Red Rising by Pierce Brown (Four Stars)

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

(Four Stars out of Five)

What if? What if someone took the premise of Harry Potter and turned it inside out? What if it was science fiction instead of fantasy? What if all the games and houses and competition was rigged, by the staff, to serve a pre-determined, politically-contrived outcome? What if George R. R. Martin—no, maybe—well you get the idea—had written Harry Potter?

[There be Spoilers Beyond Here]

Red Rising posits a future where genetically altered humans have broken and broken free from the earth and rule the solar system from stratified societies scattered across the inhabitable space. And it’s all based on keeping the lowest workers enslaved to support the highest. And even the highest bent to the will of a few families and individuals which control all through a social and military Darwinism. And one man—hurt, wronged, executed (but not dead)—sets himself against the whole.

Darrow’s first goal will be to penetrate deep enough and high enough to do some real damage. To do that he must qualify for, be selected into, and survive the institute. Can he? Will he? Should he?

Therein lies the tale.

Brown accomplishes the rare feat of whetting the readers appetite for the whole series while presenting the first episode in a clearly defined and satisfying whole. And he does a good job.

Maybe only 3.7 stars, but a really good read.