Of all the overhyped books out there, this may just be the most overhyped-ist (????, yeah not a word, but I’m going with it anyway). It seems a lot of the initial hype was about this being a YA novel that was really breaking boundaries of what is okay in YA literature by including rape in the storyline. Wellllllll, my library has this filed under plain old “Sci-Fi” – not YA, so that may be a moot point now that we’re dealing with the actual book and not ARCs. I also saw a lot of comments saying “get through 20% or 30% or whatever% and you’ll really get into it”. Sadly, that was not the case for me. The first 20% was world building – followed by the unspoilery spoiler – followed by a whole new batch of world building. Truthfully, I had to force myself to keep reading up until the last 50 pages or so. Then it was action-packed and interesting (although, once again, the big “spoilery” issues at the end of the book were as predictable as the one in the beginning). I did not like Darrow’s voice, I didn’t like that once he was at school the book became a poor man’s Hunger Games (with bizarro shout-outs to ancient Greece rather than "Districts") and I didn’t like the fact that the “cause” he had been recruited for was almost completely glossed over through the entire book forcing everyone to read Red Rising #2 in order to get any answers. It’s pretty presumptuous of an author or publishing house to assume a first time novelist will be so successful. Lucky for both, it appears to be the case this go around.
For all of you who enjoyed it, I am truly jealous. This is the only book I’ve ever attempted to get an ARC of using any means necessary. I was so looking forward to it and I’m bummed that I didn’t like it. I’ll deal with my misery in the following manner:
On the plus side, Pierce Brown is like 12, so there is a good chance he will hone his skills and I will become a fan before his writing career is over. It just won’t be with Darrow.