Pierce Brown's RED RISING
Book review by Dennis D. McDonald
I began reading RED RISING at the urging of my kids, both millennials. I am about half way through now having split my time between the text and the recorded versions.
I have decided to abandon reading. The book is derivative, unpleasant, and boring.
The story: a young miner in a future Mars, a member of the oppressed lower classes, is put through a special modification program so he can infiltrate the upper classes and resist oppression from within. We follow the awful and cruel things he must experience as he learns the ways of the world.
As science fiction it is unoriginal and unimaginative. I've been reading SF all my life and found its "young adult" orientation depressing.
As dystopian fiction it is immature and plodding. If you are going to write about class warfare, at least try to make the characters original, not cardboard.
Its fetish for violence and cruelty is like porn. Young readers deserve better.
One positive note: if books like this really do get young people reading, that's a good thing. But librarians and teachers would be doing them a service to also steer kids to read some real history about brutal regimes where "class warfare" was real and still reverberates around the world.
Review copyright (c) 2017 by Dennis D. McDonald