Review: Red Rising

Red Rising
Red Rising by Pierce Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

i don’t know how i missed this book when it was first released, but i first paid attention to it last week when i read a review that while many compared this book to ender’s game and hunger games, the reviewer thought it was star wars-esque. i looked into it a little more and quickly picked up a copy from the library. two days later, here i am giving it a whole-hearted five stars.

after a peek at the author flap (yum!), i settled in expecting the usual YA dystopian-class-system-is-screwy novel. and it was like so many ideas were pulled from so many sources: i saw ender’s game, hunger games, a nod to rick riordan, greek myths, roman myths, harry potter, the magicians, glimpses of the gunslinger, a little divergent, even some rawness that lives in aerin. i saw star wars, but also star trek, and a lot of the harsher war-ridden parts reminded me of the darkness in many episodes of xena.

so do we think that pierce brown is a hack? has he pulled from so many sources that his books are just a mess of previous writers’ thoughts? absolutely not. you can’t write anything today with stealing from someone else. it was ts eliot who said “good writers borrow; great writers steal.” and while i was reading and thought, “gee that reminds me of harry potter; man, this is reminiscent of that weird alti episode of xena”, i was pulled further and further into the story and darrow’s mission.

you might say “well this is just another hunger games” or “i could totally see that happening on a star trek episode”, but really, pulling together those ideas into a completely intriguing plotline along with a unique and harsh writing style for the first-person account, i’d say this book is 100% pierce brown.

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