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
Lawyer. Musician. Geek.
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.
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.
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 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.
Lies and manipulation by those in power has been taken to a new level in this futuristic interstellar society. Low reds who work the mines well below the surface of Mars are ruthlessly exploited under the illusion that the fruit of there labor will be a terraformed planet where their descendants will be able to live prosperous lives. The truth is the surface of the planet is already quite habitable and occupied by high reds (servants) and other colors that serve the ruling class of golds who have harnessed science to augment their physical prowess.
We do not spend too much time in this drab depressing environment. Just long enough to meet Darrow who is a helldiver mining helium-3. It is one of the more dangerous jobs requiring skills that will be useful to a revolutionary group intent on upsetting the golds vice like grip on the rest of humanity. They are called the sons of ares.
Darrow's wife is hung for a political infraction and he gets an appointment with the hangman next for cutting her body down and burying it rather then leaving it to be exhibited as an example. But, the sons of ares have other plans for him. And Darrow now has a lot of motivation.
Darrow is sculpted (bio engineered) to appear to be a gold. The sons of ares plan is to overthrow the power structure by infiltrating the highest level of command with one of their own. In order to get noticed he must do well at the academy. This is not an easy task. The golds felt that previous empires always fell because the powerful let themselves get soft. So the academy is a ruthless environment where it is sometimes kill or be killed. There are 12 armies and the leader and army that can conquer the rest are most likely to have the best careers in the real world.
If you liked the hunger games trilogy you will love this three book adventure. It is not a cheap imitation. If anything, this is a more richly drawn society. I usually wait before diving into the second book of a series, but this was so good there was only a few hours before the first book ended and the second book was started.
A movie deal has been done, so if you are one of those who likes to read the book before the film comes out - get this book now.
But I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - J.D. Salinger ^(;,;)^
My kids devour a lot of YA fiction. I read this to see if it would be something they would like, to scout the ground ahead. It is quick and fast. Seems to resemble the whole Harry Potter (school), Ender's Game (school/space opera), book:The Hunger Games|2767052] (kids fighting to the death dystopia), with just a dash of The Maze Runner and Divergent thrown in for sport. My kids will adore it. They are young enough to get past some of the clichés and SF short-cuts. But of course, they are only 13 & 14.
As far as BIG SF, I'm not quite convinced. It seems a bit too contrived, too packaged, too made for Hollywood optioning (write every book as if it is a blockbuster and make it a series for sure). I'm not quite sure if it will stand up, long-term, to the big ONES. I'm not sure if I need to make room on my top SF shelf next to Dune orThe Foundation Trilogy. But I will keep reading the series. I will give it tot the kids. It was fun. It was cotton candy.
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.
"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!
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.
"Ender Wiggin meets Paul Atreides & Katniss"
Firstly, I did enjoy this story. It is well written and the dialogue worked for me with a couple of pivot points where the narrative could turn one way or another. That said, there's an awful lot of Ender on Mars here (Ender even gets a hat-tip in a line of dialogue) with a good chunk of Paul Atreides and some obvious allusions to Katniss' story. So much so, that it really began to annoy me in the middle section of the book.
The narrator is decent and clear but having the poor underclass speaking with Oirish accents and the cruel elite in mock RP is crass and hackneyed. There's a lot of dialogue and thankfully, the narrator doesn't quite sustain the level of shrieking he delivers in the first third.
"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.
"Tell a Book by it's Cover?"
Yes, I admit it - I was drawn to this book by the beautiful and very striking cover. Rather shallow, perhaps, but in this case the visuals did not fail as the contents were exactly that: a remarkable and vividly told story beautifully written. The rise of Darrow, a Red, one of an enslaved class of peoples, into one of the Gold, the elites, is at times harrowing and does not always show our hero in a favourable light. Which is why this book is so successful. It is human nature pushed to extremes, of love, of hate and the need to survive not just for oneself but for an ideal, even when that ideal is sometimes elusive.
The narrator, T.G.Reynolds performs an epic interpretation, also. For the first few minutes I found his voice uncomfortable to hear but it very quickly translated into THE voice, Darrow's voice and added immensely to the pleasure. He even manages to sing sweetly, briefly, a song forbidden, too gentle to be called an anthem of rebellion yet this is what it is. And this, too, summarises the book for me. It is a tale of violence in an extreme world but told without recourse to prolonged description of gore and body hacking, though some of this occurred, of course. A story of trying to right wrongs but, in the doing, committing these same cruelties oneself. And confusion over the how's, the where's and even, sometimes, even the why's of life.
A rattling good read, and an excellent narration all wrapped up in a pretty package to leave the reader thinking and wanting more. All there just by opening the eye catching cover.
Though the narration was brilliant, I didn't like the change from sci-fi to dystopia and I found myself uninterested in the characters and the plot.
DNF at 70%.
Greatest book yet,,, marathon listen couldn't put it down
Was sitting in my wish list for months :. Didn't realise it was a diamond
Really enjoyed it, characters, storyline and the guy reading it. Sort of predictable in places but that makes for a nice easy listen 😊
"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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