(Red Rising #3)
by Pierce Brown
Genre: sci-fi, dystopia, fiction, fantasy, YA
Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society’s mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within.
Finally, the time has come.
But devotion to honour and hunger for vengeance run deep on both sides. Darrow and his comrades-in-arms face powerful enemies without scruple or mercy. Among them are some Darrow once considered friends. To win, Darrow will need to inspire those shackled in darkness to break their chains, unmake the world their cruel masters have built, and claim a destiny too long denied – and too glorious to surrender.
An amazing ride with so many surprises and twists that you’re glued to the end of your seat, furiously turning pages to see what happens next. This book is slightly different in tone from the previous ones because Darrow undergoes a major transformation due to the events of the previous book – he matures and I finally like him 100%. He starts to think of broader implications of the revolution he began; the ways he must start to build and not only tear down if he wants a future for his people and allies.
Other characters undergo their own transformations in the time he was a captive. We finally see them step out of his large shadow and form their own opinions, plans, and alliances. I liked that very much – the Rebellion now shows more inclusion of other colours than before, and that can only be a good thing in the long run. Yes, the stakes are even higher but more cooperation and sharing of tasks makes for sturdier plans. Not that plans don’t go wrong or that big surprises don’t rock the boat – it’s still the Red Rising universe we’re talking about. Brown just loves to mess with everything our heroes come up with and for a good reason. It may make you crazy but you love it. 🙂
“Justice isn’t about fixing the past, it’s about fixing the future. We’re not fighting for the dead. We’re fighting for the living. And for those who aren’t yet born.”
I feel the time flows much faster in this book than in the previous ones – we’re jumping from one situation into another with little breathing space in between. At some point events spin forward so fast that I wished for the book to slow down, to give Darrow more of those calm moments I enjoyed before. It is his interactions with his friends and allies that make these books so intriguing. We get so many wonderful conversations and small moments between them – I was equal parts melting and laughing at the ribbing they dish out.
There’s just one complaint I have. I didn’t appreciate the massive amount of planning and effort the Rebellion demands due to the huge velocity of the events taking place – how could I when I was hoping to read even faster to learn how things turn out and what happens to my favourites? The Rebellion has to act much faster if it wishes to compete with the much stronger enemies and it shows in the book. That is one small detractor to my enjoyment of the story, but a purely personal issue I have with the writing pace because the book itself is amazing.
“I am not alone. I am not his victim. So let him do his worst. I am the Reaper. I know how to suffer. I know the darkness.”
I hoped we’d see more of the Rim worlds. We get one glimpse and it is absolutely fascinating – the Asian/Japanese influences combined with their physical changes due to gravity and general isolation is something we haven’t seen before in the series. I want an in-depth exploration of these worlds because they sound absolutely amazing. (Please, can we get novellas about the Rim worlds and the characters we hear about in this book – I need to know more about them.)
The book ends on such a high note with enough open issues that the author can safely write a spin-off series taking place 10, 20 or 30 years in the future. I’d really LOVE that. It is also such a relief to say you like the end of a series. I’m usually so afraid the last book of a trilogy will turn out a dud, but this one is just amazing.
Thank you, Pierce Brown, for writing this gripping series.
EDIT: Thank the stars and the gods – Brown has confirmed he’ll write a spin-off series set a few years after the events of the first series. YAY!
P.S.: A fellow book-blogger @Read at Midnight has created fantastic Red Rising trilogy wallpapers for your smarphone. Take a look and download for free