NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Pierce Brown’s relentlessly entertaining debut channels the excitement of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.
“Red Rising ascends above a crowded dystopian field.”—USA Today
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, BUZZFEED, AND SHELF AWARENESS
“I live for the dream that my children will be born free,” she says. “That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.”
“I live for you,” I say sadly.
Eo kisses my cheek. “Then you must live for more.”
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 toils willingly, trusting 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 lush wilds 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.
Praise for Red Rising
“[A] spectacular adventure . . . one heart-pounding ride . . . Pierce Brown’s dizzyingly good debut novel evokes The Hunger Games, Lord of the Flies, and Ender’s Game. . . . [Red Rising] has everything it needs to become meteoric.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Ender, Katniss, and now Darrow.”—Scott Sigler
“Red Rising is a sophisticated vision. . . . Brown will find a devoted audience.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch
Don’t miss any of Pierce Brown’s Red Rising Saga:
RED RISING • GOLDEN SON • MORNING STAR • IRON GOLD • DARK AGE
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
The inventive first novel in Pierce Brown’s Red Rising series provides us with a fresh look at Mars. Darrow, a member of the hardscrabble Red caste, drills vital resources for future Martian colonists—who never seem to arrive. The truth is, Mars is already well-populated, and most colonists are slaves, trapped in the pitiless grasp of the ruling Gold caste. By focusing on the experiences of the colonized population, Brown puts a new twist on some familiar Golden-Age science fiction tropes about colonialism. Skillful world-building and multifaceted characters heighten the stakes for Darrow’s harrowing journey of class warfare and revenge.
Debut author Pierce shoots for the next Hunger Games with mixed results in this melodramatic SF series opener. Sixteen-year-old Darrow is a Red miner, the lowest worker caste on Mars. Darrow's people live in hellish conditions underground and mine the precious silvery helium-3 needed to terraform the planet. Darrow's father was hanged for performing a traditional dance, and when Darrow's wife, Eo, discovers that Mars's surface has been livable for centuries and then sings a forbidden dirge in public, she too is executed. Awash with grief, Darrow is recruited by the rebel Sons of Ares to infiltrate high-caste Gold society and help overthrow the government. After weeks of surgery and training, Darrow enters Mars's most selective school, but being accepted at the Institute is one thing; surviving a murderous hazing, ruthless power struggles, and a brutal war game won't be so easy. Determined to lead his people to a better future, Darrow will do anything to win. Pierce offers a Hollywood-ready story with plenty of action and thrills but painfully little originality or plausibility.
Customer ReviewsSee All
“Pick a favorite book.” “One does not simply choose-“ “Red Rising”
I love to read. Ever since I’ve learned how, I’ve been burying my nose in every even halfway decent fantasy or sci-fi book I can find. And for the longest time, there were so many good books I had read that I could never really pick a favorite. There was also the problem of running out of good books to read. Then, by complete accident, I stumbled across the greatest bloodydamn masterpiece ever. I found Red Rising.
This book has literally everything- insane character development, a massive, complex, believable world/empire, strategy, philosophy, several metric tons of action, horror, romance, economics/politics, psychology, and a gorydamn truck load of emotion. The first part of the book is slow, sure. And the writing style/lingo takes a little getting used to, but that’s part of what makes this series unique, and if you manage to adjust, incredible.
I won’t spoil anything, but the general idea is the society is a color coded system that almost reminds me of communism- each color has a general job, browns are janitors, grays are soldiers, coppers are money grubbers (banks on steroids). Reds are the lowest of the low colors, the miners, and are little better than slaves. Golds are the elite ruling class- not only superior in the caste system, but also genetically the best, almost god-like. They’re supposed to be the best of humanity.
Darrow is a red, a miner beneath the surface of Mars. He and his fellow reds live fast, and die young. They spend their days in complete poverty, mining helium-3 all day every day, believing their blood sweat and tears will build a better world for their children- the helium-3 they mine is to be used to terraform the surface of Mars.
Darrow is content on his knees, oblivious to the reality of his world. It’s not in his nature to rebel. His father was executed for performing a forbidden dance. And when his wife learns the truth and sings a forbidden song, she’s executed as well (this is the slow part, but it’s important. Suffer through it). This is what finally leads Darrow to an act of rebellion, one that has him executed as well- but for Darrow, death doesn’t take.
He’s recruited into a rebel group called the Sons of Ares, a small faction of rebel reds, branded as terrorists by the society. And it is there that Darrow is assigned the task of infiltrating the most elite of the elite- the peerless scarred, the political and military rulers among rulers, golds among golds.
Red Rising is a story of rebellion, revolution, and war. No one is essentially the good guy, and no ones the bad guy. And sometimes, the main character is in the wrong and his enemies are in the right. Every single character in red rising is deeply flawed, but each one learns from their mistakes and evolves as the story progresses. They all have high and low points- some more pronounced than others- and this, combined with the highly detailed society they live in, makes the world of Red Rising feel real. The book is like a window into an alternate universe, a possible future.
All the negative reviews have something to do with the writing, or the very adolescent view Darrow has. Well guess what, that’s the point. Darrow is sixteen. So stop complaining, slags. In books two and three, he’s older, and has matured. Remember what I said about flaws and character development? The other issue is the comparisons to Hunger Games and Game of Thrones. Elements of both are definitely there, but to say Red Rising is like either of them is like saying bananas and apples are similar because they both grow on trees. Not to mention, Red Rising is just as good, if not better.
I could go on and on about Red Rising. I already kind of have. But all in all, anytime I hear someone likes to read, I tell them to read Red Rising. It’s my first recommendation/command to go read EVERY time because it’s just that good. I can not recommend this enough.
Seriously, there’s no amount of words in this language, or really any language, that can convey the adequate level of GO READ THIS BOOK.
Why are you still reading this review? You should be reading the book.
GO READ THE BLOODYDAMN BOOK
I'm sorry but the writing style is so amateurish that I just couldn't take it after 150 pages. I wanted to like it because the story has potential but the writing is awful. The publisher should have refined and professionalized it.
The reviews compared it to Hunger Games. That is more than a slight insult to the Hunger Games author.
I'm disappointed because, as I said, I wanted to like it.
This book would go good with a big bong of dope otherwise you won't understand it,