October 4, 2019

Book Review | Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Red Rising by Pierce Brown book review.

Title: Red Rising
Author: Pierce Brown
Published: 2014
Pages: 388
Genre: Science Fiction
Age Range: Adult 


A young man named Darrow must fight for his life to win a competition designed to break him. This book is gruesome, intense and not for the faint of heart. Darrow is on a path of vengeance, but he has to be careful. One slip and his deepest secret will be revealed.

Important aspects/themes:

The character arcs in this book are amazing. Darrow is a very serious character. He learns a lot along the way as he focuses on coming out first in this competition. This book is full of characters you will start out hating, but then come to love. You'll also find characters that you loved have become a subject of your hate. Darrow gathers around himself an elite pack of friends. Mustang, Pax, Sevro, and Cassius to name a few.

Pierce Brown's world-building is rich. It's also not distracting from the story, but part of it. It's always refreshing to find a book that doesn't devote paragraphs to world-building. In Red Rising, it happens organically through the character's experience.

The themes in this book are very much in tune with culture today. It's the story of a boy who is willing to fight back against a society that pits the weak against the strong. Of course, he has ample motivation to do so. (See plot twist in first 100 pages.) Red Rising is a story of redemption and justice.

I've said it a few times already, but there is a GIANT plot twist at the beginning of this book. I was not expecting it. I thought I knew what this book was going to be about. Nope, I was wrong. But what Pierce has done is so much better than what I was thinking. (Edit: I have since learned this plot twist is included in the synopsis so most people know about it before they even read the book. I did not so my brain was imploding. 🤯)


"I would have lived in peace. But my enemies brought me war."
"Man cannot be freed by the same injustice that enslaved it."
"You do not follow me because I am strongest. Pax is. You do not follow me because I am the brightest. Mustang is. You follow me because you do not know where you are going. I do."
"I am the Reaper and death is my shadow."


This is one of my favorite books of 2019. Pierce Brown has created a masterpiece that will be creating ripples in the book community for a very long time. I appreciate his work immensely. This book has themes that will speak to a lot of people when they read this book. It gives us all permission to fight back against injustice.

Star Rating:

I gave Red Rising 5/5 stars because it touched me emotionally. Pierce Brown is a master storyteller and this book hooked me from page one. I will eternally be grateful for this book.

Happy reviewing,