So, Red Rising is Pierce Brown's debut novel and is told through a seventeen year old named Darrow who lives with his small family in the small sectors of Mars as a Red. You see, the class of a person is divided into colours, and Reds are the smallest, Golds the highest. To Golds, whether you're a Bronze or a Pink or anything close, you're a turdlicker, and these types of metaphors happen throughout the whole book. And yeah, it takes place on Mars, so it's a future dystopian book where people travel from Earth to Mars to the moon (not in that order) and back for several purposes. Ironically, the moon is called Luna the same way it was in The Lunar Chronicles. But when tragedy strikes in Darrow's home, he earns the need to avenge the dream of his lost one and is accepted into a mission by a man named Dancer who gets him all polished and muscled up and enrols him in a fierce and brutal school where you could end up a Gold but you could also end up dead, at the helm of a man who believes men are not born equal and never were.
This book is often very disgusting and disorganized, but when it throws a punch, it catapults you straight into the quicksand and sucks the vacuum as hard as the big bad wolf blowing in. Red Rising is one of the most brutal books I've read in years. And I mean brutal for our characters; thankfully, not us. One of the reasons I found it disorganized was because I felt there were several moments when one decides to follow the other and it was hard to pick out who exactly felt sympathy towards Darrow. And while not the worst idea ever invented, I found it sometimes uncomfortable when Pierce Brown says names of people who are dead for description in present tense. It is also a very long book, I must say; if it was in general print, it would've probably been about 600 pages, not 382. But it's much easier to read than most stories in similar prosecution and similar book format. There is a very big abundance of characters to list and several new ones appear like a giant family tree, and just like a death that happens in the book very early, there is a death of a very big character halfway through that happens too quickly, but it is where the book is action packed where it truly excels.
In a way, it's exactly like The Hunger Games meets Lord of the Flies and there is action really every chapter once the game begins and it's sometimes even overwhelming and alarming how many times castles are overthrown or people are captured and made slaves, and also how long this book is in terms of how long the people are playing the game. You know, they don't entirely know how to win and do best guess for how they'll work in society if they ever get out, and each person has a different thought but that never gets in the way of a story. I related to this because I remember in Civics in Grade 10 we played a game called Civicality and it involved the process of life and being rejected even when it was the law. It was an educational but infuriating class and I don't know if everyone acted how they would because of the cards they were told how to, but I remember a substitute teacher was in for our second round and didn't change all these new laws we had put in and the leader kept breaking them, and Agh! Red Rising is a very giant book, and as I've said, brutal. There's a sequel called Golden Son, and I'll read it soon, but right now, after all that happened, I need an Aspirin.