Book Review – Red Rising

“Man cannot be freed by the same injustice that enslaved it.” ― Pierce Brown, Red Rising

my thanks go to the Orang-Utan Librarian (go here to visit this excellent blog) for drawing my attention to this book. I probably would not have got hold of it otherwise and would have missed out on a treat.

set in the far future where the people of the solar system are in the grip of a rigid caste system, this is the story of Darrow, one of the Reds who slave in the mines beneath the surface of Mars, and his quest to overthrow the Golds, the rulers of the worlds. Driven by rage and a thirst for revenge he vows to destroy them all, only to find that they, and all the other colours, are just as trapped as his own people.

Red Rising is the best Science Fiction I have read in a long time. Reading it made me feel that I had rediscovered my love for the genre, and yet at the same time genre is almost irrelevant when a book is as good as this. Yes there are hints of other things here, I described it to my daughter as The Illiad crossed with The Hunger Games with a fair bit of Percy Jackson but that doesn’t do it justice, it feels original. The thing that struck me most was the poetic quality, the moment when Darrow first sees the surface of Mars sticks in my mind, reminiscent of a moment from a Philip K. Dick novel.

when I told my daughter I had read it she said “But that’s in my Christmas list!”, if you haven’t read it then Red Rising should probably be on yours.

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