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.
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.