Red Rising Read-A-Long 18 discussion

Red Rising (Red Rising Saga, #1)
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Red Rising > Part IV: AKA Chapters 34-44

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Lauren (The Novel Lush) (thenovellush) Chats about the conclusion


Monte Price (itsmonteprice) Hate really fueled me to finish this book. While the conclusion feels fitting, like there are certainly worse ways that the book could have finished I walked away still feeling like I didn't understand how this Society really functioned or came to function in this way or that it could be as vast as the literal Solar System run in a way that makes no literal sense and not have had any kind of serious uprising before the events here.

But also the fact that Darrow and Mustang/whatever her name kissed came out of complete left field but okay. I guess that's a thing too.


message 3: by Ibrahim (new) - added it

Ibrahim Amin | 13 comments Overall feelings, having finished it:

Cons:

- Eo's "women in refrigerators" role. She's only there to die and inspire a male protagonist. There's nothing wrong with a loved one's death being used as a plot point, but it can be handled so much better than this, without the casual treatment of women as mere props in the stories of men. I thought the book could probably have done a better job with its female characters in general (though fair enough, we view the world through a teenage boy's eyes, so that'll skew things).

- Darrow being perpetually annoying, unlikable, and shifting between smart / cunning and stupid when the plot requires it. He pulls off that trick with the two cards, but blunders into an obvious trap and tries that absurd "here's a knife..." stunt with the Jackal.

- Multiple references to Mars' low gravity. It needs to be mentioned, sure -- since a reader wouldn't automatically know / remember that Mars has much lower gravity than Earth. But the hanging stuff gets that across anyway, and Darrow seemed to make too big a deal of it at other points in the book. He's lived his whole life on Mars, so it should seem completely normal to him, not something to remark upon. If the author needs to remind people about it, just have a Gold who was raised elsewhere mention it in dialogue.

- The references to real human history seemed awkward in places, and limited the scope of the sci-fi setting. I can totally buy a later society becoming enamoured with ancient Rome, and thus embracing its study and cultural trappings. During the Victorian age, British kids learned about ancient Rome so they'd be better prepared to run the Empire, for example. But I thought throwing in a bunch of other references to the ancient world (e.g. to Alcibiades and the Peloponnesian War) was pushing it a bit. It's great that the author loves classics & ancient history, but we're supposed to be seeing humanity a long way in the future, at which point they should have huge amounts of their own fictional history to draw upon. Whereas we hear about ancient Greece, Mongol hordes, and Napoleon, but relatively little about what happened between our time and theirs (though the random Ender's Game reference was a nice touch).

- I wasn't a fan of some elements of the prose style, in particular the heavy use of intruder / filter words. If Darrow were telling the story years later, looking back on it, that'd make sense. But in present-tense narration, where things are actually happening as he speaks, I'd like to have fewer "I see" or "I hear", and more immersion in the sights and sounds themselves.


Pros:

- The world-building worked for me. I enjoyed the drilling and dancing culture of the Reds, and learning about the colour spectrum of societal roles (being desi, albeit born and raised in England, I can certainly buy into the notion of rigid caste systems, and colours are a decent way to represent that, for various reasons). The genetic and cybernetic modifications appealed, and gave the setting some alien / futuristic flavour. As with all sci-fi, you can find stuff that seems inconsistent in the tech / advancement level, but for me it all held together (granted, I'm biased, since my background's in the humanities rather than the sciences).

- The war game test trope worked for me too. I know it gets used a lot in fiction, and at times I wished I were playing it as a open-world videogame rather than just reading about it, but it kept me engaged. I could buy into it and invest in the outcome.

- Similarly, the Lord of the Flies brutality appealed. I'm all for fictional young people brutalising each other as a means of commentary on human nature in general and the author's setting in particular.

- The plot moved along at a decent pace, and kept me interested throughout. I wanted to know what'd happen next. And some of the warfare was particularly enjoyable.

- Although Darrow didn't appeal to me, some of the other characters did. Pax au Telemanus was clearly inspired by Telemonian Ajax from the Trojan Cycle, and that's fair enough -- I often feel Ajax is an underrated character, so I liked seeing him drawn upon this way. And Sevro was fun.

- And while Darrow's whiny, douchebaggy thoughts weren't of interest to me, and I disliked being roped into his internal monologues, I could go along with the character when we saw him through action rather than contemplation.


Jazmynn | 14 comments Like I said previously, I enjoyed that the plot was fast paced. That being said the characters were just way to one dimensional. There was no depth to them which may not have bothered me had I not read the LUMATARE CHRONICLES prior to reading this which was a very wonderfully done character driven series.

I wish mustang would have betrayed him. It doesn't make sense to me that she didn't. i also feel that with the way the Jackle was hyped up, it should have taken a lot more to capture him, and worst of all you don't even see how they capture him. Mustang clearly states that he is not the brother of her heart which leads me to believe that they were not close. How did he and his followers let her get that close to him. I really kinda wish the story was from his perspective because he seemed to be the only character that was even remotely complex. Hell I would have liked to see the story from the perspective of Severo and his Howlers.

I give this book somewhere between a 2.5 & a 3 because the plot was entertaining. I will read golden sun with you guys next month, hopefully the characters get more flushed out as the story goes on.


Jazmynn | 14 comments p.s.: Happy Roque lived. Also would have liked to know more about Antonia.


Liene (lienes_library) can't wait until everyone finishes to hear everyone's thoughts! My favorite of the trilogy is Golden Son, so I hope everyone will want to continue on to the next one that's even better!


Kayla (onthefritz) (_onthefritz) | 6 comments I really enjoyed this!! Now I am a plot driven person, so the fact that these characters are not the most well developed did not bother me, in fact I really enjoyed them and was crushed over and over - which was a nice surprise.

I liked the nod to Greek/Roman mythology as the kids usurp the Gods themselves. I mean, those Procters are just he shittiest people ever.

The ending did feel rushed, I would have liked to seen the battle with Pluto and the Jackal, but I did like the tense moment where you didn't know what side Mustang was on.

This book was pretty savage though! But PAX?!? NOOOO.
But YAAA for Roque!!

Love that Mars is Servo's dad. And Darrow just killed Apollo?? Is there going to be any punishment? It seems to be "what happens in the Institution, stays in the Institution."

I am so interested in the Jackal and to see what that guy is about, wish we had more in this book. Like, this kid fucking cut off his hand.

I wish Cassius and Darrow would kiss and make up. But, I do enjoy their story and their frenemy status.

UGH SERVO, HE'S JUST HE BEST.

Ughhh I wanted Darrow to just stick it to the ArchGovenor, but I get why he took the position. Ok so speaking of this guy, is he going to get into any trouble for the whole bribing of the Procters? There was talk that we would lose his position, and Bellona would take over?? Maybe next book?


Marion Miermans (dragonprincessisis) | 4 comments Those first 19 chapters I was wondering why I was reading this book. You start with all these unnecessary mining terms which aren't even relevant in the future. Only the fact that Darrow is a Helldiver and prood of it keeps recurring. And even that gets annoying because Reds are weaker than Golds and the had to carve him to become equally strong.
Also, Eo could have been more worked out before she died. Especially since she is Darrows motivation for all this. And that gets really annoying as well. Doesn't Darrow have a mind of his own? At some point he must be doing this for himself, his family, his friends and all the Reds out there?

Apart from that, once you hit chapter 20 the action really starts! It was impossible to put down because so much was happening and I really wanted to know how he would fix his stupid mistakes. Too bad what happened with Cassius. He knows how the game works because he got through the Passage himself. Doesn't seem fair to blaim Darrow for this. Blame the Golds!


K.M. Smith | 5 comments This was not bad for a debut. I felt that the writting was actually better at the end then it was at the begining. Can't wait to read the next one.


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