This was me when I read the description of the book.
This was me when I got the book.
Me while reading this book
I was so sure that I would love this book. All of the amazing reviews that kept showing up everywhere only added to my excitement. The people at my local bookstore swore that if I loved The Hunger Games than this was for me. However, here I am not loving this book, and I am very disappointed by that.
Red Rising takes place generations from now on Mars. Mars is categorized in order of colors which identify rank. Darrow our main protagonist, is a Red, the lowest order. His work is essentially to dig at Mars’ underground surface for the purpose of future terraformation. He believes that his work will benefit the future generations of Martians. However, this is a lie. Mars is already terraformed and grand cities and civilizations have formed. In fact, many planets including some moons have also been terraformed, so humans now inhabit various pockets of our solar system. When Darrow finds out about this his anger becomes the catalyst in his attempts to bring down the Golds. The people who rule Mars with an iron fist. They believe themselves to be Gods and see the lower colors as ants. Darrow meets a group of rebels who give him the tools he needs to infiltrate the Golds’ society to become one of them, learn from them,and eventually destroy them.
Sounded thrilling to me, however, it wasn’t. I’ve tried to understand why this book didn’t do it for me, and I think I can peg it on Darrow. I am a character driven person. Especially when it comes to war/dystopian books. Emotions and stakes are high, and I need a character that I may not like all the time, but one that I always love. I need a main character I can stand behind, and Darrow was not that guy for me. He was too perfect, and as it usually is the case, perfection cancels out personality. Yes, he did have feelings, and he cared about people, and I knew that because he told me about. So much of his narration was telling and not showing. His struggles didn’t feel real. He passed all of test with flying colors. This was one of the reasons I didn’t care for Ender’s Game. Ender was also too perfect, and too detached from me to care about.
My greatest disappointment, however, lies in Mars. I am a sucker for anything that has to do with discovery of what else is out there. I enjoy reading what authors’ interpretations of what life on other plants might be like. So it goes without saying that I couldn’t wait to see what Pierce Brown had to add. I wanted to see what plants grew on Mars, what the landscape would be like, how people have managed to evolve and make the red planet their home. I wanted to go to Mars and instead I ended up in …Rome? Which I wouldn’t mind under other circumstances since I am also a history buff. However, the two in this setting, were not compatible. To be fair, Brown did have some descriptions of flowers, life above ground as well as below, and well the massive dictatorship tells me all I need to know about human evolution.
There are other things I can nit pick at, but I won’t. The funny part is, that if there were a film adaption I might like it . The visuals in this book are very descriptive and certainly adaptable to film. Which I now know there is actually a screen play in the works, so there you go. For me, however, this medium just didn’t fit for this story.
Overall, this just wasn’t for me. It was a constant struggle to pay attention throughout the reading, and when I was finally done it was a relief.