Publisher: Del Ray
Release Date: January, 28th 2014
Format: Kindle edition, 400 pages
My Rating: ★★★★1/2
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.
Red Rising is a book that everyone kept telling me to read, but I just kept putting it off, or I got stuck between review books and I could never fit it in. I was hoping to get to it so I could review it for last Sci-Fi November, but alas I just couldn't get to it until now.
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.
I loved the beginning of this novel. The bleak life and hardship that the Reds face is so clearly mapped out. I really got a good feel for what life and culture was like for the Reds. I love a good sci-fi novel with a class struggle, so I was hooked from the beginning. The book takes a turn once Darrow gets mixed up in the revolution and finds out that everything he had ever been told was a lie. I found Darrow's physical transformation super interesting, and watching him try to change himself and struggle so hard with that was one of the things that I loved about this novel. It's something that I was glad that he constantly conflicted with throughout the novel. He had to find a way to appear like a Gold, but without losing his identity as a Red in the process. Not an easy thing to do, and I like that we saw Darrow not always succeed with this.
I will admit, I do feel like at times the pacing got a little too slow for me. Once Darrow is in the battlefield, parts of that just got too slow and boring for me. A lot of what happens at this point in the book is really important to Darrow's mission, so a lot of it was integral to the overall plot but...some of it just dragged on way too much. I was like, "I get it, can we just finish this battle now?"
Darrow was an interesting character to read about. I felt like he read more like an adult, which I think was fine in this case because he was a Red that had already had a wife and grew up a lot quicker than the Golds he was surrounded by. Dude was straight up diabolical at the end as he systematically started to take out all the big bads to win favor in the battlefield. While, I really enjoyed this, at times I thought he was super reckless! Like when they were forging his name into the institute and he refused to go by a Gold-like name and insisted on keeping his Red-name. I thought that was a really stupid plan, and I'm actually surprised more people weren't suspicious of him. He also makes a lot of bad decisions in the battlefield, even if he is trying to do the best for everyone. I really liked that about him, because although he seemed like this amazing hero, he also had a lot of flaws and sometimes he just failed. Sometimes it's okay to fail.
I think a lot of the characters in this novel were written really well. Some are just there to be background characters, which I think is pretty obvious, but Mustang and Sevro have to stand out the most from the other characters. I loved that Sevro was such a little psycho! I also liked that he was just so loyal to Darrow. He didn't ask questions, he just made sure things got done. I also really liked that we never knew what was with Mustang until the very end. I was real cautious of her the entire book, as I wasn't sure what her angle was. I'm still not entirely sure she still isn't just playing the game, and that's what made her so interesting!
I liked this book a lot, and I'm kind of mad that I didn't read it sooner! I would definitely recommend this for fans of The Hunger Games or Sci-fi fans in general.
Happy Reads Everyone!