BOOK REVIEW: Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce Brown
Alright, so I’ve definitely got some conflicting feelings about Red Rising. I liked it but at the same time I disliked it.
The book had a very slow start and the beginning of the book seemed to drag on. The confusion of words and slang of the Reds and the general world building only added to this. Because things were so confusing and the initial trouble of understanding the story, it didn’t hold my interest.
This changed when the story really got going and the main plot point was introduced but the book still wasn’t keeping my attention for long. The final third of the book was the best, really capturing my interest and it probably helped that I better understood the world.
I found that Darrow wasn’t much of a standout character to me. He was just another male who lost a loved one and has to save his people, another teenage boy fuelled by rage and hatred towards the circumstances that shape his life. He also happens to be the best at everything—he’s the best Helldiver, gets the best admission test score, you get the picture.
I’m not usually a fan of first person narration but Brown pulled it off. After the initial bumps I found, I really became immersed in Darrow’s world and came to really like the writing.
I have a bone to pick with Brown, a feminist bone—Eo fuels Darrow’s story; Darrow’s female peers never seem to be in power, always deferring back to him; and then there’s sexual violence and rape that’s mentioned several times that don’t do all that much for the story and didn’t need to be included at all.
With all that being said, I do look forward to reading the rest of the trilogy. Red Rising was Brown’s debut novel and he’ll come to grow as a writer and improve with each novel.