STORIES | Shocking and disturbing, but I loved it. A review of Pierce Brown’s Red Rising Saga.

Can I let you in on a little secret? (Okay, if you’ve known me long enough this will definitely be no surprise.)

I am not one to enjoy happy, fluffy, love-filled reads.

I get why people read them, I do, but for some reason they’ve just never appealed to me.

I think my heart has always just strayed more towards the pessismistic side of things. Sure, it would be great for Prince Charming to sweep his way into a lonely girl’s life and for them to fall in love with things ending happily ever after. But that doesn’t happen! I just don’t believe it. Life is never that simple.

So for me, the books that tend to draw me in and keep me turning the pages are those that shock and disturb. And I’m not sure when’s the last time I’ve read a series that has done it so effectively as Pierce Brown’s Red Rising Saga.

Lies. Betrayal. Murders. Torture. Rape.

Seriously, if there is something that you’ve heard about humans doing in the news or in history books that disturbs and horrifies you, it is probably featured in some way somewhere in this series.

I mean, geesh, I even went back to my review of Red Rising that I posted on Oh, the Books! years upon years ago and in that I felt the need to devote a whole paragraph to warn readers of the horrifying shit in this series ending with his golden nugget:

Add in golden showers and chopped body parts… well, this book isn’t for the sensitive types.

Golden showers and chopped body parts? What?! How can I love a series that contains such wrongness?

But I’m not alone! Each book in this series has at least a 4.27 rating on Goodreads. Either they’re all just that good despite the devastating details or the book reading community is just as fucked up as I am when it comes to torturing ourselves by reading such a shocking and disturbing read.

Honestly though, I do think there is something really fascinating about reading dark books like these.

On the one hand it sort of feels like that whole “train wreck” thing, where you know something bad is about to happen (and it definitely does in this series, over and over again) but you just can’t tear your eyes away.  (And oh my, the amount of times I thought the shit in these books couldn’t get any worse and then they did. Wow. Sometimes it’s impossible to wrap your mind around.)

On the other hand though I think books like these are sort of inspiring in a way? Well, inspiring might be the wrong word. But to have a MC who is so flawed, to watch them struggle to persevere in a world so dark, to see them continually try and try again even when everything seems so bleak and hopeless? It definitely makes my flaws and real life problems seem much better in comparison. And sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that though our world may be fucked up, it could definitely be much worse. We should be thankful for what we have.

So if you’re like me and you sometimes enjoy reading books that shock and disturb you, definitely check out the Red Rising Saga by Pierce Brown if you haven’t already. Oh but make sure you can read the first trilogy in the saga all at once if you do, because those cliffhangers (especially that Golden Son one), wow. They definitely cause a reaction.

Let’s Chat

Am I the only one who enjoys books that are dark like this? If you’ve read the Red Rising Saga, what made you decide to give it a read? And what other books have you read that shock and disturb? Let me know in the comments below. I’m curious to see what you think.

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8 thoughts on “STORIES | Shocking and disturbing, but I loved it. A review of Pierce Brown’s Red Rising Saga.

  1. I’m with you, and I love his books too, but… They stress me out so much! I STILL haven’t read Morning Star (even though I got it when it first came out – AND I did the same with Iron Gold), because I don’t think I can deal with the amount of anxiety these books cause me. Maybe if I could read it faster it would be ok, but it seems to take me ages to get through a book these days. 😩


    1. I definitely get that. They ARE stressful. I think I’m able to separate myself a bit more from them to make the reading bearable, but I know you’re such a strong empathetic person that it can really affect you. And especially when the real world can be so shit sometimes, it can be hard to then get yourself into reading a shit fictional world. But I do hope you enjoy it when you do get around to reading it! I thought it ended quite nicely, all things considered.


  2. I can understand where you are coming from Asti, as it’s a refreshing change to have an alternative to the typical happy/soppy ending. I’ve never read this kinda book before but I do enjoy watching horror films, the more gruesome and twisted the better! After reading your post, I’m feeling intrigued as to how messed up this series can possibly be. It does sound pretty disturbing from the way you describe it. I may have to satisfy my curiousity and check this out! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and I’m loving the artwork too. Fab post girl! ❤ xx

    Bexa |


    1. Oh, that’s actually the opposite to me. I enjoy reading twisted books sometimes, but have never been one for watching it all go down in movies. I wonder if you’d enjoy both or if a book would just not pack enough punch for you compared to a movie.

      Thanks for stopping by Bexa! 🖤


  3. Oh I definitely loved the Red Rising books!! (Except Iron Gold…pretending that didn’t exist. 😂) And also just generally dark books?! I always go for them. I do like some fluffy reads at times because my brain doesn’t have to work as hard (which IT ENJOYS) but ultimately dark > light books any day. I also read somewhere that humans sometimes go for the darker books because it’s a way to view and deal with tragedy while knowing it’s fake and you can control it by shutting the book? Which makes sense. Although our world sucks pretty bad a lot these days, aT LEAST WE’RE NOT RED RISING YET. 😭😭


    1. Ooh did you write a post about your thoughts on Iron Gold? I’m so curious why you didn’t like it. I planned on reading it but was going to wait until it was published in paperback.

      And that’s an interesting thought – we read darker books to help make up for our lack of control in our current messed up world? There’s definitely a lot of nonsense going on right now IRL that I wish we could stop as easily as shutting a book! I’ve always been a bit of a control freak so that does make sense.

      Re: that last sentence. The keyword is YET. I wouldn’t be surprised if this series ended up being our future. So messed up. So sad. Good that we’ll be dead then, right? 💀


    1. Ooh, do you plan on continuing? I definitely recommend it. And then, like me, you can avoid having to wait for the next book to be published after that cliffhanger in book two. I had to move onto the third book directly after because I just couldn’t wait. 🙈

      I agree with you though, mood definitely can affect what to read. Especially with some of the shit that goes on in the news these days, shocking/disturbing books aren’t always the best. It can all be too grim after a certain point.


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