by Pierce Brown

Reviewer Rating:


At last: a novel that promises to be 'the Hunger Games meets Game of Thrones' and actually fulfills that promise! But the Red Rising is more than a merger of two successful concepts.

Red Rising opens on Mars centuries after humans have colonized the galaxy and divided society into social classes represented by colors: Red being the lowest, Gold being the highest. Darrow is a lowRed, sentenced to slave beneath the surface of Mars to mine enough gas to create an inhabitable atmosphere on the surface of the planet. His life is simple and he is satisfied with its simplicity: he is married to his first love, Eo, and enjoys the music and dancing that punctuate each day of hard labor.

But Eo believes there is more to live for than this underground work, and is sentenced to death when she proclaims this belief in the form of a forbidden song. What Darrow does not know is that this simple act was designed to initiate an intricately planned rebellion--a plan in which Darrow is the central player.

Darrow is taken above the surface of the planet, where he finds that the Golds have lied: the surface of his planet is not desolate and uninhabitable; instead, it holds a thriving metropolis. And this metropolis is ruled by Golds who win at an annual game--a fight to the death, on behalf of one of many Houses. And so Darrow is transformed into a Gold, where he infiltrates the game as a player from the House of Mars. He must survive--the fate of his people hinges on his ability to do so. But winning the game is only the first step.

This sweeping epoch flawlessly blends dystopian elements with high fantasy and science fiction. A truly original work that should not be missed by fans of any--of all--of these three genres.

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