Review of Red Rising

The war begins...

Darrow is a Helldiver, one of a thousand men and women who live in the vast caves beneath the surface of Mars. Generations of Helldivers have spent their lives toiling to mine the precious elements that will allow the planet to be terraformed. Just knowing that one day people will be able to walk the surface of the planet is enough to justify their sacrifice. The Earth is dying, and Darrow and his people are the only hope humanity has left.

Until the day Darrow learns that it is all a lie. Mars is habitable - and indeed has been inhabited for generations by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. The Golds regard Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

With the help of a mysterious group of rebels, Darrow disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside.

But the command school is a battlefield. And Darrow isn't the only student with an agenda...
There has been so much hype over Red Rising and almost everyone seemed to love it, well that is, everyone but me. I struggled through the whole book, thought about DNFing but forced through since everyone else loved it. I felt super guilty not loving it to pieces.

  • The story was original, which is getting harder when the dystopian genre is so flooded with new books every day.
  • The main characters were interesting, I really enjoyed Eo (how the heck do you say that) and Darrow. I think the desire for vengence and bettering a low state is always intriguing in a book.
  • The cast system was so interesting, colors defining who you are and how you live. It is really sad to think that still happens in our modern world. I don’t see it hard for something to happen like that again if the Earth did fall into chaos like all of the books in this genre suggest.
  • The progress in the book was intresting. I was so unique how Darrow was carved and changed. I found that part of the book the most intriguing.
  • The final part of the book was like Hunger Games on steriods. I really thought it resembled the game a lot, there were “game keepers,” kids killing kids, living off the land and people watching what was happening. This game was months long and a lot more intense.
  • The world-building was not explained. This was a HUGE gripe for me. The author would just a new made-up word and never explain it. It drove me nuts. Sometimes you could figure out what he was aiming at with how it fit into the sentace, but it was so annoying. I love world-building where you learn new things and get a really good idea of how the world works and looks. This book read like a second book in the series, where you were already introduced to the world.
  • I was bored quite a bit, and it was a longer book. This really just has to be a “me thing” because I was not into all the action, the war, the killing. I think people who like Game of Thrones would really like this book. I am just not that person.


  1. I've heard good and bad things about this one. Let's just say it isn't shooting to the top of the pile. Sometimes that world building can be frustrating. It is a fine line between info-dumps and not providing enough context. Sounds like this was the latter!

  2. oh yeah I'm always so upset when the worl building isn't enough explained... and well if you were bored during some moments it's difficult as well you're right. It's sad because I keep hearing amazing things about this one, I'm sorry it wasn't that good for you.

  3. the hype about this book was perhaps the reason why I bought it. I'm actually going to read it after I finish the one I'm reading right now. well at least now I know what to expect from this book and it's really disappointing that the world building isn't good..

  4. I too have heard a lot of good things about this book so it's good to see a different opinion. I like high-action books (and Game of Thrones) so I think I will still like this one, but I also like world-building so it's good to know ahead of time that it might not be up to par. Thanks for sharing!

    Nicole @ The Quiet Concert

  5. I've heard a lot of mixed reviews. Especially quite a bit DNF'ing. So you're definitely not alone there. But good on you for sticking till the end.
    I'll probably give it a try at some point. Just not any time soon.
    Happy reading!
    Brittany @ This is the Story of My(Reading) Life

  6. Yeah this definitely got some mixed reviews (I also mix this one up a lot with Half Bad, because the cover colors are similar and they were hyped around the same time). I may or may not read it, my TBR list is huge already for the summer.

  7. I don't think you're alone, I have seen a couple of neg. reviews for this book, but it certainly does seem like most people love it. It does sound v.similar to THG and the lack of explanation would annoy me too, if the context was not spot on.

    Mands @ The Bookish Manicurist

  8. With all the rave reviews this one got I had started it. I think I read a few pages and fell asleep, unfortunately ;(

  9. I've seen kind of varying reviews for this one - it does sound good, but with the negative reviews out there, I'm not sure whether I should give it a chance or not.


I'd love to hear what you thought of the book or others you think I will like! Please share your thoughts! Thank you for the thought, but I am not participating in awards.