This is the first part of a saga and the very first book I´ve read by the author. I remember, that about two years ago when I saw the cover of the German hardcover edition for the first time, I wasn´t impressed nor did the back text convince me to read it. Since then some things have changed. Some friends were totally thrilled by it, and when I noticed that the German paperback edition is with the original cover, I had to give it a try. And now I AM HOOKED! This was the best I´ve ever read from the Sci-fi / Dystopia genre until today.

Red Rising*
by Pierce Brown
Red Rising Trilogy #1
Publisher Random House on January 28, 2014
Genre Dystopia
Pages 382
Format Hardcover
Source Publisher*

“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 already reached the surface generations ago. Vas 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 that means he has to become one of them to do so.
Darrow is a teenager who works deep down under the deadly surface of Mars in the Helium mines. He´s called one of the best and knows that his work will help to transform the deadly environmental side of the surface into a livable surrounding for the desperate people on the planet earth – a dying planet. But one day, when he and his wife get a forbidden glimpse at something that others try to hide from the Reds, things change dramatically.

Pierce Brown has a fantastic way not only of showing another world, but also how he describes a plot and Darrow´s story. Told from the first person of Darrow, the reader is thrown into a world full of dark, despair, and hunger. The author´s language is clear, very impressive, and strong. Sometimes you will read some gutter language sometimes the high-level language of the Golden depending on the situation and the figures who are in it. For me, it was very fascinating to read all those different styles and to see how Darrow has to adjust to it. To experience his struggle with the unfairness of life, how he changes, and what he finally is willing to do and to sacrifice for the better is remarkable. 

The author tells even the bloodiest and cruelest scenes with a great writing style. Life on Mars is a mix between the Roman Empire and the caste system of India. There are a lot of different characters who play very well together. Meaning: some will lose, others will survive and some learn the real lessons behind all.

Darrow is a young man, who is not only very smart, but he also learns from his mistakes -unlike others in this story. He´s longing for revenge wants to destroy the man who killed his wife Eo coldblooded. And Darrow is used to a hard life, to use his brain and his body and skills to get as much as possible.

Cassius is born and raised in wealth and has never experienced how it feels to be hungry, really hungry. His arrogance is priceless, his behavior against others who he sees as lower and not even worth being on this planet is harsh and when he gets to know who the one was that killed his brother, a blood feud and personal animosity is born.

What a fantastic book! With Red Rising the author has touched a nerve – the perfect one. Action, thrill, adventure, passion, and a great main figure, what could you possibly want more? Read it!

Happy reading

*I read the German edition by Heyne.

Pierce Brown
©Joan Allen

While trying to make it as a writer, Brown 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. He lives in Los Angeles, where he is at work on his next novel.



  1. I LOVE this trilogy! Glad you enjoyed. I'm nervous about the final book and have delayed reading it:)

    Great review!

    1. Thank you ... If I could guess I would read it in one single swoop. Can´t wait to get the next one in my hands. Thanks for stopping by :-)


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