As an avid reader and writer of YA Fantasy and Sci-Fi, I am innately drawn to a specific type of book. Starting in childhood with Narnia, moving on to Middle-Earth in my teens and taken to Hogwarts in my late teens/early twenties, my obsession has grown, and I find myself reading almost nothing else.

So, I’ve decided to do a little series on some of those that I’ve read recently; mostly modern books, some well-known, others less so, but all equally compelling and world-busting.

Red Rising by Pierce Brown @Pierce_Brownpierce-brown---credit-joan-allenjpg.jpeg

I need to start with Red Rising, possibly my favourite of the last couple of years, though it’s close with a number of others. This Solar-System-spanning, emotional rollercoaster expertly balances great storytelling and world-building with depth of emotion and human closeness.

The novel, set on a future planet Mars, follows lowborn miner Darrow, a Red, as he infiltrates the ranks of the elite Golds.

Pierce Brown’s imagination knows no bounds, and our lead character, Darrow, is among my favourite of all time. Motivated by the dying words of his hung wife, he is driven through an emotional yoyo from start to finish and Brown’s expert use of first person enables surprises in the storyline and actions of the character throughout.

I was utterly drawn to the novel from the first line until the last, finishing the novel in two sittings (I only stopped because I had to sleep for a couple of hours before work) and have subsequently devoured Golden Son (OMG – what an ending?!) and Morning Star. The trilogy felt complete to me, but what does the legend Pierce Brown do – he starts writing a new series in the same universe – I cannot wait for Iron Gold!


If you haven’t read Red Rising, do yourself a huge favour and get it. It will grip you like a pit viper from the moment you descend into the helium-3 mines on Mars until the epic finale of the third book.