Red Rising Audiobook by Pierce Brown (review)

Posted by on Nov 19, 2014 in Reviews | 51 comments

Review of: Red Rising Audiobook
Pierce Brown

Reviewed by:
On November 19, 2014
Last modified:August 24, 2022


Red Rising Audiobook

By: Pierce Brown

Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds

Published by: Recorded Books  o1/21/2014

Red Rising Audiobook Cover


4.5 stars rating

Red Rising Trilogy # 1

16 hrs and 12 mins

Whispersync for Voice-ready

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Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children. But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet.

Darrow – and Reds like him – are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class. Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’ s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’ s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies…even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

©2013 Pierce Brown (P)2014 Recorded Books


Red Rising Audiobook Sample

My thoughts - Red Rising

Finding Red Rising as a finalist for best YA Fantasy novel for 2014 doesn’t surprise me at all.
I listened to the Red Rising Audiobook back in January, but I got busy with other things so I never wrote a review.
Now with the approaching release of the next novel, The Golden Son, I finally got back to it, and these are my thoughts.

I’ll start by saying, the complexity of this book makes its comparisons to the Hunger Games and Divergent very unfair. I got nothing against those novels, in fact, I highly enjoyed them, but Red Rising is on a league of its own.

It has always puzzled me the YA classification, not because of the age of the characters. After all, our hero is only 16, but it’s set in a world where you’re not expected to make it past 35. The violence and semi-adult content don’t make it a book I’d give to my 13-year-old.

We meet Darrow in the deepness of Mars. In a future world where color determines their fate. We meet him at a time when his life is colored by innocence and content, but the revelations and the events that are to follow will change all that. This will uncover a strong and purposeful hero whose triumphs, failures and heart- break will pull you into the story.

Red Rising is set in an amazing dystopian world, where the color GOLD reigns supreme, the REDS are the lowest, and every color in between has its place. You can check this color code society HERE

Finding that he (as a red) has lived a lie, and he has been nothing more than a mere slave, plus the desire for revenge propel our hero with the help of others to put a plan in motion. A strategic plan to change the injustices of the “powerful ruling GOLD’ who have succeeded by oppression and fear. And it’s a fascinating journey.

In an ambitious effort, the author succeeds in taking you into an intricate, enthralling and imaginative world where your attention will be demanded to connect the pieces and follow a hero in the making. A world where alliances will be made and broken, the idea of good and bad will shift as the story unravels and loyalties are constantly questioned, including those of our hero.

I love how the author takes you to a world of color, but lets you experience the blackness in it, because there is blackness!

While the story doesn’t shy from brutal violence it never feels gratuitous, but makes you experience the injustices of this world.

This is an adventure that if it grabs you (I’m sure it will if you give it a chance) won’t let you go until there’s no more to listen to. To say that you will be in awe of the imagination, writing skills and execution by Pierce Brown, would be and understatement. An imagination that takes you farther than you thought possible and leaves you with a little fear that all this could one day be real. Bring on the RED RISING!

The only bad thing about this novel has been the year wait for the next one.

Red Rising Audiobook Narration

My review

The Red Rising Audiobook was my first experience with narrator Tim G. Reynolds, since then I had the opportunity to listen so some of his work in other Fantasy novels, like Theft of Swords that I totally enjoyed.

With this other novel I began to appreciate his talent, and I realized how his tone and is perfect for this kind of Fantasies.

Red Rising a not only a complex story, but the amount of characters demands an expert narration and Tim Gerard Reynold didn’t skip a bit bringing them all to life in a vivid and convincing way. It was almost like watching a movie.

He made the world more vivid and the violence more real, his timing for the action scenes was flawless.  His interpretation takes you there and keeps you there for the 16 hrs of the book.

The thing that hit me right away was the accent – I think is Irish..I’m not sure, I know is not Scottish or English  – I wasn’t sure about it. Since I read the first five chapters I didn’t expect an accent, the story it’s set in the future after all; nevertheless within a chapter I had settled into the story and enjoyed the ride.

I’m curious to see what others that read the book think about the narration. He doesn’t sound like a sixteen-year-old, and I imagine someone that has a young voice cemented in their heads might have a problem with his interpretation.

All in all, this was very good performance, but IMO it puts it even farther away from YA novel – It didn’t stop me from enjoying the heck out it tho.

Author Pierce Brown

Author Pierce Brown

Pierce Brown
Image by Jessica Chou

Pierce Brown spent his childhood building forts and setting traps for cousins in the woods of six states and the deserts of two. Graduating from college in 2010, he fancied the idea of continuing his studies at Hogwarts. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a magical bone in his body. So while trying to make it as a writer, he worked as a manager of social media at a startup tech company, toiled as a peon on the Disney lot at ABC Studios, did his time as an NBC page, and gave sleep deprivation a new meaning during his stint as an aide on a U.S. Senate campaign. Now he lives Los Angeles, where he scribbles tales of spaceships, wizards, ghouls, and most things old or bizarre.

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Narrator Tim Gerard Reynolds

Narrator Tim Grard Reynolds

Narrator Tim Gerard Reynolds

Tim Gerard Reynolds trained for the stage at the Samuel Beckett Center, Trinity College Dublin, and the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, New London CT. His acting work has taken him from the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, to the London fringe, the Official Avignon Theatre Festival, and to the U.S., where he participated in Regional Theater, as well as on and off Broadway. In recent years, Tim has become an established audiobook narrator, working predominantly for Recorded Books, and Simon & Schuster Audio. Titles include, but are not limited to, “The Legend of Broken,” by Caleb Carr, “The Heather Blazing,” by Colm Tóibín, “The Infernals,” by John Connolly, the latter half of Hugh Howey’s epic Sci-Fi series “Wool,” and Michael J. Sullivan’s best-selling “Riyria Revelations.” In 2010, he received an Audiofile Earphone award for the thriller “Faithful Place,” by Tana French, and his performances was named one of the best audiobooks of that year. In 2013 he has been nominated for an Audie Award—the industry’s highest—for work in the Fantasy genre.


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  • 4.5
    editor rating
Loupe Duffy
A mom, a wife, a friend, a happy ending addict, an Audiobook junkie, a wine lover and geek wanna -be. I'm constantly looking to be blown away.
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