January 28, 2014

Release Day Euphoria/ARC Review: Red Rising by Pierce Brown

at 1/28/2014 01:00:00 AM

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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...

Quite honestly, I am at a lost as to what to say about this book. I glossed over other readers' reviews and have heard many good things, but the first thing that comes to mind is how bloody good this book was. Never in my years of reading, I have never read a book left me with such a bad bookhangover (it's a real thing) that I couldn't pick up another book. 

The descriptive and complex universe that made up this futuristic and dystopian version of Mars was not only imaginative, but vastly creative. Darrow has been compared to the great heroes/heroines of dystopian novels. I have no doubt in my mind that Darrow, too, will generate a big enough fan base to stand should to should to Katniss or Ender. I usually tend to root for the underdog and Darrow and the Reds are definitely underdogs in spades.

I met Pierce Brown at last year's Comic Con and received an ARC copy of his book. I love the cover. Simple, elegant, but conveys artistic rage, if that makes any sense. I was instantly captivated by the plot, dialogue/language, but most importantly, by Darrow, the main protagonist. In this gigantically complex universe that Pierce has created, society is divided into categories of people by color. I don't mean color of their skin or anything like that. At the top, there are the Golds, otherwise known as the aristocracy. Of course there are other colors that represent certain "assets" to the Mars society.

Darrow, at sixteen, is a helldiver, like the rest of his brethren. Helldivers mine into the very crust of Mars to find helium-3, a very useful resource. Day in and day out, the people work their fingers to the bone, trying to provide for their families. There is a competition between the mining communities called the Laurel. The mining community that sources the most wins enough food to eat for days. Eo, Darrow's wife, is intelligent, brave and loving. On Mars, you marry young because there's always the possibility of dying the next day. Eo was a belle of the small mining community and definitely very popular choice, but despite all of the offers for her hand in marriage, she waited for Darrow to be of "wedAge" to marry him. This little bit made the romantic in me happy. 

But all is not well in the mining community. Eo and Darrow are caught trespassing into an off-site garden with a view of the sky. My heart broke after the first part of the book. At a young age, these young people marry and try their best to survive with what little they have,but they are constantly reminded that they are and always will be expendable slaves. Through a series of events of tragic loss, Darrow's world view is suddenly crystal clear. Darrow's inner monologue shows readers the inner workings of his mind and from here on out, it's him against the very people who want to keep the Reds down.

With the help of an underground resistance, Darrow goes undercover as a Gold into the very heart of Gold territory. The only problem is that nothing is as it seems. Darrow does things that he would not have thought himself capable of and there were sections in the book where survival was all Darrow could think about. Throughout the later half of the book, I felt that Darrow was teetering between being his alter ego's identity and his true self. The internal struggle certainly adds depth to Darrow's character development. I can't recommend this book any more highly than 5 stars (of course I can, but let's keep this simple). 


Below is a giveaway that will end in 2 weeks. One winner will get an ecopy of Red Rising in the format of their choice. Same giveaway rules apply. Click the link below to find out more about Red Rising and what's up next in Darrow's quest for vengeance. Also be sure to get your copy at the links below.


Buy Links




About the Author


 Photo Credit: Joan Allen

Pierce Brown spent his childhood building forts and setting traps for cousins in the woods of six states and the deserts of two. Graduating from college in 2010, he fancied the idea of continuing his studies at Hogwarts. 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 start-up 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 Los Angeles, where he scribbles tales of spaceships, wizards, ghouls, and most things old or bizarre.







Me with Pierce at San Diego Comic Con 2013

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