Oh You're Not A Howler? Sorry Sis, I Can't Relate

Red Rising (Red Rising Saga #1) | Pierce Brown
Released: January 28th, 2014
Genre(s): Young Adult, Science Fiction
Pages: 400
Source: Kindle

"I live for the dream that my children will be born free," she says. "That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them."
"I live for you," I say sadly.
Eo kisses my cheek. "Then you must live for more."

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.
Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity's overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society's ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies... even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

I haven't been this excited about a series since Harry Potter, but I won't count him so never.

Releasing his debut title Red Rising back in 2014, Pierce Brown is a man that needs zero introduction. He stepped on the scene with his handsome face, and as I'm now discovering, his amazing knack for writing, which took Young Adult on full force. With the recent release of Iron Gold, there has been quite a bit of chatter surrounding the series. Everyone I knew was fangirling,  and since I was left outside of this party and desperately wanted to know wtf an " au audromedus " or what a " Howler " had to do with anything, I decided to snatch up the copy I purchased back in 2015 and finally settled down to knock this baby out. 

My wig has officially been snatched and I'm still trying to recover.

I am no martyr. I am not vengeance. I am Eo's dream.

I was a bit nervous going into Red Rising. When I first tweeted that I was finally reading it, 50% of my replies were from readers who loved it, but specified that I probably wouldn't enjoy the story until the second half, and to keep pushing because " it gets better. " I'll admit, this had my DNF meter blinking red, like come on, me? Push through a book? Never in any lifetime. Thank goodness I didn't actually need to and if any pushing was done, it was to stop myself from devouring the story in one sitting. 

Back when I read Zenith, (can't believe I'm mentioning this god awful book in 2018) one of my biggest issues was that for a book set in space, the world-building was incredibly lacking. There was plenty of info dumping, but with no foundation to help fit all of the pieces together, the story fell flat and well, then came my drag. Red Rising was a perfect example of what that could've been. The world was so intricately mapped out, and there was never a time where I struggled with all the facts or details that came along with it. In my opinion, the first half readers warned me about was completely necessary. (not the warning of course) I enjoyed learning about Darrow's roots and seeing how him as well as his people were treated as Reds, helped to better understand his " inner mission. " Pierce set up the game board, shoved some key players my way, and pushed my ass passed go. I wasn't ready for what followed, but let me tell you, it was one hell of a ride.

I am the Reaper and death is my shadow 

If The Hunger Games and Mortal Kombat had a baby, this would be it.

One way to get me excited (other than shoving food in my direction) is to create a story that's action-packed and loaded with tons of gory fight scenes. 65% of Red Rising consisted of the characters battling within the institution to become Primus, which pushed me into a whirlwind of betrayal, politics, and brutality, the best trio in any SFF title. I was thoroughly entertained by it all, and easily fell love in with how it felt like one big chess game -- Darrow and the rest of House Mars making strategic moves against other houses in the competition, and eventually against themselves.

What I didn't expect, was to adore tf out of the characters. I went in rooting solely for Darrow and came out screaming, It's Howler Gang Bitch because who in their right mind doesn't love Sevro?! His crew was my favorite, a tight-knit squad of ruthless bastards dressed in wolf's skin, ready to tear some shit up with Darrow's command. Mustang, Pax, (cries cause damn he was lowkey the homie) Roque . . (excuse my memory) didn't take long to grow on me and before I knew it I was invested. Completely fucking invested.

I am the spark that will set worlds afire.

I am the hammer that cracks the chains

In the end, finally jumping into this series was probably the best reading decision I've made so far this year. Pierce can obviously write his ass off, and I'm beyond impressed that this -- this was his debut title. Like others, I was on edge from start to finish, enjoying the story as if it were a rollercoaster, not minding when the plot slowed down, and extra giddy when it sped up. I didn't want it to end and when it finally did, I threw the rest of the series into my Amazon cart because hello, this series deserves all of my coins. I'm living my best life after reading Red Rising, ya'll better join us Howlers so ya'll can too!

Thinking about wearing a wolf onesie when I read the rest of the series for that extra effect. * ponder emoji * That would be kinda lit 

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