Red Rising Book Review

This book was recommended to me by a few students and a colleague.

They promised me it would be amazing and I would love it. Since it takes little to no effort to twist my arm to read something, I put it on hold at the library and waited for my turn.

They were right; I loved it.

(Side note: I love a lot of books, for different reasons, and don’t tend to finish books that can’t keep my interest. Sometimes I’ll get into a book early and will trudge through even if I find it dragging on in hopes it will pick up again. If it doesn’t… I get pretty upset…)

The story follows Darrow, a young man who is among the “Red” color class of society. Red is the lowest caste and they serve the upper castes with the promise of a grand vision for all of society. However, after Darrow’s wife dies, he stumbles upon a secret and an opportunity.

That’s my best summary without giving any spoilers. It’s very easy to spoil any part of this book if you’re not too careful, so I’ll leave it vague.

There was enough to hook me at the beginning, but it really got going for me a third of the way through the book. Then I realized why — the writing style at the beginning was choppy and annoying, but changed as the character changed. I found that to be brilliant.

There’s a war game that dominates most of this book, which focuses on human psychology and the cunning required to not only survive, but thrive. While many characters are introduced, a little too many at once for my liking, you grow attached to Darrow.

You want to see him change. You want to see what he will do next. You want to see him win.
What really stood out, however, was how much this book reminded me of Ender’s Game. I don’t say that lightly because Ender’s Game is still one of my top five books of all time.

It got me turning pages until the end. What more could you ask for in a book?