“I live for the dream that my children will be born free,” she says. “That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.”
“I live for you,” I say sadly.
Eo kisses my cheek. “Then you must live for more.”
Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.
Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.
But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.
Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies… even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.
This was a book that was on my TBR list for years and also was very hyped up as well. So I decided to take a risk and but they book, and thankfully it didn’t disappoint me at all. If a book can emotionally wreck me within the first few chapters you know its a good book.
If I were to described the book it would be Hunger Games meets Ender’s Game, with a little bit of Harry Potter, mainly the school that the Gold’s go to which is a very twisted Hogwarts.But it also had a Count of Monte-Cristo feel to it.
Darrow, is what I would like to describe as a older version of Ender, trying to rise up in the world but is held back by his status as a “red”, after something terrible happens he tries to infiltrate the Gold caste by enrolling in the institute to destroy the system from within. I love Darrow as a character in the fact that while he has brute strength it is his smarts that help him get ahead.
I also liked a lot of the supporting characters mainly, Sevro, who thinks more like Darrow even though he is a Gold and Mustang, who is a good female character that doesn’t fall for the common female YA tropes, maybe towards the end but I like that it was laughed off.
I love the plot of the book. It is basically if Hogwarts hosted a very twisted version of the Hunger Games, in order to find a future leader. It reminded me a lot of Lord of the Flies in that sense, where there are factions or “Houses” that each person is in and they have to make sure they get out on top while destroying or aligning with other houses. The book takes a lot of twists and turns that I really don’t want to spoil for anyone. I also liked how politics played a role in the “games” and making sure who won. That is where a lot of the references to Roman/Greek culture comes in.
I also loved how much Greek/Roman mythology was in the book. Using the names of those Gods to describe the Houses, which really tied well into the plot of the book.
I also loved the world that the book was set in, Mars. You don’t see a lot of books set on Mars or space for that matter, and Pierce Brown really did a good job at setting up the planet Mars as a setting for this book and why the human population lives there.
In the end, I am so glad that I read this book and I cannot wait to read the other books of the series.