I’ve been wanting to read this book for a few years and I was in between books so I finally checked it out. As an aside, then four other books became available from my queue so I have quite the backlog of reading to do at the moment. I digress.
I loved this book. I enjoyed it so much that while listening to it, I sought out the ebook so that I could read it in between commutes. It was a fun and exciting read. I already checked out the sequel, though I am curious to see where it goes. I’ve heard Red Rising compared to the Hunger Games and I wondered how the second book would be able to follow the first. I think Catching Fire was better than Hunger Games but I hope that Golden Son is different, rather than going back to the Thunderdome.
I think the Ender’s Game / Hunger Games analogy is very apt. I think it is more like Ender’s Game than HG but only because it is more about the plot and less about the romantic connections between characters. We have a school for special and important people who are bred to lead, an underdog who was really great once he got the chance, and fights and battles that lead to kids killing kids.
Wait!?! Is this YA? It’s PG-13 Battle Royale. Well, there’s more rape alluded in this than BR so it’s probably a hard R rating. Why is is YA then? Oh, that’s right the protagonist is only 16 and lives in a class-structured utopian future. I don’t really like the classification of Red Rising as YA.
The only really legitimate aspect of the YA title is that some of the themes are not as deep as they might be in adult literature. But I don’t consider that a pejorative statement, I think this is a great book. I simply mean that YA, as a genre, usually includes less characterization. Red Rising addresses lots of interesting topics and themes but in more of a cursory way than real exploration. It does a really good job of examining leadership and what leaders do, both good and bad. I think the characterization was excellent for most of the main characters but some ancillary characters seemed included only to advance the plot.
Again, this was a really fun read and I can’t wait to read more of the series.