Author: Pierce Brown
Series: Red Rising Trilogy #1
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Source: Review Copy
Publication Date: 28th January, 2014
Ender's Game meets The Hunger Games in this, the first in an extraordinary trilogy from an incredible new voice.
Darrow is a Helldiver, one of a thousand men and women who live in the vast caves beneath the surface of Mars, generations of people who spend their lives toiling to mine the precious elements that will allow the planet to be terraformed. Just knowing that, one day, people will be able to walk the surface of the planet is enough to justify their sacrifice. The Earth is dying, and Darrow and his people are the only hope humanity has left.
Until the day Darrow learns that it is 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 at Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.
Until the day 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 is one of the best bloodydamn books I've read this year. Why oh why oh why has it taken me so long to pick it up? I was given it back in April at the London Book Fair but for some reason it has taken until December for me to pick up. Thankfully that means I haven't long to wait until Golden Son now! I'm praying Bookbridgr approves my request! The comparison to The Hunger Games is perfect for this book, but I'd argue that in some instances it's so much worse. The brutality is worse, the conditions are horrendous and the relationships that build up and are destroyed are enough to break your heart. There's so much tension in these pages; I bloody loved it.
I think what I enjoyed the most was Darrow's character development. He is such a different character from who we meet at the beginning of the book to the end. Underneath he has the same values, the same goals but he is much harder, driven and he is such a pleasure to read. I loved his character. He definitely ranks up there in my list of favourite male protagonists! He suffers so much heartbreak early on in his life. The life of the community of Red's is horrendous. Everything is rigged against them. Darrow's job as a Helldiver is so risky and it seems that they never get rewarded for"developing" this world. This is a dystopia like no other that I've read. I was addicted.
I'll admit, at the beginning I wasn't sure whether Red Rising was going to be for me. I am so thankful that I powered through that first chapter or two because my mind changed so quickly. I was immersed into the world of Helldivers, of the Gold's and this warped society that they live in. Everything was a mile a minute and I loved it. I loved learning about the underground rebellions, seeing Darrow adapt to such new situations and to come to terms with the things he had to do for freedom. Red Rising is a phenomenal read. It has everything; action, oppression, emotion, romance, conflict. Definitely one of my favourite books of 2014.