Genre/s: Sci-fi/dystopian, Action
Date Published: 28th January 2014
Publisher: Random House
Length: 382 pages in the hardcover edition
Links: Goodreads | BookDepository
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.
Like the title says, I honestly don’t know why this book isn’t as popular as books such as Throne of Glass or something, because it honestly needs to be. (The lack of tumblr posts from the fandom saddens me really).
Going into this book, I didn’t really know much about it. So if you are thinking of reading this, skip the reviews and just jump straight in, because I think it’s better if you don’t know much. So, if you are reading this, and haven’t read it, I’m just going to say that if you like action or sci-fi/dystopian, go for it – you don’t really need to waste your time reading my review..
But that’s another thing. I know many readers out there (not all) are kind of scared of the sci-fi genre, sick of dystopian, or don’t really read sci-fi for whatever other reason. I still say go for it. I think this book is unique in the sense that, it honestly feels a lot like a fantasy novel. Yes there are many terms and phrases that you’ll have to get used to (another reason why people avoid sci-fi), but it isn’t anything that you have to know science for. It’s like a fantasy novel in the sense that, it’s basically a completely different world from our own, and with that comes a lot of unique elements to that world, that are covered in worldbuilding.
That’s another thing. I loved the world building. The world that Pierce Brown has written is very vast and thought out, but like Darrow, it is introduced to the reader slowly and you’ll get the hang of it. The expanse of this world isn’t fully explored in this first book, as Darrow is only in an academy, but the series does delve into it as it goes on. (it took me a while to figure out what a slingblade was..).
Oh, and you’ll also love this book if you are looking for something that doesn’t have all those classic YA tropes such as love triangles, insta love, miscommunication or really those horrible romance tropes. Plus this book is narrated by a guy, so you don’t have those stupid descriptions of the main female character who is shy and has no self-confidence and is secretly beautiful and ugh I’m not going to go on. Basically this book is really refreshing in that aspect. There is romance, but it is not a focus, so if you want something with little romance, then this is a book for you.
This post is basically me telling you guys to read the book instead of actually reviewing it, but at the same time I don’t want to talk too much about it and ruin the experience (for those who are looking for reviews because they haven’t read it). So sorry… hehe
I love the character development in this book, and in the series overall as well, and Darrow really does grow as a character, as well as other characters too. That’s another thing. The way the characters are written, shows how wise I think Pierce Brown is. It really comes through some quotes and how this society that he’s built is seen by different points of view. I’m going to list a couple of my favourite quotes at the end of this review because honestly this book (and series) is full of really good ones.
I, as a Greek/Roman mythology nut (thanks Percy Jackson) also love the hint of Roman (and a tad bit of Greek) mytholgy present in the book. For those that have read, I’m part of House Neptune according to the quiz on Pierce Brown’s website.
Oh and one more thing! The descriptions can sometimes be brutal, bloody and gory at times, so just a warning, but I personally think it adds to the raw and honest feeling of the story, which I really liked.
But yeah, this review is already super long so sorry about my rambling, but this book is amazing and if you haven’t read it, you need to! I’ll soon be posting the reviews for the next couple books in the series, Golden Sun and Morning Star.
“Man cannot be freed by the same injustice that enslaved it.”
“The measure of a man is what he does when he has power.”
“Funny how a single word can change everything in your life.”
“It is not funny at all. Steel is power. Money is power. But of all the things in all the worlds, words are power.”
These are just three that I can put up without revealing too much, but in them you can already see how deep this book can go at times. There is also a song, kind of like Hanging Tree from the Hunger Games in terms of its significance and there are versions on youtube of it, so if you haven’t already, you should listen because its beatiful really.
But enough from me, see you guys next time 🙂