My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Summary from GoodReads
"I live for the dream that my children will be born free," she says. "That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them."
"I live for you," I say sadly.
Eo kisses my cheek. "Then you must live for more."
Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.
Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.
But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.
Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity's overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society's ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies... even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.
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Other books on the series
This book has been sitting on my shelf for almost two years. Having bought it in a whim of bookish shopping therapy, I expected to dive and devour this one just like everyone did at that time. Only after the release of "Morning Star", the final book, and after some amazing fanart I took the decision to begin.
If I were to describe "Red Rising" in few words, I would say that it's "Braveheart" meeting "Hunger Games" and the sci-fi genre.
Darrow lives bellow Mars, working as a miner. He and his caste, the Reds, believe that they are pioneers, working for the Golds and hoping that the palnet will be habitable.
An act of revolution from his wife Eo, will lead Darrow in a quest of revenge and he will enter the society of the Golds, hoping to destroy them from the inside. Friendships and alliances are made and enemies are born in the most cruel test every Gold youth must enter, the Institute.
What I liked in this book were the references to the ancient Roman and Greek mythology. The Houses in the Institute are named after the Roman Gods and the test which lasts a year is nothing more but a real life game of "Stratego". With weapons. And lots of mud.
Darrow begins as a weak character yet quite soon he becomes the most important character in the book. He sometimes overshadows the others with his unique destiny as the future destroyer. I don't know what will happen in the other books, but I hope he will have someone to support him.
Some of the best supporting characters were Sevro, Roque and Mustang. Despite their different backgrounds and their own means to win the game they become important for Darrow, even if in some cases some of the other players had to step over dead bodies in order to achieve their purposes.
What happens to Darrow in the beginning of the book was also very disturbing. From a Red he must become a Gold and the proccess to do that was very, very painful. I wouldn't even wish that to my own emeny.
Overall, the book has potential, though I am more interested about what will happen between Darrow and Mustang. For a book that is NOT labeled as a romance it held my attention and I never let a series unfinished. ;)
FAN ART BY PHANTOMRIN (Find her work on Tumblr) Pictures belong to her.
Aren't they amazing?!
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