By: Melanie | November 10, 2014 | (31) Comments

DNF Review: Red Rising by Pierce BrownRed Rising by Pierce Brown
Series: Red Rising Trilogy, #1
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Release Date: January 28, 2014
Genres: Dystopia, Science Fiction, YA
Pages: 382
Source: Received in exchange for review
Goodreads | Purchase

The Earth is dying. Darrow is a Red, a miner in the interior of Mars. His mission is to extract enough precious elements to one day tame the surface of the planet and allow humans to live on it. The Reds are humanity's last hope.

Or so it appears, until the day Darrow discovers it's all a lie. That Mars has been habitable - and inhabited - for generations, by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. A class of people who look down on Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

Until the day that Darrow, with the help of a mysterious group of rebels, disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside. But the command school is a battlefield - and Darrow isn't the only student with an agenda.

It’s never a good sign when I take a week to finish a book. Because in most cases, that means I’m making no progress with the book because it’s boring my eyeballs out. This was exactly the case here.

There’s been a lot of hype surrounding this book, as well as a lot of positive reviews from some of my trusted bloggy friends. But, don’t forget the huge amount of disappointed reviews that also followed. I’m one of those disappointed people. I was expecting big things from Red Rising but I didn’t get what I was looking for. Many people warned me that this book was a slow ride, and I understood that. Here’s a warning: when people say Red Rising is slow, they mean, REAAAAL SLOW. I was curious at the start, so Pierce Brown gets point for that but after a few chapters, I was bored again. The plot doesn’t go anywhere, for a long time. I DNFed this book at 35%, and at that point, nothing was really moving. Well, maybe at the speed of a sloth, though even that would be stretching it.

Furthermore, I was constantly annoyed at how Darrow was constantly treated as some Golden Boy. And by that I mean he was a Gary Stu. He’s the special one, he’s unique yadidadida.

“Darrow. Come here. Come.” He grabs my shoulder and pulls me in. “Others may have failed. But you’ll be different, Darrow. I feel it in my bones.”

Also, Darrow didn’t narrate like a 16 year old guy. He sounded at least in his twenties, because when he mentioned his age, I was fully surprised he wasn’t older.

I will give kudos to the author for such his writing; it was truly fantastic, but it couldn’t make up for the boring plot and unbelievable characters. I think if you’re considering to read this, go for it and see for yourself whether you like it or not. It’s simply one of those reads that are awfully polarising.

~Thank you Hodder & Stoughton for sending me this copy!~

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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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31 Responses to DNF Review: Red Rising by Pierce Brown

  1. I borrowed this from the library a few months ago… read the first few chapters, but had to take it back because a) it wasn’t catching my attention, and b) it had to go back soon and I didn’t want to rush it. I haven’t DNF’ed it, exactly, because I fully intend on giving it another chance, but at the time it just wasn’t catching my interest at all. Great review; I can definitely see how people might not like this one.
    Kara @ Diary of a Teen Writer recently posted…Book Review: Spark by Rachael CrawMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Hmm, tell me when you have the chance to pick it up again! I wanted to like this one so so bad, because of all the raving reviews, just unfortunately, not for me ;(

  2. That’s disappointing. I was about to bump this up my pile, but I guess I’ll have to hold off for a while. I don’t have much patience for sluggish plot as well. :/
    Joy (Joyousreads) recently posted…Hoarders, Books Edition: Episode, 127My Profile

  3. Noooooo!! Lol I’ve read mixed reviews for this one. Mostly about the good writing but that the plot felt lacking. Thanks for the honest review. I might give this a try, someday.
    Shane @ Itching for Books recently posted…Review: Eternally by Rae HachtonMy Profile

  4. I can handle slow as long as it pays off. A lot of people felt that way about Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff. I think I need to try this even if it didn’t work for you. I am curious about the story telling
    Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings recently posted…Audiobook Review and Giveaway: Mr Mercedes (Bill Hodges #1) by Stephen KingMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Yes, Stormdancer is similar to Red RIsing in the retrospect–even though I did get through that book, and I ended up thoroughly enjoying it. I guess the characters weren’t enough to help me to continue.

  5. *wipes brow* Can I tell you how relieved I am to see this Mel? I was reading this a few weeks ago, and, like you, I wasn’t making any progress with it, so I DNF’d it. I’m not sure where all the hype is coming from, but I guess we can be black sheep together, right? 😉 Fabulous review! <3
    Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf recently posted…Snow Like AshesMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      *fist pump* I am so so glad that we agree on this book! I don’t fully understand the hype either. I mean it’s got good potential, but it’s not that great, right? Thanks, hun <33

  6. Candace says:

    I don’t do well with slow. Interestingly, I don’t remember even reading a review about this book, so I guess I missed them or something. I didn’t really plan on reading it anyway (not now anyway) so I guess that works out. Sorry you didn’t like it more though!
    Candace recently posted…Review: Grounds to Kill by Wendy RobertsMy Profile

  7. WAT…? I have heard *SO* many good things about this book. Isn’t it supposed to be all kinds of groundbreaking??!! :/ I don’t do well with slow books because I pretty much have the attention span of a 2-year-old. So the fact that Red Rising is slow is a REALLY BAD news. I will probably try my best to finish it though, just to see what all the hype is about. Maybe at 50% it will start to get better and better?
    Angel @ Spare Reads recently posted…Review: Perfect Lies (Mind Games, #2)My Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Honestly, I don’t see how it is groundbreaking. I mean, I suppose I can deal with it being a good book, but it’s not all that unique to the point where there’s so much hype. Definitely over-hyped, urgh.

  8. Lexa Cain says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever read a review where you DNF a book. I love tension and a fast pace. This is definitely not going on my TBR list.
    Lexa Cain recently posted…Celebrate: Wickedly They Dream & Lots of Friday Freebies!My Profile

  9. Valerie says:

    Oh boy. I have this from Netgalley, which means I will read it one day, but ahh, hahah I’m sorry you couldn’t finish it Mel! I hope your next read is better! Where the plot is more interesting!
    Valerie recently posted…Review: ParallelMy Profile

  10. Haha, Cait is going to be so sad when she reads your review, Mel! 😉 I can just see a comment full of capslock and sad faces from her coming up! 😛

    I actually got this to review via Netgalley…but didn’t download it in time…so that’s another black mark on my Netgalley history! >.< I am ever so slightly terrible at keeping downloading books in time. *looks shifty eyed*

    Love the Supernatural gifs! (I must get round to starting that show, I MUST.)
    Ella @ Once Upon a Bookish Time recently posted…20 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Frabjous MoiMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      hahah! *hides from Cait* but she’ll forgive because of the supernatural gifs…right?

      oh no! Maybe borrow it from the library if you want to read it still?

  11. Interesting…there is an awful truck load of hype for this one as you mentioned, but it seems that it’s receiving a lot of polarising reactions because of it. I really am curious to see what I’d think of this, so I will read it still but thank you for the helpful review, Mel. 🙂

  12. Bennari H. says:

    oh no! It’s a shame that this one didn’t work out too well for you in the end. But Supernatural GIFs for the win! I adore that show very much. Are you all up to date on that series?

  13. Amelia K says:

    Nooooooooo! But I loved this one so much D: I guess it’s not for everyone–but wasn’t the concept just fabulous? I cannot wait for Golden Son, omg.

  14. Sorry this didn’t work out for you! I went into it with zero expectation since I read it before the hype and I really feel as if that made all the difference. I hope your next read works out far better than this one did, dear! Thanks for such a thoughtful review! 🙂
    Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings recently posted…Mini-Review: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle ZevinMy Profile

  15. It took me forever to read this book too, but some of that was what was going on at the time. Yeah, everyone loves this book. I thought it was okay, the beginning was the best. My main problem was I didn’t like Darrow.

    lol @ golden boy pun
    Molly Mortensen recently posted…Top Ten Characters I Wish Would Get Their OWN BookMy Profile

  16. Kelly says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I think you might have even got further than I did. I couldn’t go on. THE HORROR! A teen who narrated like an eighty year old retired professor with far too much time on his hands. It didn’t fit his character, or the storyline. For me, even the writing was overrated. I honestly don’t get it. What did everyone else see in this book that we couldn’t?

    We’re sooooo book twinsies now. It’s us against the world poppet.
    Brilliant review <3
    Kelly recently posted…The Bookish Best Of… Pretty Covers of 2014My Profile

  17. Awwww Mel I am so sorry you were disappointed in this book, I was one of the one who raved about it because I just loved it so much. It was a long and slow build up but it was definitely worth it in the end. But you are very right about the special snowflake thing. Hope your next read is better!
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray Review: Alternate Realities ExploredMy Profile

  18. Oh man. I really don’t like slow books. I fall asleep! I was really looking forwars to reading this one but if it’s as slow as you say, I will push it back on my tbr until further notice. Good review, Melanie 🙂
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