8 Things About Red Rising
The Reds toil under the surface of Mars so that someday it may be habitable by the ‘lesser colors.’
But a young Hell Diver discovers the truth. Mars is long since been habitable and slaves to the Gold ruling class. But when Darrow finds a way to infiltrate a Gold institute he finds a brutal battlefield where even the scion of the richest and most powerful families aren’t safe.
1. Brilliant story. Even better social commentary:
This is one of those books that can be enjoyed simply as a fun, engaging narrative full of twists and turns, larger than life characters and a level of creativity that inspires. But for those that care to look, there is deeper meaning inside.
2. Game of Thrones mixed with Hunger Games..."
... with a dash of Harry Potter and a pinch of Fight Club. The story centers around Darrow, a 16-year-old Red helldiver in the mines of Mars. Inspired by the revolutionary dreams and subsequent death of his wife, Eo he joins the Sons of Ares who help him pass himself off as a Gold. From there he joins the Institute where sons and daughters of the ruling class engage in a brutal medieval pitched battle for supremacy.
3. And from there it gets weird:
The narrative spirals out of control and Darrow is the perfect character to lead it. He is bold, brash and posesses the kind of charisma that leaps off the page. Plus his super power is to see how The Game is rigged against him and use that to his advantage.
4. A tale of inequality:
At its heart, this is a story about class and privilege and the inherent lie of meritocracy. Before a hundred pages we see the Reds struggling to win the Laurel, an award that grants special privileges for the most productive crew. Darrow leads his mining crew to victory only to discover that the Society can’t even be bothered to fulfill its promises to the lowest people in their world. The game is rigged. The same crew that always wins gets the Laurel again and everyone else is left starving and bitter. It’s a theme that repeats again and again in this book.
5. The Peerless Scarred:
But what makes this tale interesting is the fact that life isn’t all wine and parties for those on top either. The Institute is a proving ground where the richest families send their children to become leaders of the Society. But it’s a brutal test that leaves a trail of blood and bodies behind.
6. Let me just hold up this mirror:
A lot of ink has been spilled on income inequality in our society but something that is not often talked about is the plight of young people from wealthy families. The pressure they are subjected to by parents, desperate to maintain their wealth and status, is often just as crushing as what those at the bottom experience. Red rising paints a picture of a false meritocracy that literally benefits almost no one. And it doesn’t take a great leap to see this as an indictment of our own pseudo-meritocracy.
7. Okay everything is awful. So what?:
Perhaps that is where Darrow comes in. The sword to Gordian knot that is The Society. Another reminder of the power that everyone has inside if the can let go of The Fear.
8. TheVerdict ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐:
Easily one of the best books I’ve read for a while and good on so many levels. Well worth checking out even if sci-fi is not your thing. Fun, gripping and makes me excited that there are four more books in the series.