The Earth is dying. Darrow is a Red, a miner in the interior of Mars. His mission is to extract enough precious elements to one day tame the surface of the planet and allow humans to live on it. The Reds are humanity’s last hope.
Or so it appears, until the day Darrow discovers it’s all a lie. That Mars has been habitable – and inhabited – for generations, by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. A class of people who look down on Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.
Until the day that Darrow, with the help of a mysterious group of rebels, disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside. But the command school is a battlefield – and Darrow isn’t the only student with an agenda.
Red Rising was a more sophisticated yet equally brutal version of The Hunger Games, but with a much more powerful narrator whom you could fight for and believe in! It also had a much more intimate beginning that further enforced why Darrow had to complete his mission. Darrow comes from the lower caste of society known as the Reds. The highest and most privileged are known as the Golds. Darrow never hated his life as a Red buried beneath the ground and oppressed at every turn though he was, but still, he had a lovely wife who was the envy of the town, and a job he worked hard at and was darn good at it too. However, unfortunate and heartbreaking circumstances lead him to discovering all the deceit laced within those above him, prompting him to take up the task of “disguising” himself as a Gold and joining the society “school” known as The Institute in order to rise in power and gain the freedom his people deserves.
First of all, let me just say that I fell in love Pierce Brown’s writing style right off the bat! He had so many beautifully worded lines that had me putting down the book just to look up and contemplate the meaning of what was just said. In fact, Red Rising was one of those books that made me read at a slower pace because the pages were so loaded with diction that I had to take my time reading through them in order to grasp what was happening.
Though this book had parallels to other books, it still managed to be unlike anything else I have read. The “game” (sorry I realize I keep using air quotes) that the Houses within the Institute must play was intense all the way through. Though I must admit, I was a little disappointed to discover that this is what Red Rising was so focused on. I didn’t think I’d be reading a plot similar to The Hunger Games, in which a bunch of slightly older teenagers battle it out in a barbaric version of Capture the Flag (to put it lightly), killing people left and right, and surviving off the land while their House Proctors sit watching from above and helping when they feel is necessary. You see the likeness here? Anyway, because the book’s main focus was the game, not a whole lot of plot movement occurred. Yes, it was action packed and full of epic gory battle scenes, but there wasn’t too much progress toward the end goal overall. However, the last 100 pages were FANTASTIC!! I literally could not put the book down as everything came to a head and the winner was made known! Oh and did I forget to mention that Red Rising is definitely not without its subtle yet endearing hints of romance that had me on a roller coaster ride throughout!
By the time the ending rolled around, quite the development occurred that had me super eager to see what’s in store for Darrow as he continues to snake his way through the government and into a seat of power, or at least hopefully! Book two actually comes out January 6th, 2015 , and is titled: Golden Son!
I would definitely recommend Red Rising to any Scifi lover out there looking for a unique and riveting tale of a rebellious Mars not-so- little boy who is on a fast track to victory!
You can buy Red Rising on Amazon here (it’s only $1.99) or anywhere else that sells book!