Book Review: Red Rising (The Red Rising Trilogy: Book 1)

red-risingRating: 5/5 stars.

I AM DESTROYED. Someone send some help this way. I am in shock. I don’t even know how to describe this kind of book. There were so many epic parts of it. It is definitely one of the best science fiction books out there.

Humanity has moved on from earth. There are now colonies all over the galaxy. Darrow is a part of one of those colonies on Mars. He is a Red, part of the lowest caste of society. As a miner, he spends all his days digging underneath the earth. He’s told that what he and all the other Reds are doing is going to help make the surface Mars livable for his descendants, to give them a better future. But Darrow, all the Reds, have been lied to. The rest of humanity has been living on the surface for a long time. But the Golds, the ruling class, have kept the Reds in the dark. They have made a great mistake. Unknowingly, the rulers make Darrow their greatest enemy. Longing for justice, Darrow is willing to do anything. Even if it means becoming one of them.

WOW. There were so many characters that popped in and out of the book, never staying for long. First of all, there’s Darrow. He is absolutely amazing. He cares so much for his family. He’d rather that they all live as slaves, if that will keep them alive. He cares, he loves, so hard. He has a rage that he knows that he must keep in control, but sometimes he let’s it go. Sometimes he is reckless; sometimes he does rash things. And there are times when he is so cold and calculating. He makes mistakes. But he learns. There’s Eo, Darrow’s wife. She is so small and thin. It’s like she could be blown away with the wind. But if she is not physically strong, she makes up for it in the strength of her heart. She is kind and caring. But she is also truthful, even if it is a very harsh truth. She is smarter than she appears. And she’s willing to sacrifice herself to make a difference. Cassius, who seems to have a laugh out of everything, is loyal to those who are loyal to him. He is a true Gold. He has been born and bred for it. He is loyal to the laws that have been set. But he is quick to want revenge, when people mess with his friends or family. He’s relaxed. He’s brave and a bit reckless. And he is a better fighter than anyone would think. Virginia, called Mustang, is another big player. There were was a lot with her, but I still feel like I hardly know anything about her. She is kind of mysterious. She’s playful and fun and quite tricky. But she can totally hold her own.

The world building was absolutely stunning. The drills and all the other unique mining tools were incredible. The weapons and armor were very fascinating. They are so neat! I wish that I had these weapons and armor. Their society, especially Gold’s society, is interesting. Their practice of having duels is just so cool! I love it! I love how the whole government is set up. All the castes, each with their different sets of skills that they are to have are so interesting. The family Houses with their blood feuds and quests for power. Then the different houses that Gold students are separated into. It was all so unique. It had this feeling that it is so vast and enormous and powerful. And I have a feeling that it’s only going more complicated.

What a intense plot! I was freaking out most of the time. Once the plot sped up, it never slowed down. It did remind me a bit of The Hunger Games, but there was so much more to it. It was an amazing and intricate plot. The betrayals were heartbreaking. The deaths were terribly sad. There was so much violence. So much fighting. So much blood. At some times it felt like everyone had gone mad. But it was so heartfelt. So moving. I was so emotionally invested. There were times when I almost wanted to cry and my eyes actually got watery.

The writing was absolutely beautiful. I was drowning in its beauty. There are so many good quotes. It is in first person. And it is one of the most intimate first person point of view that I have ever read. It has this underlining feeling of vengeance and justice and power. But there is also such a feeling love. Gah! It is just beautiful and you need to read it so that you can understand me.

There was language. Quite a bit. P***, b****, s***, d*** and b****** were the most common words used. The middle finger came up a few times too. There were these “dancers” at bar type places and mentioning of what they did. And I have to say that there were some very bad people that committed rape repeatedly. But it happened somewhere apart from the main character and so was never actually described, but you certainly knew that it happened. As I mentioned above, this is violent and very bloody. I definitely wouldn’t recommend this to those that are sensitive to violence.

This book was so amazing. Darrow is one of the best characters ever. The writing was powerfully gripping. The plot was one of the most intense plots ever. It just wouldn’t let up. I’d recommend this to teens and up. You have just got to read this.

-G. Paige