Red Rising by Pierce Brown - 2/5 stars

I started writing this review before I finished the book.
Because that my lovely peeps was more exciting than the book itself...
I finished the book, so it is not so terrible I want to kill myself, but it is not as amazing as promised either.

I love dystopia! And thanks to some amazing writers such as Jay Kristoff, Marissa Meyer, Claudia Grey, etc., I have also come to love YA Sci-Fi. And because of that, I was looking forward to the combination of both genres. In that sense, Red rising delivered. Pierce Brown managed to effortlessly combined dystopia and Sci-Fi.

Here is however my main problem with Red Rising: it suffers from the Mary Sue syndrome (in this case Gary Sue, the male version). For those who don't know the term Mary Sue is used for cliche ya characters that are idolized by all and seemingly perfect. 
Our Mr Perfect- Darrow, lost his wife- Mrs Perfect, and is seeking revenge. He finds solace in a group of people that want to bring down the elites who enslave his people. This group needless to say believes Darrow is the only one who can do it: 

"Others may have failed. but you will be different Darrow" *Yawn Heavily*

At one point they even describe him as a god. Excuse my language but: bi*** please! That kind of thing gets boring real fast.
Here are some Mary Sue characteristics that ALL happen to also apply to our sugar plum Darrow: 
- Exotic beauty--> Before the transformation he was stunning even though he had scars. Now he is a god. Pure Perfection. 
- A boy of exceptional talent--> No one, and I mean NO ONE can do what he can. A test with 400 questions he has never heard before? easy! he won't even study for it and do better than everyone else.
- Dramatic and tragic background--> did I tell you Mrs Perfect died at the very beginning? And I am telling you folks: she was PERFECT! Almost more than him -if that is at all possible. 
- There are often reasons Gary Sues should not exist--> In this case Darrow died. Just kidding! He miraculously came back to life (don't worry, this is not really a spoiler, happens early on)
- Gary Sues are predictable--> I am not finished with the book as I put my thoughts down on paper. But I am willing to bet that when I do, our Gary Sue will have done something rather questionable and still come out as the hero in the story. ---written a day later--->> wasn't I just on the money?!?! You lost some cash folks! 

Now, IF I were able to forgive the Mary Sue issue, there would still be one other issue with Red Rising: lack of originality. I read on GoodReads on a few reviews that Red Rising reminds the reader of the Hunger Games books. It does, and way too much. To the point I skipped a good 50 pages and missed NOTHING. I went back and read it, but still... that is a terrible thing. My favorite ya fantasy /sci-fi books are books where if you miss only one page you are already a little confused. I don't expect that from NA books (my other passion), but from ya books that is extremely important to me.

Concluding: the idea was great, the marriage between Sci-Fi and Dystopia was also great. But the main character needed to be more complex and original. So did the plot.



Comments