Sunday, 8 June 2014

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Book Summary : The war begins...

Darrow is a Helldiver, one of a thousand men and women who live in the vast caves beneath the surface of Mars. Generations of Helldivers have spent their lives toiling to mine the precious elements that will allow the planet to be terraformed. Just knowing that one day people will be able to walk the surface of the planet is enough to justify their sacrifice. The Earth is dying, and Darrow and his people are the only hope humanity has left.

Until the day Darrow learns that it is all a lie. Mars is habitable - and indeed has been inhabited for generations by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. The Golds regard Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

With the help of a mysterious group of rebels, Darrow 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...

My Rating : 4 of 5 stars

My Thoughts : Darrow, a Helldiver - what's that? Yeah that's what Darrow, the main protagonist of Red Rising is. A Helldiver—a person who works in mines of Mars. And he is the only one from his hometown, Lykos, a settlement town buried beneath the surface of Mars. You have tunnels in place of streets and alleys. There is no concept of money, only services and commodities that are traded. You don't have antibiotics for burns you get in mine. You have to sell your body to a person of higher Color to get that.

"I grew up with a quick smiling girl of fifteen so in love with her husband that when he was burned in the mines and his wounds festered, she sold her body to a Gamma in return for antibiotics."

And when his love is gone, driven by loss and fueled by vengeance, a Red rose against the Golds' injustice. And to bring down the system, he crosses many obstacles, is helped by some highly techie persons like Dancer, Harmony, Micky, and Matteo—who even possess the capability of saying, "We are forming synapses, my darling."

The world building is vivid and detailed. The principle hierarchy shown in Red Rising reminded me of Caste system once prevailed in ancient Indian subcontinents. Here, the society is discriminated by ranks, and defined by colors. In laymen words Colors are categorization of people from different breeds (by birth as it is) and have a dedicated profession of their own. You have Reds (Lower Class), Browns, Pinks (Pleasure Giving Class), Coppers (Bureaucrats) and the GOLDS (The Highest).

Moreover I got a good explanation of muscle swelling from Gyms-

"The idea of building muscle is to exercise it, which is nothing more than using the muscle intensely enough to create microscopic tears in the tissue fiber. This is the pain one feels in the days after an intense workout-torn tissue- not lactic acid. When the muscle repairs the tears, it builds on itself. This is process the concentration machine is built to facilitate. This is the devil's own invention."

And here, from last sentence, you get my penny - Pierce Brown is an awesome writer.

"They are born with calluses. Born with scars and hatred."

Yeah, the way he smuggles his thinking, and fills emotions in those small sentences, the way he introduces his own words - slingBlade, forceGenerator, knifeRing etc.

The romance was, however, short lived, and Darrow’s driving force. And even in its mere existence, the romance made me swoon and sad at the same time.

"In her eyes, I see my heart. In her breath, I hear my soul. She is my land. She is my kin. My love"

In short, Pierce Brown debuts with an engaging plot weaved in an appraising writing style.

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