Books To Read After “Red Rising”

“Red Rising”, a tour de force by Pierce Brown, has captivated a legion of fans with its gripping blend of dystopian society, intense character development, political intrigue, and bloody rebellion. An inspiring tale of the underdog protagonist, Darrow, rising against the oppressors makes the series a hard act to follow. However, the world of literature is teeming with stories that echo the same intensity and depth.

In this blog post, we will delve into a curated selection of books that embody some of the unique elements that “Red Rising” fans cherish. Whether it’s the thrilling tension of a societal overthrow, the heart-rending journey of a character’s transformation, or the intricate dance of politics and power, these recommendations promise to deliver an equally compelling reading experience.

Let’s embark on this literary journey!

The Elements That Make Red Rising Unique

“Red Rising” is not your run-of-the-mill dystopian novel. Its unique appeal lies in a carefully woven tapestry of richly-detailed world-building, emotionally complex character development, and a riveting storyline.

Overview of the Unique Elements in Red Rising

The plot unfurls in a stratified society on Mars, where color-coded casts define the life and role of every individual. Our protagonist, Darrow, is a Red – a lowly miner toiling under the surface, oblivious to the lies spun by the ruling Golds. The narrative takes a sharp turn as Darrow transforms into a Gold, laying the groundwork for a violent and thrilling uprising.

Why These Elements Resonate With Readers

These elements work in harmony to create a compelling narrative that leaves readers on the edge of their seats. The concept of a brutally stratified society piques our curiosity and mirrors some of the socio-political issues in the real world. The hero’s journey of Darrow – his transformation and his struggle against the ruling class – is an exploration of the human spirit’s indomitable will to fight for justice, making readers root for him all the more. And finally, the politics and power dynamics between the different factions are a masterclass in suspense and intrigue, making every turn of the page a thrilling experience.

Book Recommendations and Why They Resonate

After experiencing the relentless ride of “Red Rising,” you may be craving stories that emulate its elements of dystopian future, transformation, and struggle. So, here are some book recommendations that are likely to keep you gripped.

“Dune” by Frank Herbert

Short Summary of the Book

“Dune,” a science fiction masterpiece, unveils a complex interstellar society centered around the desert planet Arrakis. The story follows young Paul Atreides, whose family assumes control of Arrakis, a place brimming with political intrigue and the only source of the universe’s most valuable substance.

Comparison of Elements Between Dune and Red Rising

Just as in “Red Rising,” “Dune” presents a protagonist thrust into a harsh, unfamiliar environment. Paul’s journey mirrors Darrow’s in many ways – both must transform, adapt, and lead a rebellion to overthrow the existing order. The intricate socio-political threads woven into the plot echo the power dynamics and struggles in “Red Rising.”

Why Red Rising Fans Might Enjoy It

“Dune” is a must-read for any “Red Rising” fan who enjoyed the complex political maneuvering, world-building, and a protagonist’s journey from relative obscurity to a figure of great significance.

Moving on to our next recommendation…

“Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card

Short Summary of the Book

“Ender’s Game” is a military science fiction novel that introduces us to Ender Wiggin, a child prodigy trained from a very young age in a military academy. His training involves participating in increasingly challenging war games, all in preparation to combat an impending alien invasion.

Comparison of Elements Between Ender’s Game and Red Rising

“Ender’s Game” and “Red Rising” share common threads – both protagonists, Ender and Darrow, are manipulated and forced into roles that they must grow into. Both novels explore themes of morality, sacrifice, and the weight of responsibility on young shoulders. Additionally, like “Red Rising,” “Ender’s Game” presents a complex society with its own share of political maneuvering and machinations.

Why Red Rising Fans Might Enjoy It

If you enjoyed Darrow’s growth, from a miner to a rebel leader in “Red Rising,” Ender’s journey from a young boy to a military leader will surely resonate. The complex interplay of manipulation and strategy in “Ender’s Game” will appeal to fans who appreciated the intricate political drama in “Red Rising.” Plus, the book delves deep into its characters, their growth, and the ethical dilemmas they face, elements that were central to “Red Rising.”

Stay tuned for the next recommendation…

“The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins

Short Summary of the Book

“The Hunger Games” unfolds in a dystopian future where the Capitol of Panem maintains its control over its twelve districts by forcing them to select a boy and a girl, called Tributes, to fight to the death in a televised event. Our protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, steps in for her younger sister in the brutal Hunger Games, beginning her journey from a district dweller to a symbol of rebellion.

Comparison of Elements Between The Hunger Games and Red Rising

Both “The Hunger Games” and “Red Rising” revolve around societies built upon severe class divides and ruthless suppression. Katniss, like Darrow, rises from the oppressed class and becomes a beacon of hope and rebellion. The survivalist elements, political machinations, and the theme of televised spectacles for controlling masses also echo within both books.

Why Red Rising Fans Might Enjoy It

For those gripped by the societal divisions and the rebellion in “Red Rising,” “The Hunger Games” offers a similar landscape. Katniss’ journey from a survivor to a symbol of resistance will appeal to those who appreciated Darrow’s transformation. Moreover, the strategy, alliances, and subterfuge involved in the Hunger Games themselves will resonate with the strategic maneuvers seen in “Red Rising.”

Coming up next, another captivating series…

“The Expanse” series by James S. A. Corey

Short Summary of the Series

“The Expanse” series begins with “Leviathan Wakes” and spans several books set in a future where humanity has colonized the solar system. The narrative unfolds through a multitude of perspectives, focusing on a disparate group of characters that includes a ship’s captain, a detective, and a political leader, among others. The series encompasses political tension, corporate intrigue, and a looming alien threat.

Comparison of Elements Between The Expanse Series and Red Rising

Like “Red Rising,” “The Expanse” series dwells on humanity spread across different planetary bodies and the tensions that arise from the socio-political differences between them. The series combines grand political drama with a group of unlikely heroes, much like Darrow and his compatriots, who must navigate a complex web of power dynamics, alliances, and betrayals.

Why Red Rising Fans Might Enjoy It

“The Expanse” series offers the same large-scale world-building, rich characterization, and intense political drama that “Red Rising” fans adore. If you reveled in the intricate plotting, diverse settings, and the scale of conflict in “Red Rising,” “The Expanse” series promises to deliver a similar immersive experience.

Let’s explore our final detailed recommendation…

“Snow Crash” by Neal Stephenson

Short Summary of the Book

“Snow Crash” is a cyberpunk novel set in a future United States where government functions have been largely taken over by corporations. The story follows Hiro Protagonist, a hacker and pizza delivery driver, who comes across a new computer virus, or “Snow Crash,” that has the power to infect both computers and human minds.

Comparison of Elements Between Snow Crash and Red Rising

While “Snow Crash” presents a different genre – cyberpunk, it shares with “Red Rising” a future society divided by power disparities and a protagonist who finds himself unexpectedly fighting against a system. The blend of a dystopian society, high-tech aspects, and political power play mirrors some of the key elements that make “Red Rising” compelling.

Why Red Rising Fans Might Enjoy It

For “Red Rising” fans intrigued by the societal divisions, technology, and politics within a dystopian future, “Snow Crash” could be an engrossing read. Hiro’s journey from a seemingly regular guy to someone who fights against a powerful threat would resonate with those who appreciated Darrow’s transformation. The rich world-building and intricate plot are sure to satisfy fans who loved the complexity and depth of “Red Rising.”

Stay tuned for a quick list of more suggestions…

Other Recommendations – Quick List

While the above recommendations offer a deep-dive into their similarity with “Red Rising,” here is a quick list of other books that are likely to appeal to “Red Rising” fans, along with their brief descriptions:

  • “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley: A classic dystopian novel portraying a future society rigidly divided into casts, orchestrated by technology and psychological manipulation.
  • “The Maze Runner” by James Dashner: Features a group of young boys trapped in a mysterious maze, with themes of survival, cooperation, and rebellion against unseen controllers.
  • “Legend” by Marie Lu: A dystopian novel focusing on a young military prodigy and a famous criminal crossing paths in a future divided society.
  • “Wool” by Hugh Howey: Set in a post-apocalyptic world where the remnants of humanity live in a giant silo, the series presents themes of survival, societal rules, and rebellion.
  • “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel: While not a space opera, this post-apocalyptic novel explores survival, the importance of art, and the connections between people in a world dramatically changed.

Next up, wrapping up our literary journey…


While there may not be a perfect substitute for “Red Rising,” there are countless books that encompass the elements that made it so enthralling. Each of the novels listed here boasts its own unique appeal, be it intricate political machinations, deeply realized dystopian settings, or characters that rise against the odds to challenge the status quo.

These are but a handful of the fantastic novels that await you in the literary universe. Every story brings its own unique world, set of characters, and thematic underpinnings. So, if you loved “Red Rising” for its depth, intensity, and narrative prowess, these books are sure to provide a captivating reading experience.

Remember, each book is a new adventure, and the best way to find your next favorite is to start reading. Enjoy your literary journey!

Do you have any favorite books similar to “Red Rising” that you’d like to share with us? Feel free to drop a comment below! We love hearing from you.

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