Red Rising, Pierce Brown’s debut work of science fiction from 2014, provided a new vantage point on the realities of everyday racial and class inequalities. This has been done before, but not with the same page-turning flair as in Red Rising.
Intriguing and horrifying, Darrow’s journey as the young “Red” protagonist is a highlight of the film. After his wife was killed by the autocratic “Golds,” one young man’s quest for vengeance quickly turns into a revolutionary struggle for freedom for himself and the rest of the human race. Listed below are a few suggestions for books like Red Rising that graphically illustrate the negative effects of an unequal society.
5 Books like Red Rising
The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games, a dystopian YA novel, is a must-read when searching for books like Red Rising. With Katniss Everdeen, we see a future world gone horribly wrong, where children and young people are forced to fight each other in a gladiatorial battle to the death. Autocracy, social mobility, and the despair it causes are all addressed in this book.
The character of Katniss has become synonymous with Jennifer Lawrence’s movie performance, but the novel’s Katniss displays more depth, complexity, and nuance than any actor ever could. Red Rising and other books like The Hunger Games have become enduring favorites among readers. Perhaps because they reflect our world back to us, allowing us to see the flaws that we either fail to notice or choose to ignore.
Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline
In addition to searching for books like Red Rising, you may also come across Ernest Cline’s 2011 geek-fest. The dystopian world of Ready Player One is explored in a fun and engaging way. ‘The Oasis’ is a fun and exciting virtual reality experience, but beneath the surface lurks a gloomy warning of how bad things can get.
As a result, Wade lives in “the stacks,” a literal stack of caravans. He, like many others, seeks solace in ‘The Oasis,’ a safe haven from the hardships of the outside world. Nonetheless, Wade’s mission to protect the virtual world from corporate encroachment resonates with readers. His race against a wealthy elite for control of ‘The Oasis’ is reminiscent of our own battle to protect the planet from heartless multinational corporations.
Science fiction novels like Ready Player One and Red Rising show how current issues can be woven into a compelling story in science fiction.
Wool, by Hugh Howey
An independent success story from 2011, Wool shows how books like Red Rising have become so popular. Wool, which is nearly four years older than Pierce Brown’s debut, explores similar themes such as deception, betrayal, and vengeance.
Beginning with Holsten, the sheriff of a vast underground shelter known as “the silo,” the reader is introduced to the last of humanity’s underground fortresses. It is the mayor’s job to keep things in order, and the sheriff is in charge of doing so. Toxic waste and dirt from silo sensors and cameras must be ‘cleaned’ by criminals before their environmental suit succumbs to the surface toxins and they are killed. This is where the deceptions and lies begin.
After focusing on Juliette, the story begins to resemble Red Rising in terms of tone and themes. All is not as it appears, and Juliette’s quest for truth and justice against the very people she thought were protecting humanity begins.
The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
Red Rising and The Handmaid’s Tale appear to be worlds apart, but the main character of The Handmaid’s Tale, Offred, shares many similarities with Darrow. Barbaric acts of cruelty are committed on both sides. Both are able to survive because of their innate intelligence. These two people are driven by a deep sense of resentment toward those in society who try to oppress them.
The Handmaid’s Tale, published in 1985, depicts a dystopian future in which the United States is ruled by a brutal regime known as the Republic of Gilead, in which Offred is one of many breeding women. Because fertile women like Offred are becoming increasingly scarce, she and the other handmaidens have been assigned to local Commanders – the male ruling class – in an effort to stem the tide of population decline. The aunts, who train and indoctrinate the handmaids, watch as Offred and her companions are repeatedly raped.
Despite the bleakness of Offred’s story, it serves as a powerful reminder of the many battles women face today. Red Rising and Atwood’s tale are both difficult to accept, but the reader is compelled to keep reading. By refusing to accept the world as it is, Offred demonstrates the morally repugnant character trait of submission.
Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
There are books like Red Rising that examine the moral ramifications of war, but none of them is as shocking as Ender’s Game in terms of its emotional impact. Ender’s Game has been updated several times over the years and has received a lot of criticism for its political views, which many in the US military consider required reading’ for cadets.
Card’s views on same-sex marriage have come under increasing scrutiny in recent years. Though this may be the case, it should be noted that in Ender’s Game the focus is on the rules of war and whether or not they are morally acceptable.
The story revolves around a young man named Andrew ‘Ender’ Wiggins, who enrolls in a military training program to help defeat the insectoid race known as the ‘buggers,’ which has attempted to invade Earth twice before. It is widely accepted that young minds are the key to success, and Ender’s is tactically one of the best. Ender quickly learns that his tactical genius has long-term ramifications for his own soul as he goes through a series of training exercises designed to prepare him and his team for a final assault against the “buggers.”
asking the age-old question, “How far do we go? ” After finishing Ender’s Game, readers will be left reeling from the book’s powerful emotional impact.
Has this book already been read by you? For books that are similar to Ender’s Game, check out our list.