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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

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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    19,118
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    4,911
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    1,070
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    339
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    228

Performance

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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  • 2 Stars
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Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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    17,520
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  • 3 Stars
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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.

135 of 146 people found this review 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.

11 of 12 people found this review 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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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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.

96 of 115 people found this review 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. <br/><br/>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. <br/><br/>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. <br/><br/>I highly recommend this book. And the next two as well!

8 of 9 people found this review 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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Perfection!!!

I have over 300 books in my Audible library and this is the only book I've listen to twice. I look forward for the next books

49 of 62 people found this review helpful

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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.

49 of 63 people found this review helpful

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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<br/>

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 2 people found this review helpful

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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.

2 of 2 people found this review 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.

4 of 6 people found this review 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.

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  • Mr
  • 09-24-17

fantastic book

outstanding book great start to the series, excellent narration. I'm looking forward to book 2.

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  • R. Mead
  • 09-18-17

A brilliant twisted glory of a book.

You will want more and at the same time wish it would end. Its relentless and brutal.

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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 !

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  • J. Barker
  • 06-07-17

Outstanding read, so glad it's a series!

Amazing story, starts with one story and evolves naturally into another, unexpected and very well written. Excellent performance and am downloading book 2 immediately!

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  • RedMonkey80
  • 05-13-17

Exceptional story telling for any genre

The voice performance is flawless capturing the soul of the book. A grand epic of history and sci-fi combine into a fantastic book the first sci-fi I have listened to but will definitely not be the last (I will be going straight on to the second book!). Pace is perfect world building is subtle and not intrusive to the story. Battle royale meets Greek and Roman gladiators in a rise from the mines to pinnacle of society.

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  • edward
  • 03-19-17

One of the best books I have listened to in years.

Great narration, a really compelling story with Orwellian and Huxleyesque themes. I couldn't stop listening!

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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.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Carol Gee
  • 11-23-17

Conflict

If you enjoy books about honour and bloodshed this book delivers both continuously. The distopian society that is the setting for this book is neither interesting or any way a mirror to compare life in today’s world to this. The protagonist is likeable if you can understand his core beliefs.

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  • andrew
  • 11-02-17

Thoroughly enjoyable

Great book! Great characters! For lovers of the Mockingjay you will get a huge kick out of the 'Reaper'. He takes no prisoners!!!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-30-17

Very Captivating!!

It took two chapters to get into the story but once in it was near impossible to stop listening! There were no lulls it was gripping all the way to the end the author is a master of the mind game the twists and turns where unpredictable and masterfully done! Looking forward to the next installment!!

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  • Tom
  • 09-27-17

An amazing experience. Truly a great work.

&quot;Red Rising&quot; Truly exceeded my expectations. I got this on a recommendation from a friend and have not regretted my decision. This book is a well paced, intelligent and entertaining experience. Time Gerard Reynolds brings the characters and their actions to life with his stellar performance. Well worth it.

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  • Lee
  • 09-25-17

Wow

This book was a little slow to start, but damn did it get good. I'm at over 300 books now and this is in the top 20.

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  • Mike
  • 09-23-17

A good read

Very much like hunger games. Yes it is cliche but still a great story. Some very epic parts. Reynolds reads well enough. can't wait to read the next two books.

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  • Alia
  • 09-15-17

Flawless. Couldn't get enough.

Brilliant! Hunger games, the running man and the best of good sci fi combined. I hope it's the beginning of a trilogy!

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  • Simone
  • 09-09-17

I didn't know what to expect but Wow!

What did you like most about Red Rising?

This book was so good that I immediately went bought the next 2. I have no regrets and am very glad I listened to the first hour and a half in by my self and not around others.

What did you like best about this story?

I like how the protagonists plans don't always work out. Pierce Brown does it really well, the changing and sometimes complete stopping of a plan is never forced and it builds up the story creating a very realistic feeling. I thoroughly enjoyed this as I've found that this can very difficult to do.

What does Tim Gerard Reynolds bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Tim Reynolds brings this story to life, he was the perfect choice.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This made me cry in places and cringe in sympathy in others. It is a deeply engaging and thrilling novel.