Red Rising by Pierce Brown

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From Goodreads:

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…

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My Thoughts

HO-LY.

This book is a standout, and one STELLAR debut for Pierce Brown! He is one crafty storyteller–there was only one instance throughout the book that I guessed at a plot point, but even then it didn’t impact the story like I assumed it would. As a reader I was outwitted and outmatched by this author.

The language that was used and the different facets of life took me a little bit to get accustomed to, but once I did the dialogue just SLAYED me. It was so sharp and kept me on my toes and even though the story takes dark turns, the dialogue still managed to shine and at points had me laughing aloud to myself.

As members of the supposed top tier of humanity–the Golds–the band of characters we meet throughout this story is every bit as wily and cunning and twisted as you would expect them to be. I found myself either loving the characters or hating them. Even some of the characters I hated I ended up loving by the end! AND not all the characters even make it to the end, so thanks for ripping my heart out TIME AND AGAIN!

And Darrow! He has a quiet rage that needs help to be stoked only initially, and then it becomes part of the driving force behind the part he plays as a rebel. He is fierce and loyal. His love for his wife, Eo, is so devout and tender that I found myself in LOVE with him. Life down in the mines has made him a man and yet he’s only sixteen as the story starts. Throughout the book it would hit me that he’s just a kid! This is his life and he’s just a kid.

I admire him.

And the world in which he lives! The ranking of human beings seems so cruel but you can even see it in subtlety today if you look for it. Which makes me question: What if? What if life really did evolve (slash devolve) into a world like this? What would I do? What would you do?

I just can’t get past how FANTASTIC this book is! And Pierce even called it! In his acknowledgments, before even beginning the story, the last lines he says are these:

“And to the reader, thank you. You’re going to bloodydamn love these books.”

A ballsy statement, goodman, and a most accurate one as well.

If you haven’t had the chance to snatch this book, I can only pray that you shoot it straight to the top of your TBR! Without question . . .

5/5 stars;)

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