Red Rising, a novel by Pierce Brown, is a story set around a dystopian society where humanity has expanded far from Earth and has colonized other planets in our solar system. This society is set up in a color hierarchy, Gold being the elite and authority and Reds being the lowest of the low, practically slaves, but they don’t really know that, at least not in the beginning. The story takes place on Mars and Reds spend long hours of their day as miners, preparing the soil for the Golds. Poor living conditions and little food with the looming risk of dying plague the miners. Darrow, the main character, starts out as a Red who has easily submitted to this life but learns that it is one of oppression and decides to form a band of Reds and rebel.
The plot itself can definitely spark a great amount of interest, as many dystopian books--no matter how repetitive--do, as the story in some ways can connect to our society today. Brown creates a world where people are defined and limited in their freedom based on their color and it is under this enforced tyranny that the suppressed people fight against. The characters were wonderfully developed and entertaining, especially the wild secondary character, Sevro. The only aspect that could have be improve in the storytelling was the description of scenes. Reading a book is like watching a movie that’s being played in your head. There were moments where I could envision the setting perfectly but others where I struggled forming a backdrop. Overall, this detail did not interfere greatly with my experience of enjoying this book.
This book is the first of a trilogy, the second and third being Golden Son and Morning Star respectively. If you are interested in engaging futuristic storylines with charming characters, add this to your “must read” list!