Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce Brown

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

5 out of 5 stars

Red Rising is the first of a science-fiction series and debut book of new author Pierce Brown. This is easily one of the best books I have ever read, and that's saying something. Red Rising follows a boy named Darrow who is a Red. Some five hundred years ago, Reds were brought to Mars and were told that their job was to terraform Mars and prepare it for the highColors. The world Darrow lives in is structured hierarchically. People belong to different types of Colors, not by choice. The Reds, the Color to which Darrow belongs to is at the very bottom of the Society. Their sole purpose, as decided by the Golds who I will get to in a second, is to make Mars habitable for the highColors, who are moving into different planets and moons because the Earth is now overpopulated. They mine and dig below the surface, where they live to serve the highColors. The next level of Colors is the Browns who serve as sanitation maintainers, Pinks who are sought out for pleasure, and the Obsidian. 

The higher Colors are the Grays, their job is to enforce order and obedience. Next, are the Blues who travel throughout space, the Yellows who study science and medicine, the Greens develop technology, the Violets who I think are mostly Carvers, and the Oranges (I'm not sure what they're job is). The second highest level belongs to the Silvers who deal with finances, the Whites are in charge of the judicial system, and the Coppers run the beauracracy. At the very top of the pyramid reside the Gold. They are the ruling class of the Society. All Colors ultimately answer to the Golds.

Once, after a long day of drilling and mining, Darrow the Helldiver of Lykos, is lead by his wife Eo to the surface of Mars (which is forbidden) to a garden she found. She spoke to him about the Society, its corruption and the mistreatment of the lower Colors. She tells him that he is meant for something big, she advises him to live for more and break the chains of the Society. They were discovered while heading back and were punished. They received a total forty lashes each, in an unexpected turn of events, Eo sings a forbidden song and is hanged by order of the ArchGovernor, a Gold. In an act of sorrow and rage, Darrow gets drunk and takes down his wife's body (which is also forbidden) and is also hanged. The protagonist of the story dies That's the end of the story.... Kidding, it's not. It only just the beginning. 

Darrow is bought back by the Dancer of the Sons of Ares, the leader of the Revolution. Dancer and his lieutenant Harmony show Darrow that the Reds have were lied to for three hundred years. Mars is inhabited by the very people who dumped them underground to prepare the planet, the Golds among other Colors. There are cities, cities Darrow and the rest of the lowerReds didn't know existed. Dancer convinces Darrow- who is already motivated enough to do so by the Death of his wife- to be Carved into a Gold, to rise and live among them to one day lead the Revolution. Darrow accepts. He is Carved, gets admitted to the Institute, the most prestigious school the Golds have to offer, exclusive to Golds, of course. Darrow goes through a series of tests in the Institute including the Passage, and a yearlong game testing leadership, survival skills, and triumph. By the end of the book, Darrow wins the game and is offered an apprenticeship by the ArchGovernor, the man who killed Eo. 

Once I began this book, I was glued to it. I was addicted from the start. Pierce Brown has a way of catching his reader's attention. He makes something that seems trivial seem like a big deal, in a good way. You'll know what I'm talking about if and when you've read it. It's an incredible ride. Betrayal, secrets, and revelations at every turn. Really. It's insane. One revelation will leave you apprehensive and scared to know what else is in store. The characters become friends, then enemies, then friends again, then enemies again. It's nerve-wracking. You'll be a ball of pathetic emotions by the end of the book. I recommend this one big time!

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