Red Rising, Pierce Brown

Caution, mild spoilers ahead.

“Funny thing, watching gods realize they’ve been mortal all along.”

I was going to leave for a trip for 3 weeks and couldn’t bring physical copies of the books with me. At least not as many as I would want to. So, for the first time in years I bought kindle versions of a few books.

I decided to clean my want-to-read and owned-to-read shelves and this is one that’s been on one of those lists for a long time. I don’t think the synopsis really convinced me and I wasn’t sure the book would be worth buying.

I regret that I formed an opinion before giving it a real chance. I think I might want to have it on a shelf of my bookcase so I can re-read it or just flip through the pages to savor the good passages.

This is one of those books that really surprised me. There was action, a bad-ass character, suspense… Everything you want in a good novel that takes you in its grip and doesn’t let go before you flip the last page.

The future that this book is painting is simple but evil.

It has been compared to The Hunger Games, and I thought the same by the middle of the book but P. Brown created something new. It may be another dystopian future, another example of our flaws and habits, but it is also an example of what we might become if a handful few can grab the seats of power and impose their will, hiding the rest of us in the dark for the next centuries.

If I only knew that there would be Greek and Roman mythology involved I would have picked the book sooner. P. Brown used the names of the gods and their characteristics and attributes to show the different battling houses of the Golds, but at the same time mentioning the differences between Greek and Roman mythology.

The main character is not perfect, but deep and easy to connect to. He might be above average in his skills or strength, but then again, it was all built for him. And throughout the pages P. Brown shows us the change in the protagonist, his doubts, his fears, but also his never ending will to push forward. We get to presence his evolution and the adjustment to his new role in the society.

The story is gripping and full of twists. Even though some of the turns of the events are easy to foresee, the story is ever changing. The fluid relationship between the characters and the protagonist is sometimes surprising like with Tactus, Servo and Pax, other times not so much as with Mustang. But the author is not afraid to kill one or several of the characters you liked or started to like, leaving you on the edge of the seat to see what will happen next.

It was a good ride and I hope you will take it too.

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