Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Red Rising
By Pierce Brown
Hardcover, 400 pages

Wow. I have just finished reading this book and I am ready to conquer the world. Possibly a couple of them. 

I have to admit it is not my typical genre, but I was intrigued to get in on the ground floor of what is likely to be an epic series and, I would imagine, a film or three. 

The sci-fi, dystopian, rise to power, epic saga of betrayal, loyalty, strength, class struggles and adventure did admittedly take me a night to get into. Did I mention this is not my usual genre? 

The book has been compared to The Hunger Games and The Game of Thrones (both of which I haven't read or really planned on - though I will likely get to at some point now) but all I know is that it is masterfully paced and plotted with so much realistic detail and emotional pull that I found myself unable to put it down once I got going. By the end I was gripping the book in hand breathless til the end. I may or may not have been shadow boxing and stomping out warrior songs when I put it down - only my puppies know for sure. 

I have no idea how one young (and cute) author managed this work - but it is definitely worth your time.

From the back flap:
“I live for the dream that my children will be born free,” she says. “That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.”

“I live for you,” I say sadly.

Eo kisses my cheek. “Then you must live for more.”

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power.  He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies . . . even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

Photo credit: Joan Allen
Pierce Brown

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 startup 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.