Friday, April 01, 2016
Darrow is a miner on Mars. Just a teen, he is really good at his job. His people are the Reds. Their society is divided into classes labeled by colors. Reds are at the bottom, Golds are at the top.
The miners are working to terraform Mars for colonists from Earth. They have been at this task for several hundred years. What they have not been told is that Mars has been terraformed. It now has cities, farms, forests, rivers, lakes, rain, all the good stuff. For some reason, the Reds are kept as virtual slaves in the mines, starved and deprived and deceived.
Darrow's young wife Eo wants better for her people. She tries to inspire Darrow but he is not interested in rebellion until Eo is put to death.
Darrow ends up in the hands of Ares, a rebel group. Since he is one of the best of the Red class, their plan is to transform him into a Gold and place him in Gold society to hopefully bring justice to the downtrodden Reds.
He undergoes extensive surgeries and education and is given a phony background and is placed for an entrance exam to the most elite Gold school. He passes all the tests and is admitted to the school.
School is not what he expected. Instead of classes and tests and books, he and his fellow students are set up in castles in a wilderness and told they have to rule and conquer each other. So Darrow and his classmates go to war against each other in a struggle for dominance and survival.
Darrow's goal is to succeed and go on to be a force for good for his people. He feels to accomplish this he has to come out on top. But he is up against very stiff competition, Gold students who are as athletic, ruthless, intelligent and driven as he is. May the best man win, eh?
This is another entry in the science fiction teen vs teen genre, i.e. Hunger Games and Divergent and Maze Runner, none of which I have read because teenage dystopian novels don't interest me. And now I wish I hadn't read this entry to the genre because, once Darrow enters the "school," it is just battles and brutality. Lots of people love that sort of thing. Not me.
It's a pretty good story, even if I hated it. My problem is the subject matter, not the writing itself. He tells a good story, exciting and engaging and surprising. But I got so tired of the constant battles that I started skipping past those parts. It's not a bad read or even just a fair read but I will not be reading the next book in the series. It's just not for me.
For another review, see http://www.fantasybookreview.co.uk/Pierce-Brown/Red-Rising.html.