Book one in a trilogy
By Pierce Brown
Available now from Del Rey (Penguin Random House)
I haven't felt this way about a book in awhile. Finishing RED RISING left me revved up, ready for more. I love that I got to read it early, but I loathe it because I have to wait that much longer for more. I was fully sucked into Darrow's world and didn't want to leave it.
Darrow is a Red on the planet Mars. He and his people live beneath the surface, mining for the elements necessary to terraform Mars. Then, after narratively obvious tragedy strikes, Darrow discovers that the Martian surface is already colonized and the upper classes are using the Reds as slaves. Thus begins his thirst for revenge.
The worldbuilding of RED RISING isn't perfect, but I love how detailed it is. The book wasn't rushed at all. It lingers over the details of Darrow's transformation, his infiltration of the Golds, his time at the brutal Institute. And I love the characters. The Golds as a whole are awful, but on an individual level they vary quite a bit. That's something Darrow has to face as he pursues his vengeance. (Although I did often yell at him to stop going on about how so-and-so was so great because couldn't he see that he was dooming yet another person to poignant death?)
RED RISING is quite grim and violent, but I didn't find it depressing. In fact, I often found it quite exhilarating. Darrow's journey is a rough one, but that's what makes it so interesting. Also, RED RISING is being published as an adult novel, but it reads very similar to YA to me. Darrow is sixteen and the book is told in first person present tense.
Now that RED RISING has gotten all the setup out of the way, I can't wait to see where this series is going. I'll be back for book two with bells on.