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BigD

In the vein of Red Rising?

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I been a predominately fantasy reader for a while, completed GRRM, Rothfuss, Erickson, Abercrombie, Lynch,  Bakker, etc.   Not so long ago randomly one my students recommended Red rising and I crushed all 5 books, wow what an epic Journey even if Brown occasionally utilizes the deus ex machina.   Since Im old I only use this fantasy forum for my recommendations but I am looking for some SciFi similar to Red Rising.  Thoughts?

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Well I really didn't like Red Rising, so our tastes may not be entirely compatible, but here's some sci-fi series that I find to actually be great:

  1. The Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold either start with Shards of Honor or The Warrior's Apprentice and read chronologically from there, publication date varies significantly from chronological order so the quality can vary as well.
  2. The Expanse by James SA Corey (you should also read Daniel Abraham's - one half of the Corey writing team - fantasy books:  The Long Price Quartet and The Dagger and the Coin)
  3. The Bel Dame Apocrypha by Kameron Hurley which also has a nice bit of fantasy feel to it, one of my favorite overall series from the past decade.
  4. The Tales of the Ketty Jay by Chris Wooding - every time I think about this series I want to reread it... should do that one of these days, it's also maybe more fantasy than sci-fi in content, but definitely feels like sci-fi.
  5. The Bone World Trilogy by @Peadar has some of that same struggle to survive that is in Red Rising
  6. Old Man's WarThe Ghost Brigades, and The Last Colony by John Scalzi

And one that gets recommended a lot around here that I keep meaning to read - The Culture by Ian M. Banks.

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Heroes Die by Matthew Stover is always my immediate recommendation to Red Rising fans.  Darrow and Caine both have a similar way of hyping things up with their narration.  Very violent too.  After Dark Age, it feels like Brown is growing into an author like Stover.

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10 hours ago, Ser Not Appearing said:

I stopped after book 3. Seemed he took a turn for the inconsistent and plot-forced worse

Does it get better again?

Considering book 1 was like that as well...

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18 hours ago, Ser Not Appearing said:

I stopped after book 3. Seemed he took a turn for the inconsistent and plot-forced worse

Does it get better again?

I love these books but they get more inconsistent in the second trilogy as it goes multi-POV.  Book 4 is the weakest but I think book 5 is by far the best.

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14 hours ago, RedEyedGhost said:

Considering book 1 was like that as well...

I certainly didn't feel that way in terms of degree and frequency but perhaps it was consistently inconsistent and it took a few books of track for me to finally start feeling it. It stands to reason that the longer the track record for a character, the firmer one's expectation for their reaction and the more betrayed one would feel when it doesn't happen.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, End of Disc One said:

I love these books but they get more inconsistent in the second trilogy as it goes multi-POV.  Book 4 is the weakest but I think book 5 is by far the best.

Yea, I tend to agree. Book 5 was great but Book 4 was meh. These kind of plot driven stories appeal to me though. It's why I read all the Jack Reacher books.

Edited by Mexal

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@BigD what specifically did you enjoy about Red Rising?  I enjoyed it too.  I cannot think of any direct comparisons, but some aspects are found in other books.

My impression was that the first volume of Red Rising was like a male version of The Hunger Games: a teenage hero a low caste striving in a staged lethal competition with other teenagers under the auspices of a corrupt elitist/hierarchical system that the hero wishes to overthrow.  But it was more violent and focused on conquest.

Then the subsequent volumes expand into space opera where the youths reject and overthrow the conservative world order, especially their parents.  It reads like angsty YA progressive rebellion fiction for most of the time, but the world building is good and there’s lots of melodrama, twists and betrayals to keep the pages turning.

If you like the angsty YA rebellion against a dystopian/exploitative world then the Hunger Games or Divergent series might work (I haven’t read either but was subjected to the movies).  If you like the teenage messianic space opera military campaign to overthrow a corrupt world order, then Dune might work, although the prose is more purple at times.  If you like the violence blended with angsty melodrama then Heroes Die might be a good fit (although I’m one of few here who ran out of the patience with the angsty melodrama in that book).  If you like space opera military adventure generally, then perhaps try Star Wars novels; I think the Thrawn Trilogy is the usual recommendation.  If you like creative world building with a young band of brothers taking on the evil overlords, then you can find that in Fantasy even more than SF, e.g. Wheel Of Time.

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I've actually been thinking about picking these up, and the fact that people are recommending Stover for fans of them piques my interest. Out of curiosity where do they fall on the YA spectrum? Are we talking Percy Jackson levels, or something closer to Shattered Sea?

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10 hours ago, bms295 said:

I've actually been thinking about picking these up, and the fact that people are recommending Stover for fans of them piques my interest. Out of curiosity where do they fall on the YA spectrum? Are we talking Percy Jackson levels, or something closer to Shattered Sea?

Closer to Shattered Sea, or if you're familiar with Hunger Games, the first book is like that.  But they get more mature as they go and the most recent book is about as YA as Blade of Tyshalle.

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