Narrator: Tim Gerard Reynolds
Series: Red Rising #1
Published by Random House LLC on January 28th 2014
Genres: Dystopian, Space Travel, Action & Adventure
Length: 16 hours 12 minutes
Format: Kindle, Audiobook
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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 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.
Let me start off by saying, “Why the hell didn’t I read this one sooner?” I loved this book. I hate that it’s compared so much to The Hunger Games. Just because a book has a “game” and is dystopian does not make it “trying to compete with The Hunger Games”. To be honest, that series / book has NOTHING on this one. This is a much deeper story. The people of the Capitol are no match for the viciousness, and the savagery of the Golds.
I had this one on my wish list for a while until my husband got it for my birthday last month. Now I am torn between reading one of the other books on my list or taking the plunge and getting book two right away. I want to know more about this world. I feel invested. I want to know how the story continues.
This story is full of back stabbing, brutality and lies that are super shocking. The first “twist” comes earlier on and it will solidify the Golds as the ultimate villains in human history. In fact, the story just gets worst as it goes along.
During the course of the book, our main character and “hero”, Darrow, is really transformed from a boy to a man. In his world, he has already surpassed his expectations, seen as a man grown. But the real world is so much bigger. The scale of what he can achieve, so much greater than anyone of his people could have imagined. And the world is much more brutal.
Darrow lives in a world, far into the future, on Mars. Humans have left the Earth behind to conquer the stars, and other humans. In this larger world, people are genetically different from they are today. Their characteristics and bloodlines separate them from each other, restricts them from certain jobs, restricts them to a per-determined existence. Being born a certain colour (told my the colour of one’s eyes), you are bound by society to act a certain way, do a certain job. Even the most “free” of men are slaves. Each colour, has their limitations. Even all Golds, the rulers of men, are not created equal.
This is something that Darrow will find out first hand. Darrow starts off just wanting to fulfill his wife’s dreams before he realises that her dream is the dream of all colours. Now he must go beyond the boundaries of what is expected of his Red colour. His must defy all the expectations of his people, to save humanity; to free his people. But it is harder than he expects, his life is in danger in so many ways and the only way to save his people to become one of the people he hates the most.
As I have said, I loved this book. I am hoping to find out more about the larger world of Red Rising as the story continues. I wouldn’t recommend this book for children since it is filled with violence and there is rape (although it doesn’t get into details). Although the main characters are themselves under 18, they live in a world that forces them to grow up faster than our children.