So, this is the book that got me through while my brother was still in the hospital after his heart surgery. I won it in a Kindle’s First ARC contest thing. I barely got through the first few pages while my brother was in surgery, but once I knew he was okay, I flew through this book. I have to say that I agree with the other reviews I’ve read, the main character is somewhere between Ender and Katniss. But first, here’s the premise:
The Earth is dying. Darrow is a Red, a miner in the interior of Mars. His mission is to extract enough precious elements to one day tame the surface of the planet and allow humans to live on it. The Reds are humanity’s last hope.
Or so it appears, until the day Darrow discovers it’s all a lie. That Mars has been habitable – and inhabited – for generations, by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. A class of people who look down on Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.
Until the day that Darrow, with the help of a mysterious group of rebels, 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.
Darrow is a young hero, a teen, in fact. And yet, much like Ender’s Game, this book can’t be classified as just a young adult novel. Darrow is too mature for that. The miners have a short life span, and therefore, are forced to mature faster than the teenagers in the unknown above world. They marry young, and Darrow doesn’t love like a teenager; instead, his love for his wife is wholehearted, body and mind, and not just his pants. He is smart in a street wise way, taking common sense to a next level. He is a genius, but not a technical genius. He is strong and fast and a bit broken. All in all, he is wonderful, ideal character.
But he isn’t the only good part about the book. I love the combination of science fiction and dystopian that Brown offers. The world is lush and extravagant, and all Colors play their part in the universe. Pinks equal pleasure, Golds the epitome of power, Silvers are not quite there. Like the Districts in The Hunger Games, all of the colors are needed to keep the society going, but as with all dystopian societies, someone is getting short end of the stick. That’s where the Reds come in. They are miners with barely enough food and too many daily risks. The thing is, the Reds are happy to do their work, because they have been led to believe that they are saving the people of Earth. They are happy slaves, and they are ignorant to it. How messed up is that? I was so angry for them. However, this is just the set up, because this story is character driven.
Instead, we follow Darrow, and leave the Reds behind. He is put to the test, which I don’t want to give the details about.. you have to read for yourself. He is challenged, mentally, physically, and emotionally. He is forced to undertake a life as a Gold, which while it has it privileges, isn’t as shiny as you might think. But I don’t want to give anything away. I want you to see this world in all its gory, crazy glory. It really is an awesome story, and I can’t wait to see where the author takes it.