Red Rising, by Pierce Brown, is the first book in the Red Rising trilogy and I thought it was absolutely fantastic. Imagine a combination of Hunger Games meets Divergent meets ancient Rome and you have just an inkling of the awesome writing style that Brown employs. Red Rising is the story of Darrow, a red that makes his living mining the planet of Mars to make it suitable for humanity to one day reside on the planet. Day in and day out he toils as a helldiver, the most dangerous of jobs, trying to earn a living for his family. One day, tragedy strikes and everything that Darrow holds dear is ripped away from him. While he wants nothing more than to die, fate intervenes and he is tasked with an assignment, to infiltrate the ruling Gold society in order to one day break the chains that holds society in place. As Darrow is reborn and ultimately sent to an elite academy, he will need more than just good looks to survive, he will need to be as tough as gold and as brave as a helldiver for Red to rise.
What I appreciated the most about this book was the ease in which the story flowed. I am the type of reader that almost always loves an origin story. Red Rising delivered a great origin story and gave us a hero that had flaws and as such is easy to relate to. We can all be Darrow in a way, forced to live beneath a mask to survive. We can all also learn something from Darrow, a lesson that vilifying an entire ‘sect’ of people is easy from a distance, but often once you get to know the individuals within that group of people, you realize that not everyone is bad.
Red Rising is a book I found nearly impossible to place down and I can guarantee that once you pick this book up, you will find the same. The story is fast paced, action packed, and also causes you to think. If you enjoy the dystopian genre and found that Hunger Games and other books like that were intriguing, the same will prove true for Red Rising. I am giving this book 5/5 gold stars for an amazing book that I could not place down, I even read it over lunch breaks! Read this book, you will not be disappointed.