Book Review: Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce Brown

a title here(64)description

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. Vast 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 it means he has to become one of them to do so.


“You’re used to knowing what’s what. You think like the rest of them. Things are set in stone. Things are well ordered. Reds at the bottom, everyone else standing on our backs. Now you’re looking at me and you’re realizing that we don’t bloodydamn like it down there. Red is rising.”

Where do I even start with this book? It was absolute perfection and simply amazing! Basically I could sit and fangirl over it all day instead of actually writing a coherent review! It’s super hard to write a review for a book that I found to be so utterly brilliant but I’ll try.

Image result for fangirl gif


First of all I’d like to say this book is very much a blend of genres, it’s not JUST sci-fi and it’s not JUST a dystopian either. “Red Rising” has a little bit of everything because it’s got both sci-fi, dystopian, and even a little bit of high fantasy elements as well. Now being the big lover of both sci-fi and fantasy that I am, I was completely blown away by having these all combined into the “perfect book” for me! I think the blend of genres would make it a book that’s easy for every type of book lover to enjoy!

I absolutely loved the world building as well, Pierce Brown did a magnificent job of being original in my opinion. There is a caste system where people are placed according to Color and do jobs according to that Color, it’s also set on Mars (which we learn more about that as well!), and there’s a lot of Roman mythology in it as well! There’s also just so much unique slang and culture in the world too. It blew me away honestly, I just thought everything was so creative and compelling.

The plot was just overall amazing I love stories about rebellion, rising above oppressors, and rooting for the underdog! This story is all of those things! I was hooked immediately and could NOT put this book down to save my life once I started it. There’s constant action, plot twists, and is very complex overall. While the pacing could be considered more on the slow side I still felt there was enough going on not to be bored. It’s so VICIOUS! There is a lot of violence but it’s awesome (I’m horribly like that), I thought it helped this book break the mold of the usual YA.

Also, the writing? Just as amazing as everything else, of course! I loved how the writing made me FEEL what the characters were feeling and honestly I cried more than once. For me, crying because of a book is always a sign of it’s perfection. I love when a book’s writing is so wonderful it actually brings out emotions in the reader.

This book is VERY reminiscent  of “The Hunger Games”. It bothered me only a little bit that it was so similar but I got over it easily because it’s still a very different book. The arena the Golds compete in is similar to THG as well as the factions since they’re very reminiscent of the Districts in THG. But like I said it’s different too, for example “Red Rising” is by far more violent and gory and I LOVED it for that. There’s also a lot more strategy to it as well, which once again I loved.


Let’s see here……hm…..the characters? Were as freaking awesome as everything else in this book! They’re ruthless, savage, and will do ANYTHING to further their own agendas. I love characters that are this complex and developed, seriously, ALL of them! I was amazed with Brown’s skill to take so many secondary characters and develop them in a few sentences!

Darrow is a great narrator, I loved how fiery he is but yet he knows he has flaws and weaknesses. He has his moments where he’d have his moral lines blur but overall he never forgot his purpose in doing all of this. I’ve seen people complain that Darrow is a “Gary Stu” because he’s chosen and perfect which I can understand but overall I saw that Darrow did have his flaws and I adored him.

The secondary characters were all fantastic as well, honestly it was like having a bunch of other main characters alongside Darrow. I loved how Pierce Brown could make you go from hating a character to loving one in a matter of sentences and vice versa! Everyone was so full of surprises.

I’d also like to take a moment and share my love for both Pax and Sevro who were both the most vicious and adorable characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading about. That is all.

Image result for too precious for this world gif


The romance definitely isn’t the central focus of the plot but it is important as Darrow’s love for his wife, Eo, is his main driving force. I thought those two were very adorable and Darrow is just so sweet and loves his wife so much, ugh, feels!

There is a bit of another romance in the story that I also was  a big fan of but I won’t get into details because….spoilers!

in conclusion

I am concluding that “Red Rising” is an amazingly perfect book and I, personally, found nothing wrong with it. I just had so many emotions and so much FUN reading this book!

Hopefully this review was at least moderately helpful….and not just me gushing too much!

What I Loved:

  • The unique setting
  • The world building
  • The writing
  • The characters, who were wonderfully complex
  • Literally, everything

What I Didn’t Love:

  • Nothing!


I highly recommend this book, seriously, especially for those of you who enjoy dystopians, sci-fi, or fantasy! I pretty much just recommend it anyways though…it’s perfection!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy


32 thoughts on “Book Review: Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce Brown

  1. TeacherofYA May 10, 2017 / 1:40 pm

    I won a copy of this a long time ago: my first ever book win from Goodreads. I have been meaning to read it since, especially since I have seen such rave reviews!! It just intimidates me…😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek May 18, 2017 / 3:26 pm

      Lucky! I would be so pumped if I ever won a Goodreads giveaway! I was pretty intimidated as well and kept putting it off but I did a poll on Twitter to decided what I would read next and Red Rising won and boy am I glad I finally got around to it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • TeacherofYA May 21, 2017 / 6:27 am

        Yes, it IS intimidating but it sounds fantastic, so I need to get over my book fear.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Kelly May 10, 2017 / 1:56 pm

    Yay! So glad that you liked this one and that you have only good things to say about it! I’ve seen so many awesome things about it from pretty much everyone. I have a copy, but I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet – your review makes me want to bump it up on my list, though. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek May 18, 2017 / 3:33 pm

      Thank you so much Kelly!
      Basically all I can do is add to everyone else’s ranting and raving about this book, because I have zero complaints with it! I really hope you decide to read it sooner, I’d love to hear what you think of it too! 🙂


  3. TheQuirkyBookNerd May 10, 2017 / 4:56 pm

    Great review, Heather! I just picked up a copy of this last week, so now I’m even more excited to read it! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek May 18, 2017 / 3:47 pm

      Thanks so much Ariana! I’m so excited you got a copy! I absolutely cannot wait for you to read it and see what you think! Although I have a good feeling you’ll love it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek May 18, 2017 / 3:53 pm

      Thank you I’m excited to read it as well, I’ve heard the cliffhanger is killer so I’m glad I have Morning Star already as well! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Anna @MyBookishDream May 11, 2017 / 3:57 pm

    I’m sooo happy to see that you loved this book! 😀 I have been planning on reading Red Rising for ages and seeing how much you enjoyed it just makes me even more exited to pick it up. I definitely should get my hands on it some time in the future. Amazing review Heather! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek May 24, 2017 / 1:51 pm

      Thanks Anna! We seem to have similar taste in books so I really do think you’d like this one, or at least I really hope you do! I would love to fangirl over it with you, excited to see your thoughts! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek May 24, 2017 / 2:19 pm

      It’s amazing! I have a feeling I’ll be recommending it to everyone, really hope you enjoy it! 🙂


  5. Pingback: May Wrap-Up |

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s