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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

Featured Article: The Best Fantasy Audiobooks to Take You Out of This World


Few audiobooks provide as much of an escape as those in the fantasy genre. Each of the best introduces us to an entirely new world (or a new version of this one), a diverse cast of complexly constructed characters, and a story so mesmerizing we’re reluctant to return to real life. But because the genre is so full of talent, it can be difficult to know what to listen to next. Look no further than this list of the best fantasy audiobooks to get you started.

What listeners say about Red Rising

Average Customer Ratings
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Grim Reaping

Seems like every other book I listen to is so highly derivative that my opinion hinges almost solely on whether it is a worthwhile step forward or a redundant rehash. Red Rising, after a promising start, slowly but inexorably proved itself to be a cynical exercise in cashing in on the popularity of The Hunger Games.

RR: hero is from the mines, HG: heroine is from the mines. RR: 12 tribes, HG: 12 districts. RR: kids go through a "draft" before being sent to a carefully designed course to compete in games against each other, with help from proctors, while being watched from afar by the privileged class. HG: ditto, ditto, ditto, except that they called them mentors instead of proctors and they call it a reaping instead of a draft. RR: young girl sings a song of rebellion before dying. HG: young girl sings a song before dying that becomes the theme of rebellion. RR has the Reaper, HG has the reaping.

This is not inadvertent similarity. This is either willful ignorance (especially on the part of the editor, who should have known better) or outright plagiarism. If you're going to do this, you have to add something. Especially in characterization, especially to the main character.

In that respect, Red Rising is retrograde. Katniss (like Harry Potter and Tris from Divergent) is never that sure of herself, is the last to recognize her power, is always the reluctant hero. Darrow/Reaper, from the very first scene, is the best ever, and he knows it. And yet as brilliant as he will tell you he is, he falls for four, five traps in a row, getting many of his friends killed in the process. And when faced with a choice between doing the right thing or getting revenge, the always self-righteous Darrow inevitable chooses bloody revenge.

Jeez, if you're going to rip off a beloved story, don't reverse all of its best qualities. To which you can add the central conceit of Red Rising: social, political and economic inequality is embodied in a facile color-coding system. Hunger Games presents the same issues in a far more nuanced way (even down to the subtleties of fashion and mannerism) without resorting to obvious gimmickry.

Other bones to pick: the level of violence is off the charts for a supposedly YA entry, and the internal logic of this world fails early and often, especially the technology. I for one will not be moving on to the ensuing episodes in this trilogy.

204 people found this helpful

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I don't understand the hype. Very obnoxious book.

The best way I can describe the plot is that it just felt childish. The main character is supremely intelligent to borderline supernatural levels and able to think six steps ahead of his enemies whenever the plot demands it, and then unfathomably stupid and repeatedly walking into obvious traps whenever the plot demands that.

I almost stopped listening by the third time that happened.

We are also just expected to believe that the main character is a prodigy at everything, he is perfectly skilled in combat and all things physical, despite minimal training compared to those who trained their whole lives.

I would have loved this book when I was 14 maybe, but I really don't understand where all the praise for this book comes from by adults.

68 people found this helpful

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Brutal and Violent

I tried for almost a year to listen to this book but gave up with only two hours to go. I could not enjoy or like this book, it is a bitter nasty book about vengeance in a dystopian society. There is forced natural selection and culling among students. “He didn’t score like I did on the tests, so he was a sacrificial lamb. 100 students and the bottom 50 are only here to be killed by the top fifty... I know they made me do it … what other choice was there? I do not understand how this series could have received so many positive reviews but I will return my book.

18 people found this helpful

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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.

126 people found this helpful

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this is awful

took hours to get just okay, but then went back to awful. don't buy it.

15 people found this helpful

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An Ayn Rand wet dream

Wow. Just wow. It’s rare to see a book so far up its own main characters ass. He is the chosen one. For the people. But is the best ever. He uses potions of intelligence that for some reasons no one else does. And it’s all his cleverness that’s brings him to victory... except for being saved by deus ex machine CONSTANTLY. stay away from this.

14 people found this helpful

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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!

74 people found this helpful

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I couldn't get past chapter 3

Slow, monotone story that just didn't make me want to listen . Gave up by chapter 3 and returned the book.

7 people found this helpful

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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.

39 people found this helpful

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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.

81 people found this helpful

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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.

15 people found this helpful

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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.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • 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 !

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • 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...

4 people found this helpful

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  • 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 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • 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.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-30-21

Hunger Games on Mars

Not normally into YA stuff but I did enjoy this a lot. Its Hunger Games in space except it doesn't have anyone anywhere near as irritating as Katnis.

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  • thedaffodilfish
  • 03-22-21

Took me a while to get into it but well worth it!

Took me a while to get used to/into the flow of the narrator but TGR does a great job and imparts a lot of soul and character into his reading. I enjoyed the story and look forward to part 2.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-16-21

Bloody dam good

Absolutely bloody mint, hooked from start to finish. Can't wait to listen to the rest of the series.

Best narration I have heard on audible.

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  • S MANSER
  • 03-13-21

Best audiobook I've heard.

As a so-called 'Young Adult' book, the story and plot ripped along at a cracking pace. Characters and story had me hooked. But oh my. Tim's performance is amazing. Every character has a different voice, with his women sounding distinctive and not silly. The way he added audio play style narrative and effects (coughing, talking whilst cold, mimicking other effects) was incredible. It felt like I was watching a multi million dollar movie in my head. I wasn't 100% sure for first 30 mins, but then boom. I was immersed in the world Tim brought to life.

Very much recommended.

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  • 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

12 people found this helpful

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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.

17 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kevin
  • 09-21-19

Prime Gold

I didn't think I was going to get along with this book at first but I soon got absorbed into the story and ended up thoroughly enjoying it.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Matthew
  • 09-02-19

A modern day Illiad

For lovers of the greats, look no further.
Once you start you won't want to put it down.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Stuart Prince
  • 08-15-19

Bloody Damn Amazing

I nearly lost patience with the bleak beginnings, but so glad I didn't.

Where Dune meets Lord of the Flies on Mars.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Robert W. White
  • 06-06-19

A better hunger games

give this a shot if you liked Hunger Games. i didnt like HG but really enjoyed this.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • 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)

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • the Chandlers
  • 09-14-19

Hard to "put down"

Given it's an audio book hard to "put down" doesn't sound quite right! Definitely clever to offer the first book free. Interesting story and characters you actually care about who have some depth to them .I've bought the next in the series already

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amanda Hadley
  • 06-14-19

Sci-fi Hunger games

very quickly grips you and doesnt let go until the last word. highly recommend it.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-16-19

Wowsers! Amazing!

I loved this book. The story, the characters, the performance. Couldn't recommend it more. A fantastic start to a brilliant trilogy .... It's Game Of Thrones / Hunger Games / in space

10/10

2 people found this helpful