So, I started Red Rising a few days ago, and even though I absolutely loved it, things kept getting in the way of reading it. *cough NCIS cough Chris* But it was so good! I have a brand new canon couple to ship, which makes me happy. Let me know what you guys think in the comments! Contains minor spoilers.
Red Rising was a powerful young adult dystopian. I got into it with high expectations because I’d heard such fantastic reviews about it. I had also received a couple pins from an OwlCrate that had Darrow on them. So I was excited to finally meet the man behind the pin.
I’m not usually a big fan of male protagonists but Darrow was definitely an exception. He was such a relatable character. His deep love of Eo is what drives him and that made me fall in love with him immediately. Even as he changes throughout the novel, that love still drives him and it’s so beautiful. The pain and agony he goes through make you feel for him and want to root for him. Even when he makes questionable choices, his passion to fulfill Eo’s dream makes you see past them.
Cassius was a sad character for me. He and Darrow’s relationship at the begining is so promising. You know Cassius is going to have to deal with his issues with Darrow, but you really think they’re going to figure it out. When you learn more about his family and his past, it quickly becomes evident the he is under a lot of pressure. This drives his ambition. By the end I didn’t really care about him. Pax, Mustang, and Sevro were much more important to me.
Mustang was such a cool character. Seeing the glimpses of her early in the book was fun. Her character development was extremely interesting. Her history and her relationship with Darrow was really meaningful because Eo was so important to him. Watching Darrow learn to trust her was beautiful. I hope she’s got a big role in the next books! I need more Mustang merch!
Sevro was hands down my favorite character. In the beginning he’s so unlikable, but as you get to know him, he becomes so integral. He’s unique when compared to all the other golds. His relationship with Darrow was unique. By the end, he was one of the most consistently loyal character in the entire thing. His parentage, while not shocking, was unexpected. Making characters unique in a world full of golden haired, muscled, genius’ is difficult, but Sevro stood out.
Titus wasn’t a character I liked at all. I only include him in this list because he’s integral to the plot. While he was a horrible human being, I am very excited to learn more about him, his parentage, and his history.
You don’t get to see much of Eo but she fills the entire book with her presence. I didn’t like her character much, per say, but I loved how Darrow thought about her. It really feels like she manipulates Darrow into doing something she knew she couldn’t do, which bothered me about her character. But Darrow doesn’t care, his love for her is that strong, which was so sweet! It was also a unique way to start the book, with Darrow losing her. No other YA book that I can think of has started out like this. It was a nice break from the traditional love triangle.
Jackal was really underwhelming. I liked that though. It made it clear the reason he was winning. I won’t go farther than that, so no spoilers, but figuring out who the villains really were was a fun part of this book.
Plot was pretty standard YA dystopian with a few exceptions. 1. Eo and Darrow’s marriage and her subsequent death. That wasn’t something you see in young adult lit, but it made for a great motivating factor. 2. The timeline. For one book, it covered a LOT of time. Think if Hunger Games lasted six months of the year, it felt like that. But it didn’t drag. It still moved quickly and a lot happened, so the reader doesn’t get bogged down. 3. The choice Darrow makes at the end, I wasn’t sure I was expecting. All his decisions are based on either A. Eo’s desires for him, B. winning the game. I wasn’t sure which path he would take, though he definitely made the right one.
Eo and Mustang. I don’t love Eo. I love how Darrow feels about her. So they were really cute together. I think he and Mustang belong together though. But enough of MY opinion on that, it wasn’t a love triangle so I think we can all be happy about that. I love how slowly their relationship developed too. It was realistic and sweet. Especially looking back on their earlier moments.
A fantastic read! Red Rising is a powerful dystopian that blows many others out of the water. When people talk about good dystopian, step aside Hunger Games, Red Rising is unique and powerful. I’ll let you know when I finish the series if it ends better than Hunger Games. (wink)
You can purchase Red Rising here.
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