Pierce Brown’s Red Rising: Everything You Need To Know Before You Read It

Let me guess, someone with great taste in books told you to check out the Red Rising series. It’s fine, really, it’s to be expected. It’s a great series. But hearing something is great isn’t always enough to get you to commit to a new series. I get it. Which is why I thought it well worth the time to put together this cheat-sheet about the Red Rising series to help you decide whether or not you really should check it out. If you don’t have the time to read this, the short answer is: Yes, read Red Rising. But if you need more information, here’s everything you need to know, sans major spoilers.

What is Red Rising?

Red Rising is the first book in a sci-fi/sci-fantasy series by the same name.

What is Red Rising About?

Set hundreds of years in the future, humanity has spread itself across the solar system and is broken up into a social hierarchy organized by colors ranging from the lowest Reds (the workers) to the highest Golds (large and in charge). Each color has its own preset position in Society, which determines their rank and the work or service they provide.

(Slightly more specific description of the story below)

The story centers on Darrow, a low Red who was born and raised in a mining community beneath the surface of Mars. Without getting into any major specifics, the reality of Darrow’s existence is blown wide open early on in the first book. He suffers a massive tragedy and from there, is given the chance to infiltrate the Golds in an attempt to tear down the Society from within. The bulk of the story has Darrow posing as a Gold, attending the Institute where a deadly “game” separates the men (and women) from the mice. Expect violence. Expect vengeance. And definitely expect suspense. And expect to want to read the next book immediately after.

Why Do Fans Love It?

So many reasons. You might hear comparisons to Hunger Games, Ender’s Game and other successful sci-fi stories, but the truth is, Red Rising stands on its own for being a gripping story complete with twists and turns you won’t see coming. And it has some of the best characters you’ll find in a recent fiction series. I say this as someone who grew up with the original Star Wars movies near and dear to my geeky heart, and as a proud, die-hard Harry Potter fan. Plain and simple, Red Rising is a great series. It’s the kind that grabs a hold of you and won’t let you go if you get on board with it.

What’s The Right Order To Read Everything?

Good question. Here is the recommended order to read the books:

  1. Red Rising
  2. Golden Son
  3. Morning Star
  4. Red Rising: Sons of Ares
  5. Iron Gold

That’s the order everything was published so far. Red Rising, Golden Son and Morning Star are the original trilogy. Sons of Ares is a comic book series, which has since been published in hardcover. It’s a prequel story that should be read AFTER you’ve read the original Red Rising trilogy. Sons of Ares is not required reading for Iron Gold, however it’s great backstory on a key character, so you’ll probably want to check it out.

Iron Gold is the first book in the sequel trilogy Pierce Brown is writing to follow up on Iron Gold. It contains many of the original characters from the trilogy as well as some new ones.

Is Red Rising available as an audiobook?

Yes, Red Rising, Golden Son, Morning Star and Iron Gold are all available as audiobooks. And they’re fantastic. The audiobooks are well worth a listen, even if you’ve already read the books, if only to hear the Song of Persephone. Tim Gerard Reynolds narrates the first three books. Because Iron Gold has four separate POVs, the audiobook for that one is narrated by four different voices, Reynolds included.

Are There More Books Coming?

Yes! Iron Gold released in January 2018, and we’re expecting two more books to follow. Dark Age is expected to be released in July 2019. There’s no title or release date set for the third and presumably final book in the followup trilogy.

Is There Going To Be A Red Rising Movie?

A Red Rising movie was supposed to happen, but now it’s in development for a TV show. Pierce Brown revealed as much during the Iron Gold press tour. We don’t have a lot of details about it yet, but it’s apparently aimed for a streaming network. Here’s hoping there’s new news on that sometime in the near future.

Ok, I’ve Finished Reading Everything. I Love This Series. What Now?

Welcome to the fandom, fellow Howler! Here are a few groups and Twitters you’ll want to follow to connect with Pierce Brown and other Red Rising fans.

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