You know, for a book with such a high Goodreads rating and so many screaming fangirls, I honestly expected Red Rising to be better. I at least expected it to be good. Instead, I was almost sent to sleep by the tragically slow plot and the bland writing. Those two things along with an unremarkable main character (who tried so hard to be remarkable) made for an awful reading experience.
I realy do not get the hype surrounding this book. The plot is nothing special. Red Rising starts out with Darrow’s wife, Eo, dying, which spurs Darrow into becoming a rebel and going to a school for the obnoxious and privileged Golds. It started out well. I was interested up until Darrow actually got to the school, and then they started wars and battles and, while this sort of thing usually keeps me interested, it just made no sense to me whatsoever. It was boring, and felt contrived. As if these rich people would let their kids die at the hands of other rich people.
I started skim-reading after about 200 pages because Red Rising completely failed to hold my attention. At the same time, I wanted to get to the end because maybe I was being too judgemental and the book was going to get better. Everyone had told me that it was crazy and mind-blowing, so I had to go on, right?! Wrong. I shouldn’t have bothered.
By the end of the book, absolutely nothing had changed. Darrow was still an annoyance, the students were still doing stupid things, the ladies of the novel were still being ruled by the men (which, by the way, makes no sense for ~reasons) and I was still fucking bored.
Darrow is an awful character. At the beginning of the book I was ready to get behind him because I thought he was going to have a Spartacus storyline going on. You know, one where he finds a reason to fight for the lives of the oppressed. And that reason should have been his wife. But as the novel progressed, Darrow seemed to forget about Eo and the cause and was more interested in talking about himself. I don’t really care if you are (and always have been (supposedly)) gorgeous and great at everything you do, Darrow.
I really didn’t like how Darrow was naturally the best and most gifted at everything. Yes, he was genetically modified to be that way, but even his apparent intelligence was superior to everyone else’s. And how the fuck did those Ares people know that he’d be The One? DO YOU THINK YOU’RE NEO, DARROW.
Speaking of genetic modification, I would like to point out that this world building makes absolutely no sense whatsoever and I refuse. I REFUSE. The women in this book are mostly oppressed by the men. They are said to be weaker, even the Golds, who have been GENETICALLY MODIFIED TO BE STRONGER and so should be equal with the men of the same rank. And rape is brought up regularly and, from what fellow readers have told me, dealt with poorly. I can’t comment on how it was dealt with because I wasn’t paying attention. I just noticed that the characters talked about it a lot. But anyway, it doesn’t make any sense for the women to be the weaker sex when genetic modification is possible. And it makes even less sense when it’s included in this world and not commented on, i.e. nobody said anything about changing the fact that the men ruled the world.
You know, for such a dull book, Red Rising gave me a lot of rage. I wouldn’t recommend it unless you want to torture yourself. Or maybe you have nothing else to read. In which case, I would suggest finding a newspaper because you will find the same asinine characters and shitty plot in the daily news.