Red Rising by Pierce Brown
In this first volume of the Red Rising trilogy, we get a story in the same vein as many a young adult book, such as Ender’s Game and The Hunger Games.
Darrow is a Red, toiling in the mines of Mars in a caste-ridden, oppressive society, where the miners believe they are providing the raw materials to terraform the planet ready for colonisation.
Following the execution of his wife, Darrow joins the Sons of Ares rebel group and discovers that the Reds have been lied to — the surface of Mars and other planets and moons have been habitable for generations, and the Reds are purely slaves, kept in servitude to provide for the need of the Golds, who rule The Society and live in luxury on the surface.
After undergoing body-modification to pass as a Gold, Darrow is sent to infiltrate the Institute, an Ender’s Game style battle school, where the future leaders of the Society are trained. Our hero must undergo a series of Hunger Games style trials, defeating various Houses until he emerges victorious and ready to rise in Gold society and bring about the revolution from within.
Pierce Brown has produced an above average YA action/adventure story in Red Rising. There is nothing new or innovative in the story — it owes a big debt to preceding novels such as the above-mentioned Ender’s Game and The Hunger Games — but it none the less provides a rollocking good read as it progresses at a clip to a satisfying ending with a few twists along the way.
A good start to the trilogy. Recommended for young adults and the not-so-young as well.