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Monday, April 25, 2016

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Red Rising is brilliant. I have no clue why I didn't read this book sooner because it's right up my alley. It's a science fiction and a dystopian book at the same time, but it feels like so much more than that. It's also about how deceitful humanity can be, the lies and the control leaders can have over their people if they don't know any better. The book is also about rebellion and the struggle for power, and how a simple dream can become reality, if only one works hard enough and believes enough.

Darrow was raised in a mining society where he knew he would always end up mining for Helium-3, a substance necessary to terraform Mars. His whole life, he was told he was a pioneer, helping shape Mars into a habitable planet once the terraforming process was done. The conditions of this mining society are unacceptable, but for Darrow and his family, it's all they know. With very little food and even less hygiene and medical products, these mining societies are expected to live out their short lives as slaves. Most of them don't realize that they're slaves. They truly believe they're pioneers, simply living in harsh conditions because they can't have any better. Darrow's wife, Eo, may not have known the whole truth, but she knew how they were living wasn't right.

Strangely enough, I personally live in a mining town where miners actually make a very decent living. Upper-middle class, if not better. They do hard work underground and are rewarded accordingly, so it's a little bit hard for me to associate mining to the low class. Darrow and the rest of the mining society are classified as Red, the colour of Mars, the lowest colour of in the societal hierarchy. Your colour is imbedded in your genetic code and switching colour is unheard of. So when Darrow's wife is taken from him and he's given the mission of infiltrating the Golds, the highest colour there is, he realizes through sweat and pain that switching colours might actually be possible. And this is how Darrow's slow rebellion again society and the Golds begin. After transforming his body and his mind, Darrow  is integrated into Gold society by being accepted in their Institute, where only the best and the brightest of Golds are accepted.

Between the Reds and the Golds, there are multiple colours, like Whites (Law), Greys (soldiers), Pinks (pleasure), Yellows (medicine and science), and so many more. As soon as society is separated into classes such as these, at some point or another there's bound to be a rebellion or a revolution. We've seen it countless times in dystopian books, but for some reason, the way it's done in this book feels original and unique.

I really like the fact that language and lingo was an integral part of this book. Language evolves with any society and I especially liked the fact that different lingo is used by different colours. For Darrow, he has to learn to say prime instead of righto, and gorydamn instead of bloodydamn. Also, weapons and technology are important and are given different names. People's names are also different, such as Darrow's assumed identity, Darrow au Andromedus.

As I said before, this book is brilliant. The author was able to give us an amazing story along with hard lessons and cold truths about humanity. The struggle for power is obvious through the different the colours but the author also shows us the fight for power within individual colours. The story is full of emotions and themes, whether it's love, anger, friendship, duty, and so many more. And everything is so authentic, everything feels real. Red Rising has been compared to many books like The Hunger Games and Divergent but I think it surpasses them all. Honestly, it's the best book I've read in a long time.

stephsig moon

Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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