Friday, March 21, 2014

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Darrow is a Red, a caste sent to Mars to mine the precious elements below its surface. Elements needed to terraform the world so that it can support human life. The work is grueling but Darrow knows that, as the history states, a new life is being built by them.

But a chance discovery proves that Darrow and the rest of the Reds are wrong. The world they've been killing themselves to help build has existed for a long, long time. They've been oppressed for generations and, as his wife Eo tries to point out to him, are nothing more than slaves.

Darrow is recruited by the Sons of Ares, a group set on bringing down the upper echelons of society and finally freeing the Reds. But in order to succeed, Darrow must infiltrate the most elite group of Golds on Mars and convince them that he is one of them.

I get it now, I really do! Pierce Brown's Red Rising was released in the end of January and I feel like I must be the last person to jump on board - at least based on all the fabulous reviews and ratings all my fellow bloggers have been giving it. It was a little intimidating at first, wondering if the book would really live up to the expectations set by so much buzz. But don't worry, if you haven't read it I'll go ahead and tell you that it does very much live up to all the hype.

The world building alone is amazing! The reader is taken to various levels of Mars inhabitation, from the mines to the surface. And each of those levels is populated by a different group - Reds, Grays, Obsidians, Browns, Pinks... all the way to the upper crust of society - the Golds. Brown has even populated the world beyond Mars, something we learn as Darrow is told the truth about Mars and Earth and their history.

This is the first in a projected trilogy and joins the likes of Suzanne Collins's Hunger Games and Julianna Baggott's Pure trilogy in the ever popular and growing futuristic teen dystopian ranks. There is much more of a science fiction element in Pierce's tale and like some of its counterparts it certainly has enough going on to appeal to an adult readership as well as its intended teen audience. It is actually quite a brutal read and I do wonder what will be in store for Darrow in the two books to come. I imagine it'll get much more... violent before the end.

Book two, Goldenson, is due out January 2015.

Rating: 5/5

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