Thursday, February 12, 2015

Red Rising

by Pierce Brown
381 pgs  (Red Rising trilogy #1)

Red Rising is the first book in a science fiction trilogy currently being written by Pierce Brown. The setting is the planet Mars, at a point in the future in which mankind has extended its reach to the edge of the solar system and is terraforming the non-gaseous planets, like Mars, so that they can eventually become habitable. Society is ruled by a color-coded caste system, consisting of Golds, Pinks, Reds, and several others that people are born into, which determine their station for the rest of their lives.

Darrow was born a Red, the lowest of the castes. He has spent his entire life below the surface of Mars, drilling and mining for the substance that he and the other Reds in his mining colony have been told will one day make it possible for mankind to live on the surface. He believes that his life has a purpose and he's content with it--until he learns that everything he's been told has been a lie.

Unbeknownst to Darrow and the rest of the mining colony, the surface of Mars has been habitable for generations now. In fact, there's an entire civilization that exists there, and able to exist because of the Reds below the surface. Darrow and the other Reds have had no idea that their entire existence has been that of a slave. When Darrow eventually learns the truth, he becomes part of a resistance group that has been trying to bring down the Golds--the ruling class--and destroy the entire caste system.

Darrow undergoes extensive training and an entire physical and genetic makeover in order to be able to infiltrate the Golds on the surface. He becomes the key piece in the resistance group's plans to destroy the Golds from within.

Red Rising is a fantastic beginning to a very promising trilogy. It's been compared to Ender's Game, and Hunger Games, two apt comparisons, although this one is not for younger readers.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

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