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I really didn't know what to expect from RED RISING other than that Piece Brown was voted Best Debut Goodreads Author of 2014, and that all of my peer reviewers LOVED it. This was my first Science Fiction Young Adult listen EVER, and apparently that was my bad because I should have been enjoying all that this genre has to offer well before now.
The comparisons to THE HUNGER GAMES are apt in that there are colours (factions), the protagonist originated from the lowest of the low, and there's a game-type set-up in the form of the Institute. I've also seen quite a few GAME OF THRONES parallels kicking around which are also accurate on account of its castle conquering theme, and yes, the author doesn't shy away from the ruthless slaying of characters. I enjoyed both of the aforementioned series, so I had no difficulty immersing myself in Brown's dystopian society, striking descriptions, and Proctor politics.
Tim Gerard Reynolds' narration was a wonderful accompaniment to this story; originally I thought that his voice was too mature for Darrow, but life is very different on Mars, and as the intricacies of this universe became clearer, so did the rightness of his performance. Ooh, and the Song of Persephone gave me CHILLS! There were a few slow parts which is why I'm giving it 4-stars, however as far as stepping out of my comfort zone goes, this audiobook was a winner!