As it says, we are standing on the shoulders of giants.
Leaving a side the Giants, it is clear that what was written before will influence what is written after: in particular in this novel lots of elements made me remember other books or movies ans this fact, together with a not always strong structure, made me uncertain on how to judge this book.
Red rising by Pierce Brown
The book is set in a future when the Earth colonized the planets around her; on Mars some tireless miners (called Red for the color they share) work to terraform the planet; among them Darrow is one of the bravest, willing to do anything to win his team more food (the quantity is bound to the quality of the extracted material).
But Mars is already habitable and the Red does not know it: it’s years since the other color classes began living on the planet: the Gold on top and the Red working like slaves.
Because of some events Darrow has the chance to become a Gold and to play to get some apprenticeship that will make him able to start the rebellion among his people.
What works and what does not in the novel?
The first part – that introduces the Red and the mines – is quite abrupt (there are some technical terms that may left the reader uncertain on their meaning), but I found it interesting, in particular the part where Darrow – in a Gattaca style – has to go through some painful surgical operations to become like a Gold.
From half the novel Darrow enters the Gold academy: twelve castles to defend, one for each team, a unique winner and every progress monitored by the Proctors (the team responsible) and by televisions. This part, a mix between the Hunger Games, capture the flag and Civilization, is quite too long (and sometimes boring); the ending gets better when Darrow changes the paradigm of the game.
Overall the title does not fit with the plot: do not expert any Red rebellion because you won’t see anything of the sort, here it’s about Darrow rising from the lowest part of the class system to the upper Gold class.
Heinlein told about the Moon colony rebellion with fewer pages and in a most original form with his “The moon is a harsh mistress“.
A last comment about the language: it seems that the most a person belong to a high-class the most he/she speaks words in Latin; since I saw Spartacus I find the mix modern english – Latin quite annoying and mostly weird.
Thanks to the publisher for providing me the copy necessary to write this review.
* Red Rising by Pierce Brown ★★☆☆☆½
*I read this book in English