My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The measure of a man is what he does when he has power. —Darrow
It’s already been eight months since I’ve finished Red Rising. Although I can’t remember everything that happened, all I know is that it was one of the best dystopian novels I’ve ever read.
Pierce Brown created a universe that was marvelously complex: an expansive, color-based society founded upon the ideals of Greek mythology. Initially, it was quite hard for my mind to imagine or comprehend the aesthetics and mechanics of Darrow’s world. However, when I finally crossed the threshold of familiarity, I became helplessly intrigued. Pierce Brown’s vision of spatial life was very thought-provoking. To be more specific, I really admired how thoroughly imagined it was.
Despite its obvious (and blurbed) similarity to The Hunger Games, Red Rising still captivated my interest. I admit that I felt quite jaded, since bloody competitions have already become a trope in dystopian literature. Thankfully, Pierce Brown successfully made this trope his own by adding tons of plot twists that left me breathless with delirium.
I loved this book primarily because it made learning politics so much fun. I might be going against Formalist ideologies (i.e. “The author is dead.”) when I say that Pierce Brown somehow integrated his political beliefs into his work. There were so many times I detected allusions to issues like capitalism, revolution, and democracy. I actually see this as a virtue because these things are very relevant nowadays, and nothing beats the experience of getting exposed to them through a great sci-fi novel.
Overall, I highly recommend Red Rising to readers looking for outstanding science fiction. I’m currently reading Morning Star, so I’m dreading the moment I say goodbye to Darrow and his powerful, celestial story.
P.S. I’m a little bothered that Red Rising is often categorized as YA. Darrow, Sevro, Mustang, and the other characters are indeed teenagers in this book, but I think that Pierce Brown’s writing style is distinctly adult.