Book Review

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

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Sci-Fi / Fantasy
Length: 382 pages
Author: Pierce Brown
Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: January 28th, 2014
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


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 spends his life willingly, knowing 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 already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks 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.


This is a reread review! I never reviewed it formally when I first read it in 2016 so what better time to write one now?

I LOVE this series. Especially the first three books. I surprised myself with how much I remembered about Red Rising and it goes to show how incredible Pierce Brown is at crafting a story that left such an impression that it is still memorable years later.

Darrow’s rise to the top contains such character depth that I can’t get enough. Anything to do with character growth is automatically a win in my book and I loved seeing his progression. Sevro is FOREVER AND EVER one of my top side characters ever and it was great seeing him at his wild beginnings.

I do remember wishing there was a touch more romance. I adore Mustang and her fierce yet kind nature. She makes the hard choices, but actually holds onto some humanity in doing so.

The villains are making themselves known and I am here for it. These are some of the most wicked and deep antagonists I’ve come across. I love the academy setting and how it really builds the rest of the series.

Can’t wait to continue this reread!

Overall audience notes:

  • Sci-Fi / Fantasy
  • Language: strong
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: very high and graphic
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: mentions of rape and sexual assault, murder, physical altercations, executions, loss of a spouse, near death experiences, weapons altercations

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