My first reaction to Part One of Red Rising, well that escalated quickly. Even knowing about Eo's fate from beginning, it's what I get for reading the back of the book before I started reading. However, I was expecting all of it. So much happened in a short amount of time. In fact the first part is only forty-five pages that once I was done I had to put the book down. Even though I know there's still a good three hundred plus pages to go I needed a minute to process. In fact I'm pretty sure I just stared at my cat for a good five minutes just absorbing the first pages. Pierce Brown was not wasting anytime throwing us into the story, and I have to say I'm hooked. I'm now invested, and attached, to Darrow our main character. I want know what's about to happen to him and why it had to him. Honestly, he's a hard character not to like.
But, before I keep going on about all things I liked about Part One, I should mentioned a couple of things that I didn't like it. I have to say I wasn't overly drawn to Eo the longer we spent time with her. At first I didn't give her much, in fact I thought I knew how the plot was going to unfold for her. Only, as the first part rolled on I found myself not liking her more and more. I understand her need, and want, for change among Red. Her need to fight the for that change made sense, but the sort of way she went about with Darrow. The cloak and dagger, leaving him in the dark. I understood Darrow's frustration with the moment. Why he couldn't just jump on board with her rebellion. I also wanted to be more shocked by the end of her story line, but maybe that is something that needs to come later. As the plot unfolds. I was more heartbroken for Darrow throughout the entire scene. Which, might have been the point. Maybe Eo wasn't a character meant for the readers to understand, but a reason to put Darrow the position he found himself in. If that's the reason, poor Darrow.
The only thing that was hard for me was the pacing, it's fast. Pierce Brown throws you into the world of Red Rising without much pomp and circumstance. As you follow Darrow through his day Brown creates the world for you and the structure the world has taken. The caste system is explained and you really get a feel for how horrid life on Mars is for the Reds. While this isn't necessarily a bad thing, in fact I like when the world behind happens around the story instead of pulling away from it to explain what everything is. The fast pace had me back tracking a bit to make sure I understood. Which might have been more of personal issue because dystopian isn't my usual genre. Though honestly, it's not really a complaint about the book, the pacing. I'd rather it be fast paced and I have to do a double take to make sure I've absorbed all the right information then have to slog through the intros and wonder if I'm ever going to get hooked in.
Because truth is, despite my sort non-feelings for Eo and original confusion with the world building, I'm loving this book. Now that I'm a few pages in I'm getting use the techno-terms used in the world, the caste system is starting to make sense, and I'm dying to know the secrets being kept from Darrow. A game is being played by the people around him and our main character is their pawn. While I feel like I've figured little pieces out, I still haven't figured out all the big pieces. Unfortunately while I was reading through the thread in the re-read on Goodreads, a bit was spoiled for me. I might have spent a few minutes pouting about it even if I had sort of figured it out for myself. I now know to be a bit careful.
Due to NaNoWriMo, I'm a bit behind with my reading for the second part, but so far it still hasn't disappointing. I've also found out that Pierce Brown will be in town for a book even before the end of the year, and I'm hoping to re-arrange my schedule so I here him talk about the new book in the series. Honestly I'm already recommending this book to my friends who loved the Hunger Game Series and the Divergent Series. Red Rising might the book that convinces me to give the dystopian genre another look.