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 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.
Good audiobook performance, but the story is a little immature
Overall I really liked this book. I listened to the audiobook which was 16 hours and 12 minutes!! The narrator had a really strong Irish accent at the beginning which faded as the book went on, until it picked up again at the end. Kind of confusing, but he nonetheless did a good job and I enjoyed listening to this book while I multitasked. I definitely enjoyed this book more by listening rather than reading it.
Although the setting of the novel is Mars and the modified people are from different parts of space, this is not a science fiction novel as I originally thought. The story itself was action packed and full of Hunger Games-esque violence and battles. I loved Hunger Games so it’s cool to read another story with similar elements that is unique and refreshing in its own right. I liked the protagonist’s character development. Though the main characters said to be “children”, they are really teenagers and act childishly for their age due to their pampered upbringing.
I thought the initial revelation about Mars and the main character’s quick transformation to Gold was unbelievable and too quick. There should have been more hardship to build character. As enthralling and unexpected as the ending was, it was also unbelievable and seemed rushed. There should have been more resistance at Olympus. Like, how did he even know about it and why would he have been able to enter the area in the first place?! The end wrapped up extremely too quickly without sharing enough of the main character’s thoughts and reasoning. I understand this is a trilogy, but as the first book of a trilogy, we should really get to know the main character’s psychology, thoughts and motives better, especially since this is told from the main character’s sole perspective.
With that said, I will be continuing on with the next audiobook and I’m hoping we get to explore the universe better and see how the protagonist evolves.
Listened to it two times in a row. Fantastic
Don’t miss this one!
Braveheart meets Master and Commander meets Star Trek meets Gladiator meets Art of War meets Dangerous Liaisons meets The Odyssey meets Game of Thrones in one of the most compelling epic stories in years.
I listen to 2 or 3 audiobooks each week and this is easily one of the best I’ve ever heard.
I’d seen the great reviews on this series several months ago, but due to Hunger Games comparisons I mistakenly thought this was YA and designated it a “maybe later” purchase.
The depth and quality of Pierce Brown’s writing is astounding. Every character is unique and multi-multi-layered. The plot pacing left me breathless. Mr. Brown somehow manages a perfect balance of real world ancient history and fresh, exciting sci-fi. Ancient religion and mythology add to the story’s complexity without distracting from center stage.
I’ve never listened to an audiobook that made me gasp at intervals or grip the steering wheel in anticipation. In Book 2, Golden Sun, I literally stopped what I was doing so I could sit down and process unfolding events.
Before I bought Red Rising I saw one review that didn’t like the narrator. Personally, I was blown away by Tim Gerard Reynolds' performance. Yes, Darrow is 17 when the book begins and Mr. Reynolds most certainly doesn’t sound like a teenager. His voice is rich and nuanced, equally perfect whether Darrow’s being tender or commanding. I loved Mr. Reynolds’ Scottish-type accents. Sometimes a male actor voicing a female character can slide into something comical or grating. Mr. Reynolds’ female voices are pleasing, just as fantastic as any of the other characters. It was easy to distinguish (and relish) each character’s voice, even in fast paced scenes featuring multiple characters in rapid-fire rotating dialogue.
This series is too good to be missed.