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.
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 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.
I have no words – none at all. (Well, I will have some!)
Good things have been heard all around for Pierce Brown’s Red Rising trilogy with the final instalment having been published earlier this year. I’m a bit late to the bandwagon, but it is now that I can fully appreciate Brown’s ability to write a brilliant novel.
Brown’s writing style is impeccable! It’s simple yet elegant with brilliant attention to detail. There is description when needed and information provided at crucial moments all coming together to bring to the reader a seamless work of art. I could find no fault with Brown’s portrayal of this fantasy society and the way the character’s developed. There were no cracks in the writing that left you questioning how things came to be or why that character was the way he was – it was all provided effortlessly and made complete sense.
Darrow is our main character; a man flawed and driven by love and his need for vengeance. It is refreshing seeing a male protagonist that does not lust after every pretty female but is stoic about his feelings and easily full of guilt when he feels like he is betraying his one true love. This is what makes Darrow such an endearing character. He is human! He is relatable, likable, imperfect, and completely three-dimensional and develops exponentially throughout the novel. You see him question his motives as well as those around him, and he justifies his actions based on events that have happening, or are happening, around him. This is where his flaws are most noticeable as he becomes consumed by power and develops to understand that power isn’t everything.
Red Rising is a novel that not only centres around Darrow and his need for vengeance, but around the blatantly corrupt political and societal system that exists upon Mars. There are many representations of our own flawed society with references to famous conquerors and philosophical names (Caesar, Alexander etc) and how this society has tried to change and better itself in comparison to Earth when in reality, they have made things worse than they should be. I loved seeing Darrow’s transformation from Red to Gold and the way in which he, ultimately in the end, stayed true to himself as a born and bred Red. It shows how people can change for love and how the thirst for power corrupts everyone.