"Old enough to screw, old enough to crew"
I actually started Red Rising last year and it ended up going in my "DNF/On Holf" list on goodreads. At the time it just wasn't want I wanted to read... BUT seeing as in it's the start of a new year I said I was going to go back to that list and finish every book on it (there's around 11). I am so thankful I did this.
Originally I got about 90-ish pages in and it was just so slow... So this time knowing some of what was going on I powered through the first part of the book and when I hit the second half I wanted to smack myself in the face for even putting it down. If I would have known that the second half of the book would have hit like a train I wouldn't have stopped in the first place. I also, like everyone else I know whose read this, am having a hard time placing this book... Is it Sci-fi? Is it YA or NA? Is it Fiction?... I don't know and I don't care I just loved it.
I will repeat though the first half of this book is slow. Once I hit the other section I completely understood why. Pierce does an amazing job in world building and setting up the story to have this amazing POW effect towards the end. On to the actual review though.
Darrow is a Helldriver on Mars. He is drilling mines with the hopes that one day people will live on the surface. This world is ruled under strict laws/rules. Darrow is all about keeping a low-pro and just doing what needs to be done. His wife, Eo, however doesn't feel the same way. Disgusted by how the Golds rule she wants to take action to free everyone from the way things are. The relationship between Eo and Darrow is so much more than sweet. I feel a lot of times male writers either hit or miss the mark when it comes to capturing relationships, and Pierce hit the bulls-eye. After several events take place Darrow ends up on the surface of Mars disguised as a Gold. After which he enrolls into an Academy with the goal of rising up in the Gold ranks.
“I would have lived in peace. But my enemies brought me war.”
The Academy however is not what you would think. THIS IS WHERE THE STORY REALLY HAPPENS! THIS IS WHERE I SHOULD HAVE PUSHED MYSELF TO GET... Once he is enrolled all shiz hits the fan. Darrow goes from this mundane kind of boring character and truly transforms into someone that is even hard to describe. Just this off the charts growth. I thought this story was going to take kind of a feeling like The Testing had too it, but I was so so wrong. I was excepting the school to start off norm and then become something insane. What I didn't expect was Darrow's first test to be killing a boy with his bare hands. I didn't expect his character to be thrown into such warfare. I didn't expect all hell to break loose or this story to go from zero to sixty so fast. I know I'm saying "I didn't expect" a lot during this review, and again I don't care, because this book wasn't at all what I thought it was going to be.
The thing Red Rising has going for it besides the complete turn around in plot, was the surprising amount of action. I ended up feeling like I read two books at once. The first half was this world building, low key gem and the second half was this action packed book that could and will play out amazing on the big screen. There are so many surprises and action packed into the last half of this book that I swear I said "WHAT THE F DID I JUST READ" probably 50 times.
Character development was another thing that Pierce mastered, with such grace. If I would have read Red Rising last year it probably would have gone as my "biggest surprise read of 2014", sadly it didn't happen for me then... But thankfully it got my 2015 reading year off on the right foot. Also can't thank him enough for how he ended the book. (it wasn't on a cliffhanger and for once I'm really glad about it.)
Red Rising if you can't tell, took me by surprise and I can't wait to read Golden Son. This is a book you need to experience.