Book Review: Red Rising (Red Rising Trilogy, #1) by Pierce Brown

“I would have lived in peace. But my enemies brought me war.”

Holy amazeballs, everyone should read this book. It was that
This is one of the few books where I wish I could go back to the start and read it as if it was my first time.

♦︎ The Story ♦︎ 

The Reds“Brave prisoners, always remember that obedience is the highest virtue. Above all, obedience, respect, sacrifice, hierarchy…”

The Golds“Our sweat and blood watered this soil. Yet it belongs to the Golds, to the Society.”


“They told us we were man’s only hope,” I said quietly. “That Earth was overcrowded, that all our pain, all the sacrifice, was for mankind. Sacrifice is good. Obedience the highest virtue…”

Darrow is a skilled Helldiver, he lives below Mars’ surface and spends his days unearthing precious minerals that will one day allow Mars to be inhabited. Earth is dying and they sacrifice their lives for the greater good, and once Mars is habitable, they will be held in utmost respect for everything they’ve, he’s, done.
Or so they said.
After heartbreaking events, he learns that it’s all a lie. All the Reds have been living in ignorance and Mars has already been inhabited. The Golds have taken over and left the Reds to do their dirty work.
But things are going to change, with the help of rebels, Darrow will disguise himself as a Gold in hopes of infiltrating their school… but he may not me the only one.

This is one of those stories where so much happens, where you start in one place but by the end you’re somewhere completely different that it’s hard to say anything without giving important parts away. But that’s what also make this book out of this world.

I felt like years went by while reading this book. I mean, how can so much happen in a 382 paged book?

There were so many twists & turns, lies told & lies revealed, revelations… it’s almost too much to handle. I never knew what was coming next and it was so refreshingto read such an unpredictable book.

 ♦︎ Characters ♦︎ 


“You say it’s better to die on your feet. I say it’s better to live on our knees.”

What a complex character Darrow was. He was by no means perfect or all-knowing, but he could adapt… and that’s what made all the difference. It’s interesting and terrifying to see how far someone will go for vengeance.
Everything you’re willing to do, to sacrifice… how far until enough is enough. I did really like him, and whichever way he decides to go, I’m rooting for him.


“Death isn’t empty like you say it is. Emptiness is life without freedom, Darrow. Emptiness is living enchained by fear, fear of loss, of death.”

I loved Eo and wish we could’ve gotten more of her! She had a gentle spirit and complimented Darrow perfectly. I also loved how against the crowd she was, she didn’t believe in what The Golds were doing and tried to make a difference.


I’m indifferent to her. I liked how clever she was and, dare I say, caring in a few instances… but I really liked Eo so I guess I didn’t really want to give her much of a chance. However, I think she’ll be playing a bigger role in Golden Son, so we’ll see how I feel about her then.


Cassius is another one I don’t know how to feel about. I enjoyed all his bantering and laid-back personality. However, he was rash and his emotions clouded his judgement sometimes. Despite everything though, I can’t fault him for what he did (view spoiler).

∙Everyone else∙

There were a lot of other characters and whether they were “good” or “bad”, I enjoyed them all. Each one had a role to play and in the end… resulted in a five star read for me!

 ♦︎ Overall ♦︎ 

“… I do the best to cage the fury that has made me a thing sharper than Red. Harder than Gold.”

Red Rising is a no-brainer  five star, holy grail read for me. I can’t rave enough about this story. From beginning to end, Pierce Brown had me eating from the palm of his hand. I was captivated.
And coming down from a 5 star book high I was on before I started this one… that’s not an easy feat.

Do I recommend this book? A wholehearted why are you still reading my review yes!

“Break the chains, my love.”

Buddy read with: Rosanna ♦︎ Sarah

Final rating: ★★★★★/ ★★★★★

Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Publication date: January 28, 2014
Book description: The war begins…

Darrow is a Helldiver, one of a thousand men and women who live in the vast caves beneath the surface of Mars. Generations of Helldivers have spent their lives toiling to mine the precious elements that will allow the planet to be terraformed. Just knowing that one day people will be able to walk the surface of the planet is enough to justify their sacrifice. The Earth is dying, and Darrow and his people are the only hope humanity has left.

Until the day Darrow learns that it is all a lie. Mars is habitable – and indeed has been inhabited for generations by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. The Golds regard Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

With the help of a mysterious group of rebels, Darrow 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…

About the author: Pierce Brown’s first novel, RED RISING (Del Rey Books), debuts January 28, 2014. It is the first installment in The Red Rising Trilogy.

Pierce Brown spent his childhood building forts and setting traps for his cousins in the woods of six states and the deserts of two. Graduating college in 2010, he fancied the idea of continuing his studies at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a magical bone in his body. So while trying to make it as a writer, he worked as a manager of social media at a startup tech company, toiled as a peon on the Disney lot at ABC Studios, did his time as an NBC page, and gave sleep deprivation a new meaning during his stint as an aide on a U.S. Senate Campaign.

Now he lives in Los Angeles, where he scribbles tales of spaceships, wizards, ghouls, and most things old or bizarre.

Note to the reader: Always feel free to contact him via his website, twitter, or facebook. He likes people. Except if you’re a trollish person. Then he merely puts up with you for the sake of manners and propriety.



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