Monday, March 27, 2017

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Series: Red Rising #1
382 p.
Published: Jan, 28, 14
Publisher: Del Ray
Source: TBR pile
"I live for the dream that my children will be born free," she says. "That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them." 
"I live for you," I say sadly. 
Eo kisses my cheek. "Then you must live for more." 
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.

My thoughts:

Like a lot of dystopians, in some ways this felt as if it could be a warning in how we treat each other. Also it shows how perception creates our reality. As we separate ourselves from each other we also find that it makes it easier to diminish and see people as "other" which makes it easier to discriminate. In this world, this caste society signified by colors which had been generations in the making with part of the population not even knowing anything outside their own society. Darrow, our hero, who is a low red is basically the slave in the world is given an opportunity to have his blinders removed and live the life of a privileged color. He learns that things aren't as black/white as it sometimes seen and that there are things to be fixed on all levels of society.  He finds that all levels of society have their good and bad parts but his ultimate goal does not wavier since his people do not even know they are slaves.

The book starts with several sacrifices to give Darrow that chance at another life, at being a hero. This sets up his hero journey which then falls into another part of society that is also rarely seen by others for another reason. While he makes his way through this world in a brutal way, he finds out what it really means to be a leader and begins to wonder if his goal should expand to the other colors which separate this world.

This is such an interesting take on what is going on in this world and you wonder if Darrow will continue to be consistent in his goal, if it changes, or if he falls to the lure of luxury and power. You also want to know if you can trust anyone in this world... or if ANYONE can trust anyone else. It is a complicated world which can throw readers not quite used to sci-fi or fantasy but if you stick with it you will find yourself immersed and curious about how everything will turn out. I give this book 4 1/2 stars and you can safely say that I do want that next book in my hands soon. 😁
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51 comments:

  1. I liked the this one, and I am hoping his new series will be good too

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  2. I keep hearing such great things about this series. I really need to try it. I've been in the mood for dystopians lately. I've even heard that the audio is amazing. My TBR list grows faster than it dwindles. LOL

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

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    1. Hm... maybe I may have to try the rest on audio... :)

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    2. Melanie - if you get the audio, let me know!

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  3. I have mostly stayed away from dystopians due to burn out but this one sounds pretty good to me.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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    1. Well, it is a sci-fi dystopian. Perhaps it will be different enough. :)

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  4. This is one of my favorite series. I read them all and I am anxiously awaiting the authors newest series which is on the same world. I am a HUGE Darrow fan! Great review and I'm so glad you liked it!
    Rebecca @ The Portsmouth Review
    Follow me on Bloglovin'

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    1. Oh I didn't know it is an offshoot. Now I'm VERY curious. :)

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  5. I find Dystopians to have some pretty clear messages, too. I haven't read this one yet, but it sounds deliciously complex. Great review, Melissa.

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  6. Hooray! Glad to see you loved it. Darrow certainly goes through a hell of a lot of growing throughout the trilogy.

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  7. This has been on my TBR FOREVER. I have no idea why I haven't picked it up because everyone so enjoys this series. Glad you did too. Great review!

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    1. That is like me! I was given an ARC and just didn't crack it open until now.

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  8. *happy dance* Melissa I love this series and I am so excited you are reading them!

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    1. You are one of the reasons I picked this one up!

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  9. I've heard so many good things about this one. Since I love a good dystopian this is probably a no- brainer for me, and I like how it explores the way some people are painted as "other" all too easily. Nice review- thanks!

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  10. My son and brother in law DEVOURED this series - and are so excited to find out a fourth book is coming out next year. I didn't realize it was available on audio (thank you Melanie)... I may need to try it out.

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    1. Oh nice!! I may have to get my dad into this one. :D

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  11. I've had this on my TBR forever. Have to get to it!

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  12. This is one of my fave series of all time. I agree that it has a complicated world. I had a bit of a hard time getting into it but I was entirely absorbed a few chapters after part 1. Red Rising is amazing and it gets better in Golden Son and Morning Star. I hope you love them too!

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    1. Oh good to know. Will be getting those soon. I do think my library has them! :D

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  13. Darrow sounds like a cool character but i need a break from dystopians

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    1. Understand. But when you feel ready, this one is good to pick up.

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  14. I loved this book and the sequel is so good too! I haven't read the third book yet but I definitely need to get back to this series. Wonderful review, Melissa!!

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  15. I loved Red Rising but yet to read the sequel! I thought the way the author took the plot was quite unique..but it did give me Hunger Games vibes at times! Wonderful review Melissa :)

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    1. I totally get that. It did have that vibe but still felt very different.

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  16. Ah, this has been on my bookshelf for about two years already and I keep putting it off, even though I really want to read it and heard so many good things! Glad to hear you enjoyed this one, now I definitely want to get to it soon :)

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  17. I need to buckle up and read this, I heard book two is a different setting but just as exciting and with so many praises for book 2 and 1 me need this. Lovely review Melissa!

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    1. also, your excitement about this is addictive. The fact that it sounds like a fantasy/sci-fi is curious

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    2. Yep, I do know it will be a different setting (it is a complete book but makes you want more) and I think the fantasy/sci-fi genre really peaked my interest. :D Hope you enjoy!

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  18. I've seen so much good about this one. It's been on the tbr pile for a while now. One day maybe I'll get there. lol

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  19. I've heard great things about this series, so I'm thrilled that you loved this book as well! I hope the next two books are just as enjoyable for you :)

    Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

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    1. Me too! :D Although I think with everyone loving the next two books, I don't have to worry. :D

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  20. My husband read this trilogy last year and really enjoyed it! For some reason it just didn't appeal to me (even though he kept reading me parts and telling me how good it was LOL). I agree with your thoughts on dystopians - they can definitely be viewed as warnings or "look what could happen" scenarios!

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    1. I think this one can take a bit for some people to get into but for others will have no problems. I'm thinking it is the fantasy element (guessing) since that does tend to throw some people. Glad to hear he loved the other two!

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  21. This book/series is non-stop pulse-pounding action. I thought for sure my heart would give out while I was reading them. Lol.

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  22. This is a very insightful review, Melissa. I'm not sure mine was as insightful. ;) I do hope we read The Golden Son at close to the same time so it's fresh in our minds and we can discuss it. :) I like how you described this as a hero's journey because it absolutely is and it will be interesting to follow Darrow to see if he remains true to himself along the way. I also like what you said about how there are problems at every "level", there is no black and white. You've made me even more eager to continue the series, Melissa!! I'm glad you enjoyed Red Rising as much as I did. :)

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    1. Oh that would be fun, to do a dual discussion review or something... or just talk about it. LOL Thanks for the compliment. You are too sweet!

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  23. Red Rising is one of my all time favorite dystipia / sci-fi series, Melissa. I'm so happy you enjoyed this first instalment, and I look forward to seeing what you'll think of what's going on in the next books ;)
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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    1. Sweet! I do need to get those. I know my library has them. :D

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  24. This sounds fantastic Melissa! Sounds like the author has written this Dystopian with a unique twist! I'll be on the look out for it in the future.

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