One random day in March of 2013, I made a trip to the bookstore to avoid doing housework — sue me, I don’t like dusting — and received an advance reader’s copy of a book called Red Rising for my troubles from, yes you guessed it, Patrick my friendly neighborhood book dealer. His instruction, “read it – then tell me you love me next time you see me”. With a teaser like that, I went home and settled down to start reading. Four hours later I texted Patrick (yes I have his number – how else am I supposed to make random book orders!?) saying that not only did I love him but he was responsible for all the new words added to my lexicon for swearing.
After finishing the book, for the second time, I began telling people to add it to their pre-orders, to the “want to read” category , and “Ro will NOT forgive me if I haven’t read this book” lists. Then I marked my calendar (and the calendars of several others) for his appearance at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con, the official release date of the book and eventually the in-store signing as soon as I found out he would be in San Diego at Mysterious Galaxy on January 28, 2014 for (his birthday) book release party.
Pierce kindly entertained the audience in front of lovely columns of Red Rising in hardback finally available for sale to the masses.
He signed copious amounts of stock for the store with a smile – after signing each copy purchased by an attendee that night, with a smile and a laugh for the hangers-on. During the signing, he answered questions about his motivations and influences – it’s impossible not to like a man who says he loves the Hardy Boys, Joss Whedon and classical literature all in the same sentence.
Then came the question of the night: “what is your book about? How would you describe Red Rising?” His answer was the best bloodydam response ever:
“It’s Antigone meets Edmond Dantes…it started out as a revenge story and grew into a story about justice and the greater good. “
For a Government and English major like myself, if the book itself hadn’t already guaranteed I’d be a fan-girl and Howler for life, his answer sealed the deal. I would have to add, as I read the story, I also felt a bit of Gattica-esque overtones (read-the-book) creeping in; which in my opinion is absolutely a good thing.
This coming Friday, will be one month since the official release of Red Rising. So far, it’s spent three weeks on the New York Times Bestsellers List, been ranked #2 on the best books by authors under 30 (I completely agree btw) and secured even more epic awesomeness in the form a movie deal with Universal Pictures.
If you follow bookish news, then I’m sure by now you’ve heard the name Pierce Brown. And if not, lift your rock just a bit and let some sunshine (remember the pretty things the sky does to make it worth it) and current events seep through the cracks into your hermitage. I promise, you’ll not regret it. Besides, how can you say no to this face?
and yes, there was cake.