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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    26,642
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    6,252
  • 3 Stars
    1,425
  • 2 Stars
    420
  • 1 Stars
    293

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    26,088
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    5,139
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    1,051
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    208
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Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • 3 Stars
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  • 2 Stars
    448
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    313
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wow, what a performance and what a story

I don't remember the last time I stayed up all night to read a book, but this one had too much intensity too much momentum to put down. I just had to finish. Darrow's story is rich with memorable characters and emotion and had plenty of suspense. It's one that I'll remember for a long time. I can't wait for the second novel.
Tim Gerard Reynolds makes it come alive. his accent brings the story a perfect edge and he does the wide variety of characters justice.
A must read.

63 of 67 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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excellent

20K+ ratings are believable - it's a great book.
All the reviews prior do a better job at explaining, so mine will be simple...
Logical, smart and creative world building.
Likeable characters. Good and credible twists and turns (for the vast majority of the time).
Excellent book.

56 of 60 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Go ahead and download the next two as well

Any additional comments?

What a tremendous series. This was one of my favorite listens in a long time. The first book starts off a little bit slow, but picks up the pace quickly and maintains it all the way through the end of the trilogy.

One of the biggest draws of this book, for me, was how deep and rich the character development was. Each character is so multidimensional. And the complexities of the characters' personalities are reflected very well in the dialogue and the plot.

The narration was one of the best I've heard. I loved hearing TGR's representation of Darrow mature with the character over the course of the trilogy.

I highly recommend this book. And the next two as well!

33 of 36 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

HUMANS ARE ALWAY NEGOTIATING,

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.

PRICK LICK
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.

174 of 202 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • Chesapeake, VA, United States
  • 03-15-14

Dark, moving, action packed

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.

102 of 121 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

These books will define this decade of writing.

The way these books captured my heart caught me completely off guard. I am not a Sci-Fi fanboy. I thought after the 1st few chapters that I knew how the whole book would play out. I was wrong. I am so elated with these books that I am crying. The only bad thing I cannot stop thinking about is that I heard they are going to make this book into a movie. A movie will in no way capture the heart of this book. A movie will ruin it. A TV series will be needed. Zero doubt in my mind.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Hunger Games for adults

I have seen this book compared to the Hunger Games, but don't be fooled. This book is way, way better. It

pulls no punches and the author has no problem killing off characters if it helps to move the story along.

I believe it is marketed as a young adult book, but I would think it is definitely not for the younger age

range of this spectrum.

The story itself has a slow start, but once it gets into its stide it is really excellent. Lots of twists

and turns and plenty of action.
The ending may seem obvious from a ways off, but the journey geting there is certainly worth it.

One of the best parts of this book is the narration by Tim Gerard Reynolds. It is simply fantastic.

By the way, Disregard the comment of one of the reviewers, Tim Gerard Reynolds is irish, and just because he lives in LA, doesn't mean he was born there.

I've already bought the sequel which is probably the best indicator of how good this title is.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Good listen

This is the way I like to hear a hero be intelligent, honorable, and understanding when maximum violence is necessary not pouting when it's time to act.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Joki
  • Helsinki
  • 02-01-15

Great Story!

This is one of those books that you wait entire year hoping to find - solidly written, great storyline, intricate characterizations, and without the need to suspend disbelief at poor world building. Once I started reading, I couldn't stop as the story unfolded and surprised me at so many turns.

cover31841-medium
The synopsis - a boy in the lower echelons of a society, born into slave labor in the RED mining quarters underground in Mars, will find his life irrevocably changed when a small civil disobedience spirals into unforeseeable events. And one woman will choose a path for him through her own strength and sacrifice. To give any more of the plot would be to spoil the surprises to come.

This book was, to me, pure space opera. And this is just the first novel in a series with huge potential - I simply cannot wait to see where the author will take the characters in the next novel since it promises to be a huge change as well.

If I had to sum up the feel of the story - it would be a melange of the philosophy of Gattaca, action and conflict of Hunger Games, and grungy setting of Total Recall. As well, there is definitely the underlying earnestness that you find in a Homer Hickman book. Of course, creating analogies can make the book sound derivative - which I never felt while reading it. Somehow, all those influences converged into a book with characters that are flawed, real, and very interesting. Especially, the women aren't nuns/whores prototypes in so many books like this - they are full fleshed characters as well.

This really is one of those books that comes rarely - wholly satisfying science fiction type dystopia with an engaging and surprising storyline that is easy to read and not bogged down by descriptions or the science in the fiction.

Highly recommended.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fantastic...

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. Already have. This book has everything a fantasy/sci-fi/dystopian lover could ever want.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Red Rising?

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...

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

A red son rises.

Any additional comments?

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.

57 of 71 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Gary
  • 03-16-14

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.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Fannar
  • 05-04-18

just incredible!

I was listening to this book at 3am when I should have been sleeping instead.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Gaybriel
  • 12-01-17

One of the best stories I’ve ever read(heard)

This is one of the most compelling stories I’ve ever read(heard). Brown skilfully paints a living organism with “The Society” and the story of Darrow is compelling with twists right through to the very end.
Reynolds gives an amazing performance throughout bringing each character to life with their own individuality.
A MUST read for any science fiction fan.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Garreth
  • 07-26-17

hunger games x10

This has been one of the most enjoyable books ever ! I absolutely loved the story, which had so many memorable moments. strongly recommended !

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Iron Duke
  • 01-07-16

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.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Justin Coyne
  • 04-13-16

Very good book

Would you listen to Red Rising again? Why?

No, but I generally just listen to books once. There are just too many good ones to get through 😏

Who was your favorite character and why?

Easy , has to be Darrow. Very likeable character that you are always rooting for and hoping that he doesn't get consumed by his anger

Which character – as performed by Tim Gerard Reynolds – was your favourite?

Fitchner - makes you laugh the way he does the character.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Make gold bleed red

Any additional comments?

If you like the hunger games this one is for you. It's more sci fi in a good way. I'm reading the next book already...

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Hannah Hannant
  • 12-03-18

Outstanding narration of an intriguing story

While not your typical dystopian novel, Pierce Brown does a fantastic job of bringing you into this story. The heavy Sci fi elements only add to the story and make you want to learn more about the way of life for these characters. The story is brought to life through the narration of Tim Gerard Reynolds who puts in a stellar performance. His ability to give unique personalities to each character engages the listener and enables you to fall deeper into the listen.

I would highly recommend this audio book for someone looking to get lost in a story. The entire series will capture you and bring you along as the characters grow and you learn more and more about how this society functions.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tom
  • 10-31-18

Bold, brutal and brilliant!

I must admit I hesitated on buying this book as I worried it was a pale imitation of the Hunger Games trilogy. I couldn’t have been more wrong! It gripped me from the start with engaging characters in a dark and divided world. It’s a fast paced journey through a place where anyone can be the enemy and no one can be truly trusted. Highly recommended!

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 10-20-18

Not that interesting

The book is well written, but honestly feels too boring. There's not much character development and the protagonist acts like a 12 year old even though he's 16.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jake
  • 10-10-18

My fav book

Love the intracate wit and schemes that Darrow has to come up with to become the best

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  • The Lazy Book Reviewer
  • 05-17-15

Pure Perfection

I have had the pleasure of reading some very good books lately. But it has been a long time since a story utterly enveloped like Red Rising did. I found myself completely drawn into the story as the world around me evaporated just like in the scene from the Never-ending Story (that shows my age).

So what is it about this book that elevated it above all the other excellent books I have read recently. For me it was the completeness of the book. From the character development to the world it was set in. The author winds the narrative through it all and as he does the world becomes more and more real.

Red Rising tells a tale that's very essence is as old as time. It is how this tale is delivered that makes this book stand out in the crowd. Halfway through the read I was already planning how I could get my hand on the next book in the series. I have not done this for a long time and that indicated to me just how fantastic a read it was. The narraor adds another level to this book as well delivering one the best audible experiences I have had to date.

So my hat goes off to Pierce Brown for this truly masterful piece of writing. I recommend this book to all that are interested in being thoroughly entertained.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Gareth J. Davies
  • 03-11-15

Very enjoyable with some quibbles

I found the story well told and interesting. I found the character grew as the story developed. There was something close to real emotion in the book at times. Though the book has its flaws it worked for me and I will read (well listen) the next book ASAP.

However it is a little annoying how one character person can be so great, so brilliant. It is a common trait in fantasy for a character to be so excellent and essentially make decisions with such unerring accuracy that they can come up with the goods despite any set backs. A little less perfection may have made it a bit more realistic. I think he could put more into the secondary characters who some times seem a bit slim (though generally okay).

Gareth

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 05-06-18

battle royal lord of the flies<br />

A respun Lord of the Flies meets Battle Royal in a sci-fi Martian setting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 11-16-18

Hunger Games on Mars

The narrator of this novel was great! It was a pleasure to listen to him, his delivery was fantastic.


Now, as for the plot: It really wasn't anything ground-breaking, but it was an easy read and had great pacing.

The protagonist is a Mary Sue with little personality, but the dynamic he had with other characters was entertaining enough.
Pretty much all story elements have been explored in several well known novels and franchises before, but they came together pretty nicely in the end.
In some parts, the world building was a little lacklustre in my opinion, I would have liked to see more concepts explained and explored.
As such, plot holes and logical inconsistencies were ample, but I'm not sure if that's due to author oversight or exploration of these plot holes in later books of the franchise.

So, if you're after something easy, yet suspenseful, Red Rising is a great choice - just don't think too hard about it.

(Also, don't read this book if you're sensitive to blood / gore / brutality. Red Rising doesn't necessarily go overboard, but it doesn't exactly hold back either)

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 10-21-18

great book. twist on the hunger games.

The storyline was original, I really liked the characters. and the narrator was great. Well worth the listen.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Josiah
  • 10-01-18

The Reaper Swings

My love, my love
Remember the cries
When winter died for spring skies
They roared and roared
But we grabbed our seed
And sowed a song
Against their greed

And
Down in the vale
Hear the reaper swing, the reaper swing
the reaper swing
Down in the vale
Hear the reaper sing
A tale of winter done

My son, my son
Remember the chains
When gold ruled with iron reins
We roared and roared
And twisted and screamed
For ours, a vale
of better dreams

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Patrick
  • 09-15-18

Non-stop action but this story has been told

This book has a great pace if you want an exciting, easy read. The story of a futuristic society, divided by a class system in which our hero must rise to overthrown the dictatorship has been told before but still a very enjoyable read.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Hannah
  • 08-22-18

Very satisfying

Very well written and performed, Red Rising is thoroughly entertaining and engaging throughout. The detail and intricacy of the caste system is fascinating and very well explored.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 08-11-18

AMAZING!!!

this book makes the hunger games looks like a tea party and I love it for it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-21-18

Truly Wonderful audio production

I enjoyed every aspect of this story.
The narrator was truly excellent.
The many twists & plot changes made if had to turn the story off.
Probably the best audio book I have listened to so far.