The theme for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is “ten reasons I love X.” Sometimes I like these kinds of posts, because I can take them in any direction I choose. And sometimes, they’re hard to come up with a specific topic. Today’s post was a mixture of both. After spending way too long thinking about it, I could only come up with one idea. So I decided to just go with it.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that I am a teensy bit obsessed with the Red Rising trilogy by Pierce Brown. Enough to drive over 200 miles (round trip) to get my last book signed. I had to have a matching set, okay! (And yes, I have a full set of first-edition hardcovers that are personally signed to me.) Anyway, I thought I’d use this post as an excuse to share why I love these books so much.
- The writing. Brown has a style of writing that manages to seem both incredibly brilliant and completely effortless. It only took one book for me to want to read everything he ever writes. I don’t even care what it’s about.
- The characters. This is one of those series that has quite a few characters you need to keep track of, but they are all so wonderfully distinct. I never once got any of them mixed up or forgot a name (even though most of the names are a bit unusual). I love how multidimensional even the most minor of characters are.
- The friendships. If you’ve read this series, you know what I’m talking about. There is so much going on, and yet the characters manage to have legitimate friendships. Sevro and Darrow might just have my favorite fictional bromance ever. It’s a great mix of genuine, true friendship and love and a lot of completely ridiculous humor.
- The romance. This one is a teensy bit of a spoiler, so sorry about that. But I couldn’t leave it out. There is no insta-love here. It is slow-burning, real love. And I adore how the relationships are used to show character growth and development, and how they evolve as the characters mature. I also really like that, for the most part, the romances aren’t huge plot points. They happen naturally, and the characters manage to remain relatively pragmatic about them (i.e. they don’t drop everything/kill everyone for a beautiful stranger).
- The Latin. For some reason, I absolutely love when books use Latin well. And holy crap, does Brown use it well. My Latin is very rudimentary, but most of the phrases he uses were simple enough for me to understand, and he always provides translations in some form or another (I kind of hate when authors don’t do that). Seriously, though, when Sevro is sarcastic in Latin, I can barely handle it. I am such a nerd.
- The setting. Even though most of the series takes place on Mars (and the Moon), Brown magically managed to craft a vivid, intense, and exciting setting that is still completely believable. Bonus: the world building is incorporated organically into the story, so you’re not stuck reading thirty solid pages of setting.
- The technology. I really enjoyed all of the sci-fi aspects of the book. They involve a lot of things that are no where close to reality (at least right now), but they aren’t totally crazy, and they’re balanced by things we’re more familiar with, which is nice. Plus, if there is one piece of science fiction I wish was real, it would be the ability to read very quickly in my sleep, which is mentioned in book one.
- The politics. I read an article that mentions the fact Brown majored in poli-sci, and it totally makes sense. The politics are realistic and complex. Plus, they’re clearly inspired by history, which I think is really cool. This book just speaks to my nerdy heart.
- The mythology. Mythology plays a huge role in these books, but in a way that is far from traditional. I love how Brown combined several different mythologies – including Greek, Roman, and Norse – and kind of made his own; one of the books mentions Ender Wiggin, from Ender’s Game, and at one of the signings I attended – for Golden Son, I think – Brown mentioned that he liked the idea of fiction evolving into a sort of new mythology over time (or something similar, don’t quote me on that).
- The epic space battles. I really don’t think I need to explain this one.
That’s it for today’s post! I hope you enjoyed it. If you’ve read Red Rising, what is your favorite thing about the series? And if you haven’t read it (yet), I hope this post encouraged you to read it. (P.S. If you’re an audiobook person, they audiobooks are fantastic!)