“I live for the dream that my children will be born free,” she says. “That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.”

“I live for you,” I say sadly.

Eo kisses my cheek. “Then you must live for more.”

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 already 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.

Audiobook review

All the stars!

“I live for the dream that my children will be born free. That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.’
‘I live for you,’ I say sadly.
She kisses my cheek. ‘Then you must live for more.”
― Pierce Brown, Red Rising

Years ago, my son asked me to read Red Rising but I wasn’t in the mood. He has never stopped praising that series.
Two months ago, bookstagram friends asked if I was interested in buddy reading the series in 2022, beginning in January.
I thought it was a good idea to motivate me.

The plan: read Red Rising in January, Golden Son in February, etc till May.
Today we are January 9th and I have listened to Red Rising, then Golden Son and I am 60% into Morning Star! 😊

My son was right all along, that series is AMAZING and ADDICTIVE!

He is trying not to spoil me and I take 3 pages of notes for every book I read to avoid spoiling my buddy readers when discussion time comes!What to write about that series that hasn’t been written over and over again?

-First, Pierce Brown is a plotter!!!

I am usually more of a character driven reader but the plot in that series is simply incredible!
It’s filled with twists and turns, some I had seen coming but the majority I had never expected!

-Second, it’s history repeating itself.

By that I mean the Pierce Brown made me think of ancient Rome and ancient Greece with the slaves, the gods etc. This is certainly exacerbated with the names of the Golds like Augustus, Caius etc. Add to it “Olympus” where the “teacher” at the institution live and you get the idea.

But later on in the series, there is a character, a true villain that I won’t name here who reminded me of Hitler. With torture, extermination, insanity…

All along I couldn’t help but make comparison with past history.

-Third, this is also the altar of moral values.

Darrow, our hero, represents values like courage, loyalty, empathy, mercy, bravery etc.
But everything is not black and white because Darrow, determined as he is to see the fall of the Golds reign and a better world, can’t help but become friends with Golds. He can’t help to feel love for some. And even if he always has his mission in sight, he’ll be torn and will feel guilty for lying to his new friends.

Darrow also firmly believes in second chances.
He believes that if you were raised not knowing any better, you should get a chance to become who you really want to be and not the preordained product of your upbringing. Actions tell more about a man than his birth.

I am a firm believer of all said above so it’s no wonder that Pierce Brown had me abroad so easily!

-Fourth, it’s a spectacle!

That book is filled with action, acts of bravery, last minute escape, 180° turn, rebirth of the hero when everything is lost. It’s flamboyant and it’s gritty at the same time!
When you think that everything is “in the pocket”, someone just pulls the rug under our hero and he stumbles very hard! And when you think all hope is lost, there is an unexpected ally or opportunity that will save our hero’s butt and spin the story in a new direction!

You never have a respite, always panting and gripping the edge of your seat!
That’s why I breezed through these books!

-Fifth, the characters are amazing!

Darrow will have a huge growth
! And the narrator ( Tim Gerard Reynolds) did a splendid job rendering that growth! In the beginning Darrow will speak with a thick Irish accent. I had to focus really hard to understand. And the more the story progressed the more Darrow’s speech became smooth and cultured.Darrow is a true leader that you will have no other choice but to root for.Opposed to big, golden, strong and charismatic Darrow you’ll have the beautiful Cassius, the goblin Sevro, Roque the philosopher etc.The characters will all have growth in this series and their relationships will constantly evolve. You will love them as your own friends, you will suffer with them and you will feel the deep cut when there is betrayal.

To conclude I’d say that this book blew me away, even if science fiction/dystopia is far from my favorite genre! My son was right all along! Why did I wait so long to read it?

PS Now my son is reading one of my favorite books of 2021, Empire of the Vampire and he is..smitten!

Thanks for reading!


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  1. I remember my husband reading this series several years ago and he was so hooked. And waiting on each book was torture. I was saying, now you know how it feels to wait on a much anticipated book! LOL I bet your son is saying I told you so!! 🙂

  2. oh wow Sophie! this book sounds so incredible and sounds like such a winner for you there. I just love seeing that there and especially seeing you and your son share such love for this one together.

    Lovely Review!

  3. I am going to have to add this audiobook to my list! I have heard so many great things about this author and yet I have still not made the time to give him a try. You have me excited to try this book! 🙂