I liked this book. I really did. But I don't like it enough to invest in the rest of the series. Why? Well that's down to one thing really. Our main man Darrow.
Red Rising begins with Darrow, married at the ripe old age of 16, working his ass off as a Helldiver, drilling for resources in underground Mars. It's hard times for all the Reds and times get even harder when his wife is executed. Of course this is where things start kicking off and it isn't long before Darrow finds himself involved with a rebel group seeking to destroy the oppressive rule of the Golds.
After drinking some magic potion and undergoing what I'm going to call "a shit load of plastic surgery" Darrow infiltrates the Gold's command school with the aim of working his way up the ranks of society to destroy them from the inside. It's all edge of your seat exciting and fascinatingly different but here's the thing...
Darrow is a dick.
And I sort of hate him for it. I say 'sort of' since there were times I couldn't help but sit back and nod my head like "Yep. This guy's a badass." These rare and beautiful moments where one liners like this are being delivered:
“They want visionaries. Leaders of men. Not reapers of them. There are limits," she continues. I snap.
"There are no goddamned limits.”
BAM! However, then there's Darrow's constant monologue describing how very perfect and excellent he is AT EVERYTHING! This guy is the epitome of FIGJAM, as in "Fuck I'm good just ask me!" I couldn't cope. If I read one more description about how good Darrow is with his hands I'm going to spontaneously combust with rage. Maybe I could of forgiven this for the sake of an action packed story but it becomes overbearing. Brilliant scenes like the confrontation with the Jackal (the 'baddy' of the story) are overshadowed - or should I say illuminated - by the giant light shining out Darrow's arse!
I could choose this moment to comment on how poorly the subject of rape is handled in this book but I feel there are plenty of reviews out there by far more eloquent people describing this already. Instead, I'm going to look into the big issues here and comment on the shitfull love story that inevitably unfolds. It was unnecessary and forced and lets be honest, we all saw it happening the moment captain perfect met her anyway.
Final Verdict. An ok book with some moments of brilliance. Really, Pierce Brown knows how to write an action scene, it's just such a shame he couldn't make Darrow more likeable. Read it if your curious.