Author: Pierce Brown
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Buy This Book: Amazon / Book Depository
Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children. But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow-- and Reds like him-- are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class. Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity' s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society' s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies . . . even if it means he has to become one of them to do so. (Goodreads summary.)
|The gist of it.|
I have been raving about this book to people since I got past part two and became completely hooked. I have been trying to sum it up or explain the basic plot, and it's so difficult. This is a science fiction dystopian that takes a lot of inspiration from Ancient Rome, which I was far too excited to see. It does have a lot of similarities to The Hunger Games, there, I've said it, but not to the point where it feels like it's just a HG rip off. So, please, bear with me as I try to give you the basics about the book.
Darrow is a Red, living on planet Mars and part of a society that is separated into Colors, with Reds being the lowest of the low. As a Helldiver, Darrow's job is to use a clawDrill to mine for helium-3, a gas that is vital in the terraforming of planets. He believes he, and the other Reds, are there to make the planets surface inhabitable for the people of Earth. At only sixteen, Darrow is already considered an adult in Red society, he has worked since he was thirteen and has been married for six months. Despite a hard life with little reward, Darrow is happy, in love and satisfied with the life he has. But one event changes all of that and leads to Darrow discovering that his whole life has been a lie. Mars has been terraformed for years, the other Colors live on the surface in their cities, living great lives as they treat the Reds as slaves below. Darrow's fury prompts him to finally take action, he will sacrifice everything to infiltrate the Golds, the ruling Color. His goal is to gain access to the Institute, where the best of the Gold youth go to prove themselves. Where they will be tested and pitted against each other to come out on top, their performance will determine the rest of their lives. Only from a place of power can Darrow go up against the Gold's.
I was pretty much hooked from the opening two lines:
'I would have lived in peace. But my enemies brought me war.'
This book starts off so strongly, the first part is so well written and introduces you to Darrow, the Red's and their life effortlessly. Looking back and realising that Part I is only 50 pages long, well, that astounds me. I felt like I came to really know Darrow, his life and who he is as a person in that small space of time. You get to know his family, his friends, the people he works with. It's also a welcome surprise to find the romance in a book already so well established. Darrow has been married to Eo for six months, but they've been friends since childhood. Their romance is beyond sweet, you can't help but love those two together. The start of this book is hard to read though because, despite his circumstances, Darrow is happy with his life. He's in love with his wife, he has his family and he enjoys his work, it's too good and too happy. You know that's not going to last. He has no motivation or drive to better his standing, he feels it's hopeless to even try. I had a horrible feeling about the start of the book, I was just waiting for it to all go horribly wrong.
|My Part II feels.|
|From Part III onwards.|
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! This review is becoming uncontrollably long and yet I haven't even scratched the surface of this book. It's about 380 pages long, but I feel like it's more like 1,000 with how much you get in this one book. It's got an epic beginning, it's got intrigue and Hunger Games elements. It's got inspiration from Ancient Rome, it has amazing world building and so many frigging characters that I just loved. Ahhhhhh! Seriously, how can I form coherent sentences when reviewing this book. I can't do it people, I just can't.
The writing was stunning and brutal, I couldn't get enough of it. I'm not quite sure how you're expected to just patiently sit around and wait for Pierce Brown to release another book. Nope, no thank you. I need book two now. I need the whole series now, so I can devour them one after the other.
'Tears stream down my cheeks. He's twitching. When I grab his golden hair, I find him already limp. Like a wet golden feather. Blood pulses from his nose. He is quiet. He no longer moves. No longer smiles.'
|Basically me at the end of this book.|
I have to deduct half a butterfly for Part II, seeing as I did almost DNF at that point. I am so pleased I pushed on and kept reading, this book blew me away. It surpassed all my expectations and now has me itching to get my hands on book two. This is a much more adult version of The Hunger Games, with more of a sci-fi element and inspiration taken from Ancient Rome. There are not enough words for me to actually describe to you the reading experience that is Red Rising. I can just implore you all to go read it, push through Part II and fall as in love with it as I did.
*I received a copy of this novel from Hodder & Stoughton in exchange for a free and honest review and received no monetary compensation for this review.