Review: Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Posted January 10, 2015

Review: Red Rising by Pierce Brown Red Rising by Pierce Brown
Published by Hodder Genres: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, YA
Source: Purchased

The Earth is dying. Darrow is a Red, a miner in the interior of Mars. His mission is to extract enough precious elements to one day tame the surface of the planet and allow humans to live on it. The Reds are humanity's last hope.

Or so it appears, until the day Darrow discovers it's all a lie. That Mars has been habitable - and inhabited - for generations, by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. A class of people who look down on Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

Until the day that Darrow, with the help of a mysterious group of rebels, disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside. But the command school is a battlefield - and Darrow isn't the only student with an agenda.


My Twitter feed exploded with excitement this week in the run up to the publication of Golden Son, the second book in the Red Rising trilogy. I included Golden Son in My 2015 Book Wishlist and I’m currently waiting impatiently for my copy to arrive…I cannot wait to read what happens next!

If you haven’t heard of Red Rising, then really you are missing out (EDIT – it’s actually just 98p on the Kindle right now). Truthfully when I first saw information about the book I wasn’t that fussed about reading it, but then my favourite booktubers and reviewers started raving about it, and I knew I had to read it!

It was the mention of Mars that made me think “meh, probably not going to like that”. I don’t know why, but I’m so glad I got over that and gave the book a go.

Darrow, the main character, is a Red, the lowest level of social ranking. He is a miner, and together with his fellow Reds he’s helping to prepare Mars for habitation. Spending his life underground, he and his family are helping to create a legacy for humanity, to rescue people from a dying planet Earth.

A glimpse of the surface of Mars causes Darrow’s life to change dramatically. It ultimately leads to his meeting a group of rebels who shatter the illusion of his life; Mars is actually inhabitable and has been for years. It’s ruled by Golds who use the lesser colours to their advantage and show no remorse in doing so. With the help of the rebels Darrow is transformed into a Gold. The plan is for him to infiltrate the Golds, and to generate a rebellion from within.

To be honest it took me a wee while to get into the book. Reading about Darrow’s life as a Red was interesting but I had no idea where it was all going, then BOOM the book really took off and I couldn’t put it down!

Darrow’s infiltration as a Gold sees him attend their elite school. Before long he finds himself in the middle of a battle of Houses, a battle that he really needs to win if he’s going to have a chance of changing the world for the other colours. However he’s not the only one that wants to win, and these natural Golds really are ruthless!

It was when Darrow infiltrated the school that I became hooked. The battle had me turning page after page. It was brutal, it was shocking, it was brilliant. I loved the building of the story, the way Brown introduced and developed new characters. I found myself liking a lot of the Gold characters, wanting them to survive, despite knowing that I’m on ‘Darrow’s side’, the side of the Reds. It’s so clever and very well done.

I’ve absolutely no idea what to expect from Golden Son (book two), I’ve heard that it’s potentially even better than Red Rising – a bold claim. All I know is that as I sit and write this I’m keeping one eye out the window waiting for the postie to deliver the second book in this thrilling trilogy!