Description Darrow is a 16 year old helldiver working with the other Reds in the mines of Mars. They're terraforming the planet, making it habitable for the people of Earth to someday be able to live there. But it is a very strict society: sing a certain song, or dance a particular dance and you're dead. The government will kill you for it. Eo - Darrow's beautiful wife, has a dream of a better life, but Darrow doesn't share that dream. That is, until something terrible happens and Darrow finds himself with a group of rebels who reveal the truth: people have been living on Mars for a long time. In this futuristic dystopian novel, there are different colors for the different castes, Reds being nothing more than lowly slaves while Golds rule it all from the top. Golds are the most privileged, the strongest, and wealthiest. The best of the golds go into the positions of the most power: political leaders, they have their own fleets; they control everything. And Darrow is about to infiltrate them and take them down from the inside.
I didn't know much about this book when I was be-boppin around work, cleaning and stuff because I was bored and didn't have much else to do. And I mean, I'm not constantly on the lookout for new books. I work at a bookstore for goodness sake, I have a stack of books taller than I am that I need to read. Not to mention all the books I want to re-read! But You know, I see the cover and its brilliant red wing amongst the matte black background, then I see the words "Ender, Katniss, now Darrow" on the front and I'm intrigued. I've never read Enders Game (Sorry but I won't - the author is too much of a douche bag), but I certainly love Katniss. So I pick up the book and start reading the description, and I'm intrigued. And if we're being honest, once I saw the author's photo (hello, sir) it was cemented that I needed to read this book.
And I was not disappointed. I liked that it was set on Mars, that the Reds were terraforming the planet to make it habitable. I really liked what we got to meet of Eo, and I wish we had gotten to know her a bit more - but I understand why we weren't able to.
I also loved the way the castes worked. The different colors for different ranks: reds being slaves, browns the servants, pinks the.... escorts. I feel like I need an info graphic though, because I am not sure I have them all nailed down. Obsidian are like... the police brute force and soldiers I think, yellows were scientists? I can't remember. I also liked the different levels within the gold's society. Pixies are the Justin Biebers of the golds - selfish spoiled idiots, bronze golds, and of course the peerless scarred - the best of the best. I don't know why, but I imagined the Arch-dude Augustus to look like the King Thrandui, but with scarsl:
Did anyone else feel like that?
Just me? Ok. Moving on....
So yeah, Darrow is learning about all of this, basically learning that the reds are nothing more than slaves, and then comes the fun part: he has to completely transform so he can fit into the Gold society. They have to completely remake his body and mind, teach him how to fit into the world of the Golds and be the best. I really liked this part of the book. It was a bit slower, but with everything they have to do I thought the pacing was just right.
But then comes the next part. And thats where it starts getting slow. The post-transformation, time to infiltrate the society part. Which should be exciting and all that, but it felt a little slow and (at times) a little boring. There isn't much explanation, because Darrow has to go through these tests that people don't know a ton about, then the selection which I guess nobody knows about, and yeah. I don't know.
But don't you worry, because after they're in their..... well, I don't know what to call it really. I guess the final part of their tests - once we get to that part it starts picking up again. Not immediately, but it certainly starts to build. Interpersonal relationships start becoming interesting and a little stressful at times, and the ending was FANTASTIC! SO good. So so good.
Anyways, there were times when I was surprised that Darrow was able to fit in with the reds when it seemed blatantly obvious he wasn't one of them, but overall I really liked this book and I am most definitely looking forward to the rest of the series!!