By Pierce Brown
I took a trip to Iceland last fall, and in the process found myself frantically downloading books to my Kindle before I left. In the process, I ended up with Red Rising, which I hadn’t heard anything about previously.
Full disclosure: this isn’t a well-written book. I think the average sentence length is probably like 8 words, and let me tell you, this ain’t Hemingway.
“But Sam,” you say, “in your ‘About Me section,’ you say that you’re not interested in trashing authors’ work, right? Why so harsh?”
Also full disclosure: I basically inhaled this book, and its sequels Golden Son and Morning Star. Is it fine literature? Nope. Is it highly derivative of the Hunger Games? Yep. Did I read all three books within like 48 hours? You betcha.
Here’s the basic plot: in a futuristic dystopian society, a member of the downtrodden “Red” class manages to infiltrate the upper tier “Gold” class, and embarks on Hunger Games-esque adventures. And while I panned the writing of the first book, to be fair, the author is young, and improves over books 2 and 3. Throughout, Brown commands a strong control of the plot, and keeps the cliffhangers coming. If you enjoyed the Hunger Games (or even Harry Potter, for that matter), you’ll probably find something to like here. At the very least, it’s a good way to spend a lazy afternoon.
Warning: though this is something near young adult literature, there is a fair bit of violence and gore (a la The Hunger Games).
1/22/18 Editor’s Note: this book was initially given a rating of “2 – Guilty Pleasure.” As part of the blog redesign, all ratings of “Guilty Pleasure” have since been revised to “Recommended with Reservations.”
Rating: 2 – Recommended with Reservations