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Red Rising

Written by: Pierce Brown
Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
Series: Red Rising, Book 1
Length: 16 hrs and 12 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (921 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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 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.

©2013 Pierce Brown (P)2014 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Red Rising

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The Greatest Narrative Experience

The Red Rising Trilogy, is my ALL TIME FAVOURITE piece of fiction, of any medium. Tim Gerard Reynolds is THE BEST narrator in the industry!

4 people found this helpful

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Loving the Roman Empire theme

Tim Reynolds gives another wonderful performance in the futuristic Roman Empire crossed with hunger games adventure!

2 people found this helpful

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Amazing

One of the best books I have ever read or listened to. I can't wait for the next one.

2 people found this helpful

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A well performed decent story.

Took me awhile to get into it but once I did, I enjoyed . I'll b getting the second one for sure.

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Loved it!

Great narration, twisting and turning story that keeps you engaged. Can't wait to listen to the next 2 books

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Red Rising...spellbinding....

Was not sure about this book....but it us a truly magnificent adventure that kept me listening for hours....I loved it

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Great Book

Enders Game meets Lord of the Flies. Narrator did a great job of makle and female voices, easy to listen too.

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Excellent

I really enjoyed the narration of the book. The story was excellent and kept me engaged.

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Excellent Book

This was hard to stop listening too. Also, reviews need to be more than 15 words.

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Everything I have been looking for!

For the longest time I have been struggling to get into a good series. After the first book ended I immediately downloaded the 2nd. One of the best Author-Narrator duos.

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  • Dubi
  • 2019-08-28

Grim Reaping

Seems like every other book I listen to is so highly derivative that my opinion hinges almost solely on whether it is a worthwhile step forward or a redundant rehash. Red Rising, after a promising start, slowly but inexorably proved itself to be a cynical exercise in cashing in on the popularity of The Hunger Games.

RR: hero is from the mines, HG: heroine is from the mines. RR: 12 tribes, HG: 12 districts. RR: kids go through a "draft" before being sent to a carefully designed course to compete in games against each other, with help from proctors, while being watched from afar by the privileged class. HG: ditto, ditto, ditto, except that they called them mentors instead of proctors and they call it a reaping instead of a draft. RR: young girl sings a song of rebellion before dying. HG: young girl sings a song before dying that becomes the theme of rebellion. RR has the Reaper, HG has the reaping.

This is not inadvertent similarity. This is either willful ignorance (especially on the part of the editor, who should have known better) or outright plagiarism. If you're going to do this, you have to add something. Especially in characterization, especially to the main character.

In that respect, Red Rising is retrograde. Katniss (like Harry Potter and Tris from Divergent) is never that sure of herself, is the last to recognize her power, is always the reluctant hero. Darrow/Reaper, from the very first scene, is the best ever, and he knows it. And yet as brilliant as he will tell you he is, he falls for four, five traps in a row, getting many of his friends killed in the process. And when faced with a choice between doing the right thing or getting revenge, the always self-righteous Darrow inevitable chooses bloody revenge.

Jeez, if you're going to rip off a beloved story, don't reverse all of its best qualities. To which you can add the central conceit of Red Rising: social, political and economic inequality is embodied in a facile color-coding system. Hunger Games presents the same issues in a far more nuanced way (even down to the subtleties of fashion and mannerism) without resorting to obvious gimmickry.

Other bones to pick: the level of violence is off the charts for a supposedly YA entry, and the internal logic of this world fails early and often, especially the technology. I for one will not be moving on to the ensuing episodes in this trilogy.

87 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-11-15

I don't understand the hype. Very obnoxious book.

The best way I can describe the plot is that it just felt childish. The main character is supremely intelligent to borderline supernatural levels and able to think six steps ahead of his enemies whenever the plot demands it, and then unfathomably stupid and repeatedly walking into obvious traps whenever the plot demands that.

I almost stopped listening by the third time that happened.

We are also just expected to believe that the main character is a prodigy at everything, he is perfectly skilled in combat and all things physical, despite minimal training compared to those who trained their whole lives.

I would have loved this book when I was 14 maybe, but I really don't understand where all the praise for this book comes from by adults.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Jared G
  • 2016-08-27

Wow, what a performance and what a story

I don't remember the last time I stayed up all night to read a book, but this one had too much intensity too much momentum to put down. I just had to finish. Darrow's story is rich with memorable characters and emotion and had plenty of suspense. It's one that I'll remember for a long time. I can't wait for the second novel.
Tim Gerard Reynolds makes it come alive. his accent brings the story a perfect edge and he does the wide variety of characters justice.
A must read.

115 people found this helpful

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  • Evan
  • 2017-02-27

Go ahead and download the next two as well

Any additional comments?

What a tremendous series. This was one of my favorite listens in a long time. The first book starts off a little bit slow, but picks up the pace quickly and maintains it all the way through the end of the trilogy.

One of the biggest draws of this book, for me, was how deep and rich the character development was. Each character is so multidimensional. And the complexities of the characters' personalities are reflected very well in the dialogue and the plot.

The narration was one of the best I've heard. I loved hearing TGR's representation of Darrow mature with the character over the course of the trilogy.

I highly recommend this book. And the next two as well!

63 people found this helpful

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  • Amy W
  • 2016-12-06

Brutal and Violent

I tried for almost a year to listen to this book but gave up with only two hours to go. I could not enjoy or like this book, it is a bitter nasty book about vengeance in a dystopian society. There is forced natural selection and culling among students. “He didn’t score like I did on the tests, so he was a sacrificial lamb. 100 students and the bottom 50 are only here to be killed by the top fifty... I know they made me do it … what other choice was there? I do not understand how this series could have received so many positive reviews but I will return my book.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Emily
  • 2017-05-07

excellent

20K+ ratings are believable - it's a great book.
All the reviews prior do a better job at explaining, so mine will be simple...
Logical, smart and creative world building.
Likeable characters. Good and credible twists and turns (for the vast majority of the time).
Excellent book.

74 people found this helpful

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  • Gus
  • 2017-05-24

These books will define this decade of writing.

The way these books captured my heart caught me completely off guard. I am not a Sci-Fi fanboy. I thought after the 1st few chapters that I knew how the whole book would play out. I was wrong. I am so elated with these books that I am crying. The only bad thing I cannot stop thinking about is that I heard they are going to make this book into a movie. A movie will in no way capture the heart of this book. A movie will ruin it. A TV series will be needed. Zero doubt in my mind.

32 people found this helpful

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  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 2015-01-30

HUMANS ARE ALWAY NEGOTIATING,

THAT'S WHAT CONVESATION IS.
This is entertaining and it is smartly written. It starts out similar to Wool Or Silo. One reason this appeals to most people is the, can do attitude, of the main characters. The book starts with The Reds, who are the most oppressed group in the Universe, a Universe they do not even know exist. Once they do realize that they have been lied to all their lives, the odds against them seem unsurmountable. Many times I thought the author had really gotten his characters in so deep, he surly was not going to be able to get them out. It has been a long time since an author has been able to make me wonder how in the world things were going to turn out.

RULERS HAVE A TENDENCY TO DISLIKE THOSE WHO BREAK RULES.
Then the book turns a 180 degrees. What was a story about a primitive, downtrodden people changes to high tech. In the past when an author has done this to me they lose me. This time I stayed with it and enjoyed the ride.

PRICK LICK
The last half of the book is similar to Hunger Games with Greek Gods. I liked it a lot better and there where no whinny characters. This part of the book reminded me of the writing of Robert Reed. The only complaint I have is that I did think this section of the book went on a little too long. It was very entertaining for the most part, but I was ready for them to finish the game, long before they did. When they do finish, it is a grand finale that you don't want to miss. I will be getting the sequel.

The narrator is excellent

CHEAT OR BE CHEATED.

189 people found this helpful

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  • David
  • 2014-03-15

Dark, moving, action packed

First, let me say that the fact that this book was narrated by Tim Reynolds was a primary reason I took a chance with this story. I was not disappointed in the least. The story is told in the first person, which I particularly enjoy, and begins with a very dark and hopeless setting for our main character and his family and people. Even though our main character, Darrow, is only 16 when the story starts, I would hardly call this a young adult fiction. There are some pretty gruesome moments but nothing that is out of bounds.

The beginning is a bit clunky as the author is setting the stage for our young hero, and confusing at times if you let your mind wander. However, once Darrow's path is set, the story moves along smartly. As Darrow is faced with challenge after challenge, he learns about sacrifice, compassion, patience, and qualities that leaders must have in order to overcome incredible adversity. He learns...

Brown is effective creating believable characters, both good and bad, that are complex and struggle with life and death choices. There are some lighthearted moments which help ease the tension, but not many. I've read some comparing this to Hunger Games, which is a stretch I believe. Maybe some elements such as overcoming oppression and injustice but everything else is quite different.

Reynolds is at the top of the class in terms of quality narrators and bringing a story to life. Simply outstanding.

The story does end a little abruptly and clearly sets up the next story, but hardly detracts from the quality of the book. If you like epic fantasy yarns, and this one clearly sets up nicely for the remaining two books of this trilogy, you will enjoy this one. Most highly recommended.

113 people found this helpful

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  • Joki
  • 2015-02-01

Great Story!

This is one of those books that you wait entire year hoping to find - solidly written, great storyline, intricate characterizations, and without the need to suspend disbelief at poor world building. Once I started reading, I couldn't stop as the story unfolded and surprised me at so many turns.

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The synopsis - a boy in the lower echelons of a society, born into slave labor in the RED mining quarters underground in Mars, will find his life irrevocably changed when a small civil disobedience spirals into unforeseeable events. And one woman will choose a path for him through her own strength and sacrifice. To give any more of the plot would be to spoil the surprises to come.

This book was, to me, pure space opera. And this is just the first novel in a series with huge potential - I simply cannot wait to see where the author will take the characters in the next novel since it promises to be a huge change as well.

If I had to sum up the feel of the story - it would be a melange of the philosophy of Gattaca, action and conflict of Hunger Games, and grungy setting of Total Recall. As well, there is definitely the underlying earnestness that you find in a Homer Hickman book. Of course, creating analogies can make the book sound derivative - which I never felt while reading it. Somehow, all those influences converged into a book with characters that are flawed, real, and very interesting. Especially, the women aren't nuns/whores prototypes in so many books like this - they are full fleshed characters as well.

This really is one of those books that comes rarely - wholly satisfying science fiction type dystopia with an engaging and surprising storyline that is easy to read and not bogged down by descriptions or the science in the fiction.

Highly recommended.

16 people found this helpful