I do not like dystopias very much. I did not enjoy reading the Hunger Games, though I do tolerate Divergent to some extent. However, Red Rising is a veI do not like dystopias very much. I did not enjoy reading the Hunger Games, though I do tolerate Divergent to some extent. However, Red Rising is a very special exception. I have just finished reading this book at 5 in the morning, it is now one of my favorite books and let me tell you the main points why.
First of all, let me give you a summary on the plot. Red Rising, as all other dystopian books, is about wanting to make a cruelly and unfairly systematized world all nice and not so broken. Our protagonist is Darrow, a Red from Lykos. who was told to dig resources on Mars in order to prepare for the terraforming of the planet. A noble cause, but they are treated like slaves and the easily replaceable workers for menial labors. They live underground and food is scarce enough. There is practically no justice and after enduring a tragedy (packaged with plot twists and pain), he is given a chance to do so by a really crazy usurpation of their world's highest society. Second, the dystopian world is really interesting. Let me give a simple description of the world Darrow lives in. The caste system is regulated by what Color you are. Colors are usually indicated by your physical characteristics, for example: being a Red means you have Red eyes and Red hair and the Red Sigil on your body. Each Color have their own preordained place in Society; Reds are the laborers and the lowest Color in the Caste system, followed by other colors and Gold is the ultimate rulers and reigns supreme. The world they live in (Mars, among others), by what I have imagined in my head, is like a version of the old Roman Empire, but embedded with 22nd Century technology. And dear god it is one awesome world (if you're a Gold). (Truth be told, I am a sucker for stories that have their implications in Rome history or culture, so that may have been a major point in my "scoring sheet". Sorry.) Third, WARS AND BATTLES. No, but I mean it, there are loads of battles here, all of which has numerous tactics involved and all of which I enjoy reading. There were no wasted words; it was not done in a drawl nor over-explained. If anything, it wasn't explained enough. Yes, this was written in the first POV (Darrow's), but there were certain parts of plans and strategies that just leaves you confused until after the war was done. Fourth, a very enjoyable main Character. I really like Darrow. At first, I disliked him because he is rather rigid and stupid, but then you bond with him. You learn his thoughts and come to like his ruthlessness. Or should I say rashness? In any case, he learns from his mistakes rather quickly and is still somewhat naive. Moreover, the other characters are also very enjoyable to meet; none of them are truly two-dimensional evil or whatever, each were given a purpose and those purpose drives them to how they act and their main points in character. Fifth, a quick plotline. I can tolerate slow plotlines, but Red Rising does not test my patience. It test my control for my own enthusiasm. Red Rising is just a whirlwind of up and downs in terms of plot. Just when you digest the sudden change in the conditions our dear main character was given, another test is entrusted upon him. And further we see him struggle with it in some delicious manner. Yes, some of those plot twists can already be foreseen from the start of the book. But their unfolding is still very nice to read. Mr. Brown has done a very lovely job in framing his story, and I am hungry for more.
All in all, it's a very exciting book to read. I hope my review brings justice to how eager I was in reading this book. There may, however, be a few drawbacks to the book. I don't know if it is just my version, but there are several typos and inconsistencies in the book. Terms that weren't used are referred to in the middle of the book, and I am still confused at when Darrow's father was hanged. I read earlier in the book that the hanging was done 5 years before Darrow was 16. But afterwards there is mention of Darrow's uncle not taking down the hanging corpse (and Darrow resenting him for that) when Darrow was 6 years old. Though perhaps this may be a mistake on my part due to speed reading the thing. But besides that, it is a wonderful book to enjoy, and not a trilogy to miss. ...more