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 by Pierce Brown is the first book in the Sci-fi Dystopian trilogy Red Rising. It follows Darrow, a Red miner that is in the process of cultivating the planet Mars with the res of his people. After a tragedy he is swept up to be the spear head of a revolution against the Golds. He must become one and infiltrate the system from within.
With a lot of action and adventure we get to see Darrow overcome every obstacle as he climbs the Gold ladder and make his wife, Eo’s dream come true.
Darrow is a Red. In a world many years into the future, civilization is split into a caste system by eye color. Reds are miners, Obsidian are soldiers/police, Browns are servants etc. Then there are the Golds, the elite class. They reign over all other colors. The best humanity has to offer. Darrow is not a Gold, and could care less. He enjoys being a Helldiver, making a difference for the future of humanity. Cultivating a new planet for future inhabitants, but after one wrong move and an act of defiance by Eo which doesn’t end well, Darrow knows things have to change and Eo was the fuel to his fire.
“We grew together, and now are grown. In her eyes, I see my heart. In her breath, I hear my soul. She is my land. She is my kin. My love.”
With a lot of plot specific terms, it made it quite difficult to follow the story at times. I found myself often getting confused with the new lingo and the effects they had on the plot line. But besides that, I found the plot line really enjoyable. There was a lot of growth and eye opening sequence of events that always kept me on my toes as the reader. I began getting really invested in the story when Darrow was being transformed into a Gold that I began asking myself curious questions. “How is Darrow going to handle this? Darrow’s in real trouble now, is he going to get out of it? OMG, what just happened? etc”
Pierce Brown took an over used plot line (Hunger Games style), and made this journey a remarkable, and refreshing experience. He brought the world to life with story specific lingo, a great cast of a variety of different types of characters, deep plot lines, and a cruel hierarchy. What may have been a simple premise transforms itself into a highly brutal and violent setting, full of blood, hate, vengeance, and ultimately hope – a hope to make a difference amidst the sins of the world, amidst the blood on their hands. He turned a savage story into a story that was vastly thought provoking.
There were many notable characters in the story worth mentioning but I strictly want to talk about Darrow. He was so complicated and intricate that no one else really compared to his level. He starts off as a hard working, yet sometimes reckless teenage boy who is so involved with his family and community of Reds. It’s not until he is truly tested after Eo’s act of defiance do we get to really see his true character.
Never in my life have I read a character that has gone through so many emotions and hardships in one book like Darrow has. We see him in love, dealing with grief, and have suicidal thoughts. We see him angry and vengeful, broken down and vulnerable. We see his bravery and leadership skills, and we see him struggle morally. My heart weeps for him and his experiences. His growth throughout the story is insurmountable and he is truly a hero who fights for whats right.
“You do not follow me because I am the strongest. Pax is. You do not follow me because I am the brightest. Mustang is. You follow me because you do not know where you are going. I do.”
In the future installments I would like more insight like this with more of the characters! Especially Mustang and Sevro~
I haven’t read many stories set in space so I didn’t have too much experience in the genre of Science Fiction. So because of that my eyes were open to the creative world Brown created. With vivid descriptions and the vast landscapes it really felt like I was on Mars! My favorite part of the story was when Darrow and Eo sneak off to find this little green forest habitat on the vastly red planet. They lay on their backs in the grass and star up at the sky. All their hopes and dreams for a better future are all brought to life through the scenery. A calm, peaceful, and lively scene before the chaos of the story ensues. Beautiful way to end such a happy moment in the book.
“ ‘I live for the dream that my children will be born free. That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.’
‘I live for you,’ I say sadly.
She kisses my cheek. ‘Then you must live for more.’ ”
Brown has given us glimpses into a vast and complicated world. We have only seen a small part of it so far but what I’ve seen is dark, cruel and intricate. I could use a little less confusing lingo and more insight into other characters as much as Darrow was explored though. But it was an amazing read and definitely worth continuing on! I can’t wait to see what happens next in book two!
If you’ve read Red Rising by Pierce Brown, I would love to hear what you thought of it! Was it as great for you as it was for me? Let me know in the comments and let’s start a conversation!
Until next time,
Now he lives in Los Angeles, where he scribbles tales of spaceships, wizards, ghouls, and most things old or bizarre.