In case you were looking for book recommendations, we have two authors for you: Pierce Brown and Mark Z. Danielewski. The two were recently in Manila for National Book Store’s Readers and Writers Festival, and we were introduced to their line of books, which impressed us with their captivating plots, originality, and attention to detail.
Pierce Brown is the author of the Red Rising series, which makes up the science fiction books Red Rising, Golden Son, and Morning Star. The novels are set in the future on planet Mars, where everyone is divided into a color-coded society. Our hero, Darrow, is a member of the lowest-ranking Red, where he works all day to make the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Soon, he discovers that his people are being exploited by the ruling class as slaves. He goes on a mission to bring down the ruling class and restore order on Mars.
Brown’s works are a breathtaking new world that has been described by Kirkus Reviews as reminiscent of The Hunger Games and Game of Thrones, with Entertainment Weekly adding that the books are “packed with an astonishing amount of cinematic action and twists.”
Strangely, before Red Rising was published (and made it to the New York Times Best Seller list), the books were rejected by 120 literary agents. Now, it has been met with critical and fan acclaim. It will also be adapted into a film, with Brown also writing the screenplay after a seven-figure auction between studios. Marc Forster, who directed The Kite Runner, Quantum of Solace, and World War Z, will direct the adaptation, which is exciting!
Soon, Brown will also publish Iron Gold, the fourth in the series.
Like Brown, Mark Z. Danielewski created an entirely new world, except this one is in a house. In House of Leaves, three narrators tell the story of a family who moves into a new home, where hallways are endlessly shifting, hiding a terrible secret that they would later uncover.
The novel is noted for its horror tones and unusual layout called visual writing, with some pages containing only a few lines of text while others are brimming with them. There are also a lot of footnotes (with their own footnotes), referencing fictional pop culture events.
Similar to Red Rising, House of Leaves had challenges finding a publisher, eventually finding one after 32 attempts. Now, it has been translated into several languages and is being taught at several universities in the US. Even master of horror Stephen King is a fan. In a New York Times article, a writer wrote, “Joe [Hill] and Stephen [King] were having another typical conversation: hashing out what novel could be considered the Moby-Dick of horror. ‘That one with all the footnotes, they argued — no, not that one, the other one: Mark Danielewski’s House of Leaves.”
Danielewski’s latest project is The Familiar, a 27-novel opus that revolves around different people around the world and how they’re interconnected. So far, four volumes have been released, with the fifth one to be published this October.
With all the crazy things happening in the world, Brown’s Red Rising series, and Danielewski’s House of Leaves and The Familiar are perfect escapes!
The Red Rising series, House of Leaves, and The Familiar are all available in branches of National Book Store.
National Book Store