Review of Red Rising (Red Rising Trilogy #1) by Pierce Brown

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: bought
Publication date: January 16th, 2014
Genres & Themes: YA, Dystopia, Action, Science Fiction, Rivalities, Battle.


Darrow is a Helldiver, one of a thousand men and women who live in the vast caves beneath the surface of Mars, generations of people who spend their lives toiling to mine the precious elements that will allow the planet to be terraformed. Just knowing that, one day, people will be able to walk the surface of the planet is enough to justify their sacrifice. The Earth is dying, and Darrow and his people are the only hope humanity has left.

Until the day Darrow learns that it is all a lie. That Mars has been habitable – and inhabited – for generations, by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. A class of people who look down at Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

Until the day Darrow, with the help of a mysterious group of rebels, disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside.

But the command school is a battlefield – and Darrow isn’t the only student with an agenda.



This is the kind of book that truly makes you feel somehow…bad for only giving it 2 stars. It’s like it deserves more, even though I didn’t actually enjoy reading it. It’s a weird feeling but I have to face my thoughts: the story was mostly boring and I struggled to finish it.

The weirdest thing is that I LOVED the beginning and where the plot seemed to be going. We met some incredible and unique characters, at that point of the story. I wished for them to be present in it throughout the book. But they weren’t…

The only character we actually kept seeing, as the story went, was the main one. Such a shame since I wanted to know more about his uncle. And his wife…oh dear, I went re-reading the parts she were in since she’s the kind of character that brigs a wonderful atmosphere inside a story.

Again, before the ‘battle’ began, a developed world-building was presented, one that I only wanted to know more of. Then, when our fellow Darrow, the main character, went on the battlefield (which can also be called the school), I lost interest very quickly because there was only mischief, grief, pressure, fear, mystery, and savageness all mixed up together in the atmosphere.

Also, our main character changed a lot. He became…a God. He wasn’t like that at all before and I liked the fact that, for once, a male main character isn’t perfect or hasn’t the strength to ‘save the world.’ Of course, character development is not a bad thing but has to be moderated. And why was it necessary to make Darrow that perfect and respected and the kind of person that gives someone the feeling that everything is possible and that no giving up is allowed?

The writing was good but the pacing so slow, the kind of slow that makes it necessary for you to read a page per two minutes. Which equals 30 pages read per hour. Which is not enough, in my opinion. I guess it can differ from one person to another but I shared this with you so you know what awaits you with the pacing and that it’s not, as in not at all, a fast-paced story.

Also, there is a lot of betrayal in this book. Of course, I was expecting it but what I wasn’t expecting was for Darrow to be betrayed AND betray. At some point, before the main character was transformed into a God-like one, he was mean and ruthless and negative. The thing is, I felt like he had multiple personalities…

There is like 1% of romance in this book so, if that’s what you were looking for, I highly suggest for you to look elsewhere.

Obviously many people liked this book, so I can’t dare say I don’t recommend it. The first part and half of the second were amazing but the other ones were boredoms I only wished to escape from.

View all my reviews on Goodreads.

42 thoughts on “Review of Red Rising (Red Rising Trilogy #1) by Pierce Brown

  1. It sucks when you understand why a lot of people like a book but you just can’t seem to enjoy it as much as everyone else! This book sounds like it started really good wbut failed to actually keep the excitement going. There are stories where pacing is really important, and I think this is just one of those books. So even when the plot, characters and world-building is really interesting, I can totally understand why you got bored in some parts! Lovely review Lola! ❤


  2. Weirdly enough I know exactly what you mean. I have read books where I have felt similar. Where the writing was good but everything else lacked and you really want to give it a great review but just can’t. Sorry this one didn’t work out for you.


  3. OH NOOOOO! You don’t like this book, Lola??? It’s one my all-time-favorite books because Darrow is just so kickass. Yeah, I agree with you about the slow pacing but I didn’t mind that at all because I loved the action scenes and I always like a fully set up story when it’s fantasy, dystopia or sci-fi. And would you be surprised if I say that IMO, one of the strongest points of this book is that we were able to see the different sides of Darrow?

    I am hugely anticipating for the Golden Son to come out.

    Ah well, to each his or her own… I hope your next read will be better than this one, Lola. Lovely review!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yikes. I don’t even know what to say about this book. I am actually the kind of reader who does not look for romance when reading so I think that makes this book kinda right up my alley. BUT SLOW PACING is something I can handle only if the character is like the greatest thing ever BUT THEN AGAIN, he seemed kinda off. Soooo, maybe I’ll pick up this book, maybe not. Anyway, thank you so much for your honest review, Lola. I feel like doing the same forehead massage like what Cruella (that’s Cruella, right) is doing on your GIF. Heh.


    • XD Hahha, it looks like this would be good for you BUT then again not really. LOL, it’s that chick from that Disney movie (forgot the name) but it’s not Cruella. You know…the movie in which a selfish spoiled prince is turned into a sheep (I think) Anyway, not Cruella haahahha but it could be her grandmother. 😉


  5. I’m sorry Red Rising didn’t work for you, Lola. I’m like Charlotte, I truly loved it. I can see what you mean, though, about the slow pacing, and Darrow not being with his family anymore. I think that’s partly what made it so interesting though, the way he is going to bring everything down from within…
    I hope you’ll love your next read. Have a wonderful weekend.


  6. I’m sorry it wasn’t as good as you thought it would be. I confess that I was really intrigued because I heard great things about it but I tend to feel the contrary when it’s like that so now I’m quite anxious… maybe not.


  7. OH I AM SAD YOU DID NOT LIKE IT. But I understand. It was definitely not what I was expecting, but somehow…gosh, I just enjoyed it so, so much. It was like a more vicious version of The Hunger Games, actually (although I hate making comparisons like that..buuut, it’s kind of true in this case). I so loved Eo. She could’ve made the book like 1000% times better BUT THEN BAD THINGS WENT AND HAPPENED. ‘Scuse me, I need to go sulk.


  8. Awww…I’m sorry Lola! 😦 It’s a shame when a book starts out well, and then kind of goes downhill from there. It sounds like this is either something you’ll either love or hate, and it’s a shame that you weren’t on the upper side of the spectrum. 😦 Hope your next read is better! Brilliant review lovely. ❤


  9. You shouldn’t feel bad about not liking it more. For each their own taste right ;)? Since it get such high ratings I am still going to check it out. And I think I like that there is not going to be romance, most dystopian’s I’ve read are heavy on the romance. Sorry you didn’t like it, hope you have better luck with your next read 🙂


  10. I’m sorry this didn’t work out for you, Lola. Its hard to like a book if you’re bored. If I know ahead of time that the story is complex and takes some time to develop I can muster up some patience and dig in. Obviously, I have to be in the mood for such a read. Great honest review! 🙂


  11. I tend to struggle with slow books as well. I’ve avoided reading this one because of all the hype surrounding it and I also struggle with YA male POVs, but I can’t honestly say that it’s a book that I’ve wanted to (or want to) read either. It’s just not a book that caught my attention. It’s always the worst feeling when a book bores you. Hate when that happens.
    I’m sorry you didn’t love this one, Lola! Lovely review!


  12. I always feel so much pressure when I go into a book knowing that a lot of people loved it. And then, even worse, is the moment I realize I don’t love it and am going to have to give this very popular book a low rating. But bravo – great review, and I can totally see why you didn’t like it and why some might love it. I’m still on the fence actually LOL, I’m going to have to just see for myself.


  13. Yeah, I definitely have seen mixed reviews for Red Rising. I still do want to give it a try, but it probably won’t be for a really, really long time. Anyways, I completely agree with you the whole giving low ratings. I feel so bad about it, but then I realize that, well, everyone has their own opinion. Someone is bound to love the book.


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