Review: Red Rising by Pierce Brown


Title: Red Rising

Author: Pierce Brown

Publisher: Del Rey (Random H0use)

My rating: 4.25/5

Goodreads rating: 4.23/5

Genre: Science Fiction, YA

Summary (Goodreads):

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 already 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 am so happy I read this book! Though it wasn’t perfect, it was a great start to a trilogy. It was rather grittier than I thought it was going to be but it was refreashing actually. Though it was a YA I can tell it wasn’t sugar coated and that rawness was appreciated. There wasn’t loads of plot twists but there were some curve balls that keeps the plot entertaining.


After Darrow loses his wife under the unjust system system of oppression of his people, he finds himself with a new ember inside of him. He wants justice and he will risk anything to make his wife’s dream a reality- even his own identity.

Now this plot was very slow at the start and at times it plot was sometimes confusing- maybe that was just me, but I think that information was told once and after that time it was never mentioned again which led to the confusion of what was happening- which made me put down the book quite often at the start. But when I get to the meat of the story-and you will know when you got there- I completely loved the story! It was really amazing and so captivating! It had some essence of the Hunger Games definietly but it never felt like it was coppying it. As I said before, there are some curve balls thrown in here and there and that was good. There didn’t have to be big OMG plot twist moments. I think the ending was a tiny bit anti-climatic to be honest and might of felt a tiny bit rushed…I don’t know but it didn’t sit very comfortably with me a bit. I am still pumped up about the next book though as this book did end with a cliffhanger.


The writing was really great in this book! I think the vocabulary is not necessarily technical but, as I said before, the technical words are only really explained once, so sometimes I just forgot what a word meant. Or even the sci-fi jargon words were lost on me. Maybe I’m just little slow on things like this, but even the colours and what they do are only mentioned once. I think some secondary clarification wouldn’t of hurt anyone. The wold-building was pretty great as well! Along with all of the lovely, lengthy descriptions, I got very vivid pictures in my mind while reading. Nothing was very jarring and it was only the start which wasn’t very interesting compared to the rest of the novel. Also, I love how there was humor embedded into the writing as well! I giggled authentically a lot through reading Red Rising.

“You do not follow me because I am the strongest. Pax is. You do not follow me because I am the brightest. Mustang is. You follow me because you do not know where you are going. I do.”


The characters in this book were so good! I loved how they were all flawed and raw. I sometimes completely forgot that these teens were suppose to be the perfect golds in all of their grandeur. They just felt and read like normal people. Darrow was such a brilliant protagonist, I couldn’t of asked for more. I don’t have any doubts, qualms or cons towards his character. He was literally perfect. This doesn’t mean that he was a ‘Mary Sue’ but he was perfect because he wasn’t perfect. He made mistakes, he didn’t always win and he was very manipulative in some instances. But he was so logical and he kept his wits about him.

I loved other side characters as well like Sevro and Mustang and I hope we see more of them in the next book. They were both really interesting characters and I would love to know more of their backstory. I am a sucker for teen boys with a cold heart so Jackal is on my radar.

What I liked:

  • The writing was absolutely superb!
  • Darrow was the most awesome protagonist ever.
  • The book had some nice bits of humor in it

What I disliked:

  • The start was slow
  • Some secondary clarification would of been appreciated
  • The ending was anti-climatic

Verdict: Red Rising was such an excellent book and I loved it. I fell in love with the world because of the great world-building and the main protagonist was one of the best I’ve ever read. There were a few drawbacks which sadly affected my reading experience negatively, but I’m hoping that I was all out adore the next book. I totally recommend this one!







12 thoughts on “Review: Red Rising by Pierce Brown

  1. DrAwkto says:

    It’s great you love Red Rising. I really like it too. And Morning Star was released this month!
    I remember there was a huge annoying rant/controversial issue with Red Rising and Red Queen. Since you read both novels, did you see any real comparison between the two novels?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kat Impossible says:

    Oh my! YOU NEED TO READ GOLDEN SON NOW! (but don’t read it unless you already own Morning Star and can tear into it right after it!)
    I remember the start being slow as well and a lot of information being thrown your way. It wasn’t easy to keep it all straight in my head, but that was mostly due to the complicated names and places. The system I found pretty easy to comprehend.
    Pierce is already working on his next series and I AM SO EXCITED!

    Liked by 1 person

    • A Stranger's Guide to Novels says:

      I love how excited you are! I’m going to start Golden Sun next week as Pierce Brown is going to do a book signing next week, so I’ll be able to pick up Morning Star straight away! By the end, I think I understand the system and world and I love it!
      He’s writing another series! I’m off to check that out now 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kat Impossible says:

        I got my copy of Morning Star today and I legit spent just an hour staring at it and hugging it. I AM MASSIVELY JEALOUS THAT YOU GET TO MEET PIERCE! I just saw a picture of Jesse from Books at Dawn with him and I am so sad that I am nowhere near one of his signings … but HAVE FUN! And tell me all about it afterwards 😀
        His new series is called Iron Gold and I think it’s in the same universe as this one.

        Liked by 1 person

      • A Stranger's Guide to Novels says:

        You’ve already got Morning Star! I forget that it has already been released, I haven’t saw a lot of it on the blogs I follow- which I guess is a good thing so I don’t get spoiled!
        I am so excited to meet him! I’ll be sure to take as many pictures as I can and I’ll make a post about it 🙂
        Yeah I checked the synopsis and it seems like it.

        Liked by 1 person

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