Review: “Pierce Brown’s Red Rising: Sons Of Ares #6”

Pierce Brown's Red Rising by Pierce BrownPierce Brown’s Red Rising: Sons Of Ares #6 (of 6)
by Pierce Brown (Goodreads Author)Rik HoskinEli Powell (Illustrator)

5 stars (out of 5)

Slain. I am so slain, I tell you.

Wow. Okay, just…wow. There were so many parts of this issue that were even more brutal than I’d anticipated they’d be. You’d think I’d have hardened myself to all of the brutality and violence and tragedy that occurs within Brown’s world but NOPE.

I mean, yes, having read the Red Rising trilogy, I knew this was forever going to be doomed as a tragedy — that’s usually the thing with prequels: we have a sense of how it ends — but I did not realize what all of the details of that tragedy would be. I think that everyone involved in the creation of this comic series managed to balance all the different angles at play within these six issues.

And they knew, with issue six, when to gut-punch the audience and let one of the most tragic moments sink in. This is something I feel many stories don’t do too well or not often enough: let emotional impact breathe. So many times, I find stories rush through characters’ grief for the sake of plot in a way that I find unrealistic and frustrating. But this issue, perhaps because it was the last, knew how to stretch a moment so it felt, for lack of a better word, natural.

I cannot recommend this comic series — and soon-to-be hardbound graphic novel — enough, especially for fans of the original trilogy. This provides much-desired and well-executed background information on the creation of one of the enigmatic characters of the Red Rising series, along with some powerful visuals to aid in the visceral nature of the storytelling.

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