Red Rising (Red Rising Saga #1)
by Pierce Brown
What is it about:
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 already 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.
What did I think of it:
I will confess I had some trouble getting into this book, but after the first few chapters I connected and was hooked.
I loved the worldbuilding and must say that as devious as the lies are that have been told to the Reds, I thought it was a really smart ploy. So often in Dystopian books the oppressors aren't very smart about it. Here I could at least understand why the ruling class hasn't have to deal with a revolt or worse.
And the Institute!
I was expecting a boarding school situation, but instead it's a dog eat dog world. Teens having to battle it out to prove who's worthy of being a Gold. I loved how Darrow and the people he befriends try to stay on top of things. Hunger, betrayal, shifting alliances... There is a lot going on and Darrow has to keep his wits if he wants to survive, let alone win.
I liked Darrow, but I fell in love with some of the other characters. At one point I was rooting more for one of them than for Darrow I will confess. Luckily that character made it to the end of the book, something that can't be said about everyone. If things continue like this, it might be best not to get too attached to anyone.
That said, this is an action-packed and thrilling read. I will get my trotters on the next book for sure.
Why should you read it:
It's a cool Dystopian YA read.
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