Red Rising

The Earth is dying. Darrow is a Red, a miner in the interior of Mars. His mission is to extract enough precious elements to one day tame the surface of the planet and allow humans to live on it. The Reds are humanity’s last hope.

Or so it appears, until the day Darrow discovers it’s all a lie. That Mars has been habitable – and inhabited – for generations, by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. A class of people who look down on Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

Until the day that Darrow, with the help of a mysterious group of rebels, disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside. But the command school is a battlefield – and Darrow isn’t the only student with an agenda.

Blurb and picture from Goodreads

Red Rising

I’ll admit, when I first started this, I wasn’t overly excited. It was set out like every other dystopia book; the poor classes realise they’re being treated badly, so go to rebel against the system. By the end of the trilogy, everyone will be living happily ever after (with a few losses along the way).
Only, then he meets Dancer at the rebels. And they refused to follow our stereotypical dystopia pattern. Instead, they get Darrow to infiltrate the Gold’s school (the best of the best in the hierarchy). This school was like nothing I’d ever read before. It was ruthless and brutal, and there was so much going on inside it. There was no way of predicting what would happen next; I don’t think Darrow himself knew. There was a new twist every couple of chapters, and yes, there were times when I had to freak out and walk away from the book.
The world building was good too. With Dancer’s great idea, we got to see both what it was like to be a Red, and the opposite end of the spectrum. Interestingly, neither of them were happy. I loved that comparison. In the next book, I’d like to see more of the outside world. The school isn’t the same as what it’d be like to be an actual Gold. I think we saw enough of the Red’s lives for me to be content. We definitely got to see how much they suffered, and I sympathised with them so much.
We also had a pretty great cast of characters. Mostly, we got to know Darrow. He changed a lot going through the process of the school; as you’d expect, with what he had to do to even have a shot of getting an apprenticeship. Some of the other characters, we didn’t get to know as well. He was very wary of becoming too close to people, since they were his enemies. But I’m sure he had a little crush on Mustang. I know I did… She was pretty badass, and didn’t seem to be afraid of much. I loved Darrow’s love for Eo. We didn’t get to actually see much of her, but we got to see Darrow’s memories of her. Couples like those two are my favourite. We saw Cassius go mad (for a pretty good reason), and I loved seeing that descent. Actually, we saw quite a few characters go mad. Again, they’re in this brutal place to get a good future. Can you blame them?
The ending sort of blew my mind. I went through SO MUCH STRESS and SO MUCH PAIN. My mum was kinda worried about me I think, since I was sitting in my room yelling at my book. But what can I do? With an ending like that, I had to freak out somehow. I need the second book ASAP, so I can find out what the hell happens to Darrow after making that decision!

7 thoughts on “Red Rising

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  1. I enjoyed Red Rising, but after the hype I was a bit disappointed. Good action, but I thought it was a little slow in places and there were a lot of similarities to Hunger Games- corrupt government, reluctant rebel hero, people watching the fighting… Still pretty good though, and I’m looking forward to reading Golden Son.
    Great review.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hadn’t heard much of the hype before I read it, and I think that always makes a difference. I can see what you mean about the similarities though. The Golden Son is amazing too! πŸ™‚


  2. I’m pleased that you liked Red Rising! I personally loved it – perhaps one of my favourite reads this year – so it’s awesome that more people like it too!
    I actually agree with your comments regarding Eo. I know some of my friends didn’t like Darrow x Eo so much, but I really did! I don’t know, I think I’m a soft spot for those sort of romances. ^_^; I haven’t read the second book yet, but I hope you enjoy it when you read it! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m the same, even if it is cheesy, I can’t help but love those sorts of relationships πŸ™‚ I actually read the Golden Son not long after this, and it’s just as good! It’s a different kind of good, but I still love it πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It must be hard coming up with a ‘unique’ dystopian since there are so many of them right now! I liked the beginning of the book better than the school personally. It was a bit Hunger Games to me. (Granted middle ages war HG)

    I hate when characters die and I knew they would here so I was determined not to get attached, but I failed. I liked Mustang and Sevro the best. Darrow, he’s just kinda meh.

    Golden Son is even better! You think Red Rising’s book hangover was bad, just wait!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, exactly! It’s such a hard genre to become a part of. I’m staying far, far away from it in my writing… I can see what you mean, but it was the school that got me really invested in the characters.
      Oh man, GOLDEN SON. I read it almost straight after, and it blew my mind. So. Freaking. Good. Yes, even better than Red Rising – and I didn’t think that was possible!

      Liked by 1 person

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