Book Reviews

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

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List Price: £8.99

 

Paperback: 400 Pages.

Published: 25 September 2014 by Hodder & Stoughton

ISBN: 1444758993

EAN: 9781444758993

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 al 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 on Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

Until the day that 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.

Reviews

3.0 Stars3.0 Stars3.0 Stars  by Anne

Disjointed and a bit long but some excellent ideas

This book starts with Darrow as part of a mining community treated as slaves who are working on Mars at some time in the future trying to make it ultimately ready for colonisation. The work is hard and the life is harsh and the reds have developed their own society and culture. We don't really see enough of this for me because tragic events happen quickly and Darrow is hauled out of this environment to help with a rising against the golds who live a privileged life on the surface completely unknown to the reds who are mining below. Darrow has been chosen to infiltrate the reds and become one of them which means some changes in himself and he then has to attend the elite school for hopefuls like the gold he is impersonating.

I found the two aspects of the book quite divorced from one another and the sudden shift from one to the other rather disconcerting but this didn't fault my tentative enjoyment of the book. Where I began to disconnect was for the majority of the book when Darrow has to survive against his fellow students in what is a very "Hunger Games" scenario. Darrow moves from despairing to hope in this story but he then has to become ruthless, and even approaches tyrannical, to survive. I found that I didn't like Darrow at this point, especially some of the things he says about leadership and some of the things he does. I also thought that this part of the book went on far too long and I got really sick of the ups and downs, betrayals and loyalties, rapes and fights, and deaths. This bit didn't seem awfully relevant to the overall story and almost to be an end in itself - I think the next book will also involve Darrow doing some training/learning and I hope that, if it is so, it is less brutal and shorter.

I think that the idea of the book wasn't bad but I lost sight of Darrow and his culture in the long bits about the battles. I also failed to understand what the Greek legends had to do with anything, but I might have stopped paying attention at that point. Nevertheless this is not a bad book and parts of it are engaging - I am still interested to see how the overall story develops in the next instalment but if it is just more of the same I will abandon it.

 
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