Review | Red Rising – Pierce Brown


Paperback (Hodder & Stoughton, 382 pages)

First published 2014; this edition published 2014

(Courtesy of Bookbridgr)

Rating on Goodreads: 2 stars

“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.”


I couldn’t finish this. 100 pages in, and I was bored. I was so hoping that I would enjoy this, given that there are so many 4 or 5 star ratings on Goodreads and Amazon. But I could not get into the story. I found that I didn’t care about Darrow, about Eo. I skipped several pages, hoping that as I got past the info-dumping the story would pick up the pace.

It didn’t. Not for me, anyway. I’ve no doubt that Pierce Brown has written a decent dystopian story – but perhaps my tastes are changing. Maybe I’m not as into dystopia as I used to be. But after being bored out of my mind, it just looks like another ‘martyr for the opposing force’ story. And I really didn’t want that.

If you like dystopia, you might like this. Otherwise, steer clear.


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