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.
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 blog about books that made an impression on me. I love middle grade, women’s, scifi and some literary too.