I was in a kind of reading slump for almost half of the month and most likely the one to blame for it was The Blue Economy, which I reviewed last Friday. So I was not in the mood to read or even feel the need of it, but all of that vanished once I re-read one of my all-time favorites: Red Rising. For this review I am doing two parts: one spoiler free and another one with spoilers, but I will tell you when the spoiler section begins so you can quite reading if you don´t want to be spoil.
And before I start talking about the book let me tell you that my edition of this book is a Spanish one, so I might made some mistakes by translating literally some of the terms. Of course I´ve look for them first but as I did not own the book in English and I refuse to download it illegally I might made some mistakes for which I apologize in advance.
I first read this book almost a year ago. My parents gave it to me as my birthday present. The first time I read it, I thought it was amazing but now that I have re-read it in other to prepare myself for Morning Star I´ve realized that this is one of those stories that´s really carefully written. I became aware of some details that are clues to really important facts that will happen later on the story.
Also I realized how wonderful the world-building was. It might seem long; the action doesn´t start until you are quite far on the book, but it´s necessary. The world Pierce Brown has created is so rich and complex, full of various shades. The Society is so unfair but at the same time so fascinating. Obviously our history had happen before any of the events in the book takes place and yet humanity seems to forget all the mistakes believing that some are best than the others.
With regard to the writing style I have to say that maybe is not the most beautiful of all but certainly is so efficient. The sentences are short, but I think that has much to do with the fact that the main character is not someone who has spent his entire life studding. He was a slave and certainly he had so much more to worry about before caring about creating complicate grammar structures. However I, find the style to be so refreshing, and I´ve really enjoyed; plus for me, because of the narration it was so much easier to picture everything like a movie. This story would make an excellent movie franchise.
Red Rising take us into a future in which all the solar system had been colonize by the human kind, whose now are divided by its colors. The Golds are at the top and the Reds are the lower of the society, basically they are nothing. The story starts in Lico, one of the first colonies in Mars. We meet Darrow and learn that he is so proud of being a Helldiver. And I cannot say that much without spoiling you; but I will tell you that something happens and he end leaving Lico and became Gold.
I really would recommend you reading this book. I´ve read some reviews comparing Red Rising with the Hunger Games, Game of Thrones and even Star Wars. About the last one I cannot say a word because I haven´t watch the movies; about the Hunger Games and Game of Thrones comparison I could say that, yes there are some similarities but, I think compare them is not ok. For me this book cannot be compared to those stories as well as those stories cannot be compare to this one. Sure they have some common elements but those are not the defining characteristics for any of them.
As I was saying I strongly recommend reading this book, as a matter of fact I tell to everyone that they should read this book just five minutes after meeting them. I gave it 5 out of 5 stars once and I did it again. And I will do it next year when I re-read it.
That’s all for the spoiler free section so leave now if you haven´t read the book yet and don´t want to be spoiled. Read the book and then come back so we can discuss it.
All of those who don´t want to be spoiled have leaved already? Well then I can continue now.
So as I said earlier Darrow is a Helldiver and he and his fellow red companions work so hard to obtain the Laurel, which is something that will allow his clan to have more food. At the end turns out that is manipulate so the same will always win. Eo, Darrow’s wife, who knows him and realizes he is mad, so she takes him to see the sky. In doing so they both get caught and end up being punish to be flogged. Darrow is the first in received its punishment and then is Eo´s turn, but she sings the forbidden song and is condemned to death.
Eo´s death made Darrow to buried her and being condemn himself to the same faith that his wife except, because he did not die. His uncle drugs him and then he is taken by the Sons of Ares in order to transform him from red to gold to infiltrate in the Institute.
From that point we meet a lot of characters that are incredible. Even the minor characters are so deep. For example, we get to know Pax, who is one of my favorites characters in this book (and of course he dies) and we actually know him. This also happens for example, with Roque, but this is more noticeable in Golden Son.
In the Institute the golds have to pass a series of test that will prove them to be the best among them. Only the stronger survives and stays. Darrow had to kill Julian Au Belona, brother of his friend Casio. That secret is most likely what made everything at it is. All of the students had to kill someone to stay, but Casius get super mad when he finds out that his friend had killed his brother (which I can understand).
Jackel is an asshole; he is used to win and his father have bought him the victory in the game, so the proctors gave him the video of Darrow killing Julian and he gave it to Casius who banishes Darrow and almost kill him. Luckily Mustang is around.
Getting to know Mustang is one of the best parts of the book. At first you might think that she is just like the rest of the golds but nothing further from truth. She is an idealistic and she is well aware of what´s wrong with the Society they life in. I like Mustang because she is a strong female character that´s not afraid of leadership but at the same time knows when there are someone that is more charismatic than she is.
Darrow has become some short of legend and he is, apparently the only one that might defeat the Jackal; and the proctors know that. That´s why some of them try to convince him to cease his attempt to win the game and, even killing him. And since I am talking about the proctors I have to say that I´ve really enjoy reading about Fitchner character, as well as reading his son Sevro.
Sevro is one of those people that no one is meant to like, but I really like him. He is very loyal and that’s so admirable, considering that technically Darrow is a superior Gold and those have tried to kill him.
The end of the game is terrific because for a moment you can come to think that Darrow is not going to win and then he is. And the end of the book was even better than the end of the game with Arrow getting to be choosed by Virginia and Jackal father, Nero Augustus.
Nero Augustus is actually such a good character, in the sense that he represents all that´s bad with The Society that they life in. He is Gold and he is sure that all what they are doing is right and that they are meant to be at the top. And I think that´s the only reason why he chooses Darrow.
The politics in Red Rising are interesting, but not even near with the politics in Golden Son. I am going to be re-reading Golden Son, probably next month if I do have time with all my finals happening. But seriously if you have enjoyed Red Rising and haven´t read yet Golden Son go and read it because is incredible. It´s so clear to me that Pierce Brown went to such a great development as an author from book 1 to book 2 that I can´t even begin to imagine how good is going to be Morning Star if the progression he had is even the half that he had in the past.
What are your thoughts on Red Rising? Leave a comment in the comment section. And of course don´t forget to subscribe if you have enjoyed this post. A new review will be posted on Friday.
See you all soon.