Challenges, Dark, Fantasy, Scifi

Red Rising Simply BLEW MY MIND! The Best Bossy Buddy Read Of The Year

Red Rising (Red Rising #1)

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★★★★★  5 SHINING stars


disbelief mind blown

I can actually not believe this book. I bought Red Rising ages ago, and it’s been lying and lying around on my Kindle. I would look at it and go, nah… Why did I even buy this… It’s probably typical YA Hunger Games sort of stuff… Going to be cliched and I’ll be rolling my eyes at it.

Could I have been more wrong???

(Just in case you’re wondering, the answer is no. I have been in the wrongest.)

Red Rising has been one of the freshest gulps of air this year, and it did not disappoint in the least. Now, keep in mind – I have just finished Gemina! And yet, I still think this is worth 5 stars. 5 shining stars, for that matter. I just came up with that measure solely for this review. So, since we’re doing this as a buddy read with Marta, I will go through this with the help of her questions! Thanks, Marta, for helping me gather my thoughts – as I am quite overwhelmed by the pure epicness of this story.

Give me your overall impression of Red Rising, in a very brief manner. Have you liked it?

(That is the pictorial expression of my feelings.)

As you can probably tell, I’ve LOVED it. Red Rising was an immersing experience, and whatever you’re expecting from this book, it will probably not be that. It’s not YA. It’s not cliche. It’s very violent though, so I have to give you that warning. It’s very stabby! It’s super dark. Red Rising is perfectly laid out, it will surprise you, I guess I could only compare it to the Illuminae series? Dynamically it’s different, but stylistically seems close.

Words to describe this book? Long. Epic. Smart. Violent. Not actually set in space!

I have loved many of the characters in this story, who was your favourite of them all? Why?

I have always rooted for Darrow (the main character). You could say, I was loyal to him to the end! (Loyalty is a running theme in the book.) He is strong, cunning and yet – soulful, mindful, rage filled with understanding, violence mixed with compassion. It’s an incredible concoction.

But aside from Darrow, I also loved Sevro. He’s such an underdog, but one able to care for himself, to outpace everyone, even the stronger and bigger ones! He is truly the David to his many Goliaths in Red Rising. Another thing that I liked about him is that he takes everyone individually – he does not really subscribe to the whole racist, casteist view of the rest of the society. I feel like he wouldn’t, anyway. He keeps his loyalty to Darrow even when he finds out things he shouldn’t have know. I wonder if he’ll prove to be as faithful as I see him in the upcoming books!

Tell me what did you think about the writing style? Did it help you to empathize with the characters?

I felt that the writing style was very easily approachable. It just felt so natural to me, I couldn’t find anything to say about it. It was flowing, easy and pleasant to read.

What were your favorite and your least favorite aspects of this book?

My favorite aspect was the change Darrow goes through as a character. It’s truly mesmerizing to watch him become what he has always hated, and yet – understand more about his enemies, and see how he could make their society better. Him changing perspectives, carrying the guilt of becoming something he abhorred – and finding out that those people also don’t live sheltered lives, that they train themselves in the furnaces of hell so they could withstand what their pampered existence has not let them learn to suffer through. They literally train themselves to be gods, and that is such a big lesson for Darrow. And how much harder it is for him, as he is genetically, physically and intellectually deficient, and yet, the drive in him overcomes all the odds.

As for the least favorite parts – it’s hard to even say, because I absolutely loved this book. Even the violence (normally a turn-off) did not really bother me, cause I felt like it belonged. However, I did get a little tired of all the Greek stuff. Fine, ancient Greece and Rome culture in space, we get it! But it just doesn’t blend… I understand why it was there, I know it wouldn’t have worked without it, but still, it remains my least favorite part of the book.

Related to the previous question, how would you change the things that you haven’t liked about the book?

First of all, I will admit to using this GIF a little much in my posts. Secondly, like I said – it’s hard to say! I don’t think you can change that without changing the whole story and the setup of the book. Maybe mentioning it less? I realize that it’s easy to criticize without any solution! 🙈

Would you like to continue with the series?

Why do you think people should read this book?

Because it’s an epic tale of war, humanity vs inhumanity and overcoming your very limits, set on the planet of Mars, swarming with eugenically engineered races that make a society segregated into castes. It’s a tale of fighting to overcome your odds, of being poorer and weaker, and yet excelling, because you are fighting for something more. Because it’s a love song to the ever-budding hope, that lingers under the snow, the rock and the poor, drab dirt, but it never dies. Not as long as there is at least one person fighting for it.

Have you read or heard of Red Rising?
Talk to me! I want to hear aaaaaall the fangirl and fanboy #feels.

I’m Evelina and I try to blog about books that matter, with a bit of fun there too! Disability and equality will be topics you see a lot, but there’s also a lot of scifi, fantasy and… GIFs. I’m also the proud founder of #ARCsAnonymous.

44 thoughts on “Red Rising Simply BLEW MY MIND! The Best Bossy Buddy Read Of The Year

    1. It IS good! I’ve also been holding it off forever, and now I’m sorry I was. Just prepare yourself for some gore and violence. That book can be tough to stomach, although it’s not pointless, it works in favor of the writing very well.

  1. Ahh! You have 200% SOLD ME on this book! It’s high up on my THE (but I have to wait til I go to B&N again bc my library doesn’t have it ) AND after I just trusted your review of Illuminae and LOVED that and Gemina… I think it’s safe to say I trust your opinions on books! 🙂

    1. Hahaha 😀 well, Illu and Gemina is a special case! I don’t believe I even know a person who hated them 😀 buy I hope you like this too 🙂 it’s way more adult than Gemina, and more serious, but definitely as dark and twisty. I really do hope you’ll like it! And don’t forget to share your review with me 🙂 and updates when you read!

  2. Oh I LOVED this book, and the sequel. So. Much. I actually own the final books in this series but I don’t want the story to be over so it has been sitting on my shelf for over a year. I am so happy you loved this. Now I know your book taste is on point (not that I had any doubts). It is so good to find purple with love for there same characters.

    1. Oh my god, so did I actually FINALLY find someone who does the same with a series they love, but don’t want it to end? I do the same!!! Nobody does that! (I’m still only 4 books in with HP because I don’t want it to end xD)
      And thanks! Hey, have you heard of the spin-off (Iron Gold)?

  3. Maybe I have the wrong idea about this book too? Idk, I’ve never been interested from the blurb, and I kinda tend to avoid hyped books since more often than not I end up not loving them, but I may have to give this one a shot because of all the things you said about the characters!
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    1. I had the ABSOLUTE WRONGEST idea about this book from the blurb. Like… the first book isn’t even what the blurb is about. The first book is basically strats and ancient warfare. Completely not in the circumstances the blurb describes. I don’t think I’ve ever read a more misleading blurb 😀

  4. YES ALL THE YESES THIS BOOK IS JUST SO AMAZING. And trust me the whole series is just this amazing explosion of quality awesome. I 500% plan to reread the trilogy this year!! In preparation for Iron Gold. I actually ADORE how dark/stabby it is, because I always think books can be darker haha. And Darrow was adorable and Sevro is a complete psycho and I LOVE HIM.
    Cait @ Paper Fury recently posted…#DoubleReview ~ The Girl From Everywhere & The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig // Pirates And Maps And Time Travel!My Profile

  5. This was a fun post to read! I love the question and answer style. Marta did a great job coming up with questions. I think I mentioned before that I’ve owned this one for forever too but haven’t read it. I think I need to change that!
    Christine recently posted…Review: The AuthenticsMy Profile

    1. I think you really do! I also owned it forever 😀 you won’t regret it. Point me to your review when you post one, I’ll want to hear your opinion 🙂

  6. Your posts are fun, lol. You also keep adding things to my TBR so of you could stop doing that, that’d be great thanks. Saw Radium Girls in the store and almost go it cuz I said /no impulse buys/ but it was hard.

    How was the Greek stuff related? I get that Mars is a God in Greek(?) mythology but I’m so uneducated on the topic I don’t get it

    1. Hey now, you SHOULD HAVE got it! You need to read it! It’s so worth reading that!!
      And thanks!!
      Well, basically, the Greek stuff.. it was in their culture. Their society is layered, like, genetically. The stronger and smarter ones are the top caste, the weaker ones (or bred for a specific function) are lower castes. And the highest caste really likes the Greek culture. So much that they’ve built their entire space culture around the ancient Greek and Roman cultures. The myths, the names. The virtues. It’s like Greece or Rome reborn. I’m not good at explaining it 😀

      1. lol sounds kind of like Brave New World with the caste system thing. BNW is my all time favorite book so I guess I might have to check this one out as well haha. I have a mild interest in astronomy so maybe it’ll satisfy that desire as well.

        1. Yes, the castes are indeed just like it 🙂 although the novel itself is very different. I loved Brave New World as well 🙂

  7. You are one of my favorite people. This review is amazing! I love all the gushing love for Red Rising. I’m so glad you enjoyed this!! As you know, I recently finished the series. I think Red Rising is my favorite book in the trilogy. But, that’s personal preference of course! Sevro is by-and-large my favorite character, too.

    I really struggled with how women were portrayed in Red Rising, actually. That was a huge turn-off. It was really obvious to me that Brown wasn’t really making any effort to develop realistic female characters. They all felt perfect and idealized or were completely dependent on men– which didn’t fit in his world at all. I also struggled a lot with the violence. You’re right– it totally fits in this world! But, it just isn’t for me.

    But I absolutely love this world Brown created. It’s so unique and well-defined. It gets even better as you keep reading, too! I assume you’ll continue the series?

    1. Awwww, thank you! We should chat like we did that other time. But I bet you’re as busy as me 😀 it’s still good to know I have a friend who doesn’t forget about me even if we don’t talk a lot – just like you know I also think about during the course of the week, although we don’t really talk much. I don’t need to talk to you to remember you xD (it’s a weird paradox..?)

      Oh yes, I’ll definitely continue 🙂 it’s just a question of when there’s a sale for the next book T_T I can’t say so far about the females – I’ve read just the one book, and it has been centered on a male character and the male experience – that’s fine with me. There will be some books which are set in the male world and will talk about the male experience. I’m alright with that. But of course, I haven’t read the two next ones yet – so it might change in the next ones, I don’t know 🙂

      Do you plan to read Iron Gold?

      1. Not a weird paradox at all. That’s how I function, actually. It’s weird to other people, but I think other people are weird if they need more attention. So… yeah. The amount of time and attention I get from people is not what makes or breaks my relationships. It’s the quality of that time.

        I think that women are portrayed most poorly in the first book, actually. It’s because they aren’t central to the story that I think it’s easy to miss. I don’t want to provide spoilers to others, so I won’t comment here, but check out my Red Rising post if you are curious about my thoughts.

        I don’t NOT plan to read Iron Gold, if that makes sense? I think I want to wait and see what the reception is. Also for other possible books— I assume it won’t be stand alone?

        1. Yeah, that’s true, girls are not really MCs or even central characters in the book. Well, maybe Mustang though? She proves a strong feminine loyalty, and her character has this sisterly/motherly understanding that having a society like that is wrong and she wouldn’t go with it. I really liked that! And I can totally go with women not being central in the story – that’s fine, some books will be like that. Some books need to tell the male perspective, that’s absolutely fine. Hey, I’ve read WORSE hard scifi. Maybe it’s actually why I think this? I’ve read a lot of scifi xD some older scifi is really bad with this. I’m sure you’ve heard. The Foundation by Asimov? The two last books have LITERALLY one female character. In total. And maybe a passing girl character that’s not even secondary. ONE WOMAN. So you know 😀

          Oh, good point about Iron Gold. You’re right, spin-offs can be dangerous. Yes, I think it will be a spin-off series 🙂

          Did I tell you I got The Golden House by Salman Rushdie, BTW? The biggest shock in this year’s ARC history for me (the fact that SOMEONE WOULD GIVE ME RUSHDIE’S ARC) xD reading it now. It’s pretty good!

          1. Oh, I don’t think that women need to be in the central story, don’t get me wrong. But I do believe that women need to be well-represented in literature, even as side characters. And I don’t think this is bad sci-fi, just sci-fi which depicted women in a way which pulled me out of the story line.

            But yes, I haven’t read a lot of classic science fiction because I’m super nervous that I will get so angry about how women are depicted that I might kill someone. No joke. I get on my feminist high horse and rage against the world. The people around me don’t need that. 😉

            YOU GOT A RUSHDIE ARC. Oh man. I can’t wait to hear what you think of this!
            Jackie B. recently posted…The Best We Could DoMy Profile

          2. Yes, you would be very pissed off at old sci-fi 😀 I am SURE of that. I can often put my views aside to enjoy a good story… But I totally know it is what it is 😀

            Yes, I got a Rushdie ARC. AND I DON’T LIKE IT. WHYYYY ;_______; #theguilt

          3. I *should* put my views aside to enjoy a good story. For some reason, if the book in question is labeled a “Classic” I can do that. But if it isn’t… well, I get on my high horse. Hopefully, I can learn from your example!

            Pft, that’s okay that you don’t like it. There are tons of really popular and influential authors I can’t stand. Is this your first experience with his work?
            Jackie B. recently posted…The Best We Could DoMy Profile

          4. 😀 yes, I will agree – that classic bit does help a lot.
            Yep, it’s my first experience with his work… And I also have Midnight Children (bought it years ago), so I’ll be reading that at some point. At least he gets plenty of chances, right 😀

  8. I’ve been holding off on this one, I’ve read the reviews and heard great things about it. I’m not sure that I would like it, I just haven’t cared much for sci-fi / dystopia novels. I haven’t read the Illuminae series because of the same reason. Glad you enjoyed it, maybe one day I will think about reading it. Great review.

    1. I know what you mean. This one’s more Hunger Games than sci-fi though. To me, it was not sci-fi at all. You could say everything is sci-fi because Earth is a planet too, if this is sci-fi 😀 I really don’t know why they class it as such.
      Illuminae is also more action than sci-fi 🙂 you’re definitely missing out on that one 😀

  9. Ok if I wasn’t convinced I needed to read Red Rising before, I AM NOW! Though I’ve put it off for ages (well, it’s been almost two full years since I received this book for my birthday, that counts as ages, right?…) I will get to it soon! So happy to hear you loved it so much! Buddy reads can be a great thing indeed 🙂 And great GIF selection BTW 😉
    Lindsey @ Lindsey Reads recently posted…July 2017: The Month Of My First Hiatus (But Now I’m Back! Well, Mostly…) {Monthly Wrap Up}My Profile

    1. Do you know, I did exactly the same! I even regretted buying it?? 😀 now I’m so glad I did! And I’m super glad I pushed you towards it too. Please share your review with me if I miss it, after you’re done 🙂 tag me kn twitter or something. I would LOVE to find out what you thought.

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