they have been lied to all their lives, the odds against them seem unsurmountable. Many times I thought the author had really gotten his characters in so deep, he surly was not going to be able to get them out. It has been a long time since an author has been able to make me wonder how in the world things were going to turn out.
RULERS HAVE A TENDENCY TO DISLIKE THOSE WHO BREAK RULES.
Then the book turns a 180 degrees. What was a story about a primitive, downtrodden people changes to high tech. In the past when an author has done this to me they lose me. This time I stayed with it and enjoyed the ride.
The last half of the book is similar to Hunger Games with Greek Gods. I liked it a lot better and there where no whinny characters. This part of the book reminded me of the writing of Robert Reed. The only complaint I have is that I did think this section of the book went on a little too long. It was very entertaining for the most part, but I was ready for them to finish the game, long before they did. When they do finish, it is a grand finale that you don't want to miss. I will be getting the sequel.
The narrator is excellent
CHEAT OR BE CHEATED.
"Spartacus retold mixed with Red Faction"
Many good reviews drew my attention to this book, it didn't really sound like my thing to be honest but because of the reviews I thought I'll give it a go.
I wondered were it was going at the beginning and it wasn't griping me, but out of nowhere it did! I grabbed by the throat and wouldn't let go.
once it started it didn't stop the was never a slow moment in the book. the story may not have been the most original but the way it was told and the characters were. I think it was a new take on the story of Spartacus.
I thought it was brilliant and if you are stuck for a new book to listen to I would recommend Red Rising.
"Can't put it down"
One hell of a story can't wait for the next part . five stars from the start to the end.
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