Saturday, 24 January 2015

Red Rising by Pierce Brown Review


Brain dead? Want to be? Here’s Red Rising!

Pierce Brown: I’m a hack writer. Buy my copy of The Hunger Games on Mars, I mean, Red Roses! Red Riding Hood! Red Rising? Whatever. Here’s what I wrote during my shifts at McDonald’s. Fuck originality, I’m in this for the Benjamins - four picture movie deal here I come!! 

(Mars. The future. Generic. Yes. Comforting generic crap. Checklist for writing an American bestseller: hot jailbait ass; crap romance; “dystopian future”; tell, never show – most readers can’t tell the difference anyway; plastic surgery; YA label so no-one is intimidated with scary big words or ideas; one-dimensional goodies and baddies because complex characterisation is complex; Christian imagery; info-dump like crazy and call it “world building” instead of “crap writing”; down-home hero – you’ll project onto him, right?!; working classes = good, rich people = bad, because “relatable”; working class hero fighting for equality and idealism – AMERICA, FUCK YEAH!)

Darrow: I just wanna mine, I mean “helldive”, and bone you, Eo, my beautiful teen bride. 

Eo: No, Darrow, my hunky teen hubby, you’ve gotta be like the saviour of Mars or something. 

Darrow: I think Disney did a movie like that recently and it didn’t do well.

Eo: This’ll play better because it’s about love but not really. I’ll die, giving you a contrived reason to go through with this revolution that you don’t give a shit about but I do and it’ll be like romantic. 

Darrow: Fucking hell. So even in death you’re making me do shit I don’t want to? So I’ve, what, gotta kill some evil dude?

Eo: Who knows? Certainly not the writer, Pierce “So Shitty Even My Surname Is Smeared” Brown! But here’s what you’re going to do that doesn’t really inform how you’ll change the world: I’m gonna die as a martyr even though the ruling classes kill people all the time for no reason and nobody bats an eyelid. But my death is special because YOU are Neo, I mean the Chosen One, I mean, whatever your name is, “arbitrary hero guy”. You’ll undergo risky plastic surgery to look like a Gold – they’re the ruling classes because Pierce Brown read a Green Lantern comic recently and coloured divisions made sense to his infantile brain. All Golds are ridiculously intelligent and built like crazy. 

Darrow: Aren’t I already shredded? I barely eat and I’m mining all fucking day. 

Eo: Yeah but you’re not blonde. Get blonde! Oh, that reminds me: readers – get stupider so you’ll enjoy this shit more! And Darrow, we’re gonna pass on just giving you the dye job and rip up your body for shits and giggles. 

Darrow: So far it sounds like a lazy version of Spartacus crossed with extreme My Fair Lady under the banner that this is some Hunger Games knockoff. 

Eo: There’s also fights to the death.

Darrow: Right, so it’s The Hunger Games too. It also sounds like I’m getting through all of these large life changes extremely easily. Isn’t conflict the essence of drama? This sounds terrible. 

Eo: It’s worse! You know in yet another better book, A Clockwork Orange, where the narrator creates his own futuristic lexicon that’s original but also brilliant because the reader starts to understand what the unfamiliar words mean even though they’re not directly explained?

Darrow: That sounds vaguely intellectual. Pierce Brown and his publishers are against that on any level because intellectuals are elitist and this book is about reaching as many semi-literate readers as possible. 

Eo: Well, Pierce Shit is gonna try the same thing here with laughable results. “Gumbubble”, “brotherman”, “bloodydamn” are just a few unimaginative examples of his laughable “futuristic jargon” that takes two regular words and puts them together. Ingenious? No? You’re right!

Darrow: That’s retardedfucking!

Eo: It gets better! Then you’ll fight other Golds because that’s how they’re trained to rule over the stupid Reds and we need some Hunger Games stuff here because that’s what readers are expecting. 

Darrow: Eo – what is the point of all this? So in the future there’s a Roman-esque dictatorship of humans who’ve colonised Mars and Venus and other planets? Why has civilisation become so similar to the Ancient Romans? What purpose does it serve to tell the Reds that they’re colonising Mars when it doesn’t matter either way? The Reds can’t fight back. Tell them they’re slaves, tell them they’re colonists, they’re still under your thumb! This sounds like complete horsetwaddle! I suppose it might be saved if the writing was halfway competent and I cared about the story or characters.

Eo: None of those things apply to “YA Book on Mars” aka Red Poo Flying.

Darrow: Then this stinks. 

Eo: Wait a second - you’re THINKING! That’s not good. I better get this crapfest started so I’m gonna run off, get hanged and you’ll have to do all that boring drivel I said. 

Darrow: How about you reader? You gonna sit there and take this?

Me: Fuck no! I’m gonna read nearly half of you to try and understand why you're so popular and then delete you from my Kindle forever – fuck Red Bile Rising!

Red Rising

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