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Red Rising (The Red Rising Trilogy, Book 1) [Format Kindle]

Pierce Brown
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)

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1

Helldiver

The first thing you should know about me is I am my father’s son. And when they came for him, I did as he asked. I did not cry. Not when the Society televised the arrest. Not when the Golds tried him. Not when the Grays hanged him. Mother hit me for that. My brother Kieran was supposed to be the stoic one. He was the elder, I the younger. I was supposed to cry. Instead, Kieran bawled like a girl when Little Eo tucked a haemanthus into Father’s left workboot and ran back to her own father’s side. My sister Leanna murmured a lament beside me. I just watched and thought it a shame that he died dancing but without his dancing shoes.

On Mars there is not much gravity. So you have to pull the feet to break the neck. They let the loved ones do it.

I smell my own stink inside my frysuit. The suit is some kind of nanoplastic and is hot as its name suggests. It insulates me toe to head. Nothing gets in. Nothing gets out. Especially not the heat. Worst part is you can’t wipe the sweat from your eyes. Bloodydamn stings as it goes through the headband to puddle at the heels. Not to mention the stink when you piss. Which you always do. Gotta take in a load of water through the drinktube. I guess you could be fit with a catheter. We choose the stink.

The drillers of my clan chatter some gossip over the comm in my ear as I ride atop the clawDrill. I’m alone in this deep tunnel on a machine built like a titanic metal hand, one that grasps and gnaws at the ground. I control its rockmelting digits from the holster seat atop the drill, just where the elbow joint would be. There, my fingers fit into control gloves that manipulate the many tentacle-like drills some ninety meters below my perch. To be a Helldiver, they say your fingers must flicker fast as tongues of fire. Mine flicker faster.

Despite the voices in my ear, I am alone in the deep tunnel. My existence is vibration, the echo of my own breath, and heat so thick and noxious it feels like I’m swaddled in a heavy quilt of hot piss.

A new river of sweat breaks through the scarlet sweatband tied around my forehead and slips into my eyes, burning them till they’re as red as my rusty hair. I used to reach and try to wipe the sweat away, only to scratch futilely at the faceplate of my frysuit. I still want to. Even after three years, the tickle and sting of the sweat is a raw misery.

The tunnel walls around my holster seat are bathed a sulfurous yellow by a corona of lights. The reach of the light fades as I look up the thin vertical shaft I’ve carved today. Above, precious helium-3 glimmers like liquid silver, but I’m looking at the shadows, looking for the pitvipers that curl through the darkness seeking the warmth of my drill. They’ll eat into your suit too, bite through the shell and then try to burrow into the warmest place they find, usually your belly, so they can lay their eggs. I’ve been bitten before. Still dream of the beast—black, like a thick tendril of oil. They can get as wide as a thigh and long as three men, but it’s the babies we fear. They don’t know how to ration their poison. Like me, their ancestors came from Earth, then Mars and the deep tunnels changed them.

It is eerie in the deep tunnels. Lonely. Beyond the roar of the drill, I hear the voices of my friends, all older. But I cannot see them a half klick above me in the darkness. They drill high above, near the mouth of the tunnel that I’ve carved, descending with hooks and lines to dangle along the sides of the tunnel to get at the small veins of helium-3. They mine with meter-long drills, gobbling up the chaff. The work still requires mad dexterity of foot and hand, but I’m the earner in this crew. I am the Helldiver. It takes a certain kind—and I’m the youngest anyone can remember.

I’ve been in the mines for three years. You start at thirteen. Old enough to screw, old enough to crew. At least that’s what Uncle Narol said. Except I didn’t get married till six months back, so I don’t know why he said it.

Eo dances through my thoughts as I peer into my control display and slip the clawDrill’s fingers around a fresh vein. Eo. Sometimes it’s difficult to think of her as anything but what we used to call her as children.

Little Eo—a tiny girl hidden beneath a mane of red. Red like the rock around me, not true red, rust-red. Red like our home, like Mars. Eo is sixteen too. And she may be like me—from a clan of Red earth diggers, a clan of song and dance and soil—but she could be made from air, from the ether that binds the stars in a patchwork. Not that I’ve ever seen stars. No Red from the mining colonies sees the stars.

Little Eo. They wanted to marry her off when she turned fourteen, like all girls of the clans. But she took the short rations and waited for me to reach sixteen, wedAge for men, before slipping that cord around her finger. She said she knew we’d marry since we were children. I didn’t.

“Hold. Hold. Hold!” Uncle Narol snaps over the comm channel. “Darrow, hold, boy!” My fingers freeze. He’s high above with the rest of them, watching my progress on his head unit.

“What’s the burn?” I ask, annoyed. I don’t like being interrupted.

“What’s the burn, the little Helldiver asks.” Old Barlow chuckles.

“Gas pocket, that’s what,” Narol snaps. He’s the headTalk for our two-hundred-plus crew. “Hold. Calling a scanCrew to check the particulars before you blow us all to hell.”

“That gas pocket? It’s a tiny one,” I say. “More like a gas pimple. I can manage it.”

“A year on the drill and he thinks he knows his head from his hole! Poor little pissant,” old Barlow adds dryly. “Remember the words of our golden leader. Patience and obedience, young one. Patience is the better part of valor. And obedience the better part of humanity. Listen to your elders.”

I roll my eyes at the epigram. If the elders could do what I can, maybe listening would have its merits. But they are slow in hand and mind. Sometimes I feel like they want me to be just the same, especially my uncle.

“I’m on a tear,” I say. “If you think there’s a gas pocket, I can just hop down and handscan it. Easy. No dilldally.”

They’ll preach caution. As if caution has ever helped them. We haven’t won a Laurel in ages.

“Want to make Eo a widow?” Barlow laughs, voice crackling with static. “Okay by me. She is a pretty little thing. Drill into that pocket and leave her to me. Old and fat I be, but my drill still digs a dent.”

A chorus of laughter comes from the two hundred drillers above. My knuckles turn white as I grip the controls.

“Listen to Uncle Narol, Darrow. Better to back off till we can get a reading,” my brother Kieran adds. He’s three years older. Makes him think he’s a sage, that he knows more. He just knows caution. “There’ll be time.”

“Time? Hell, it’ll take hours,” I snap. They’re all against me in this. They’re all wrong and slow and don’t understand that the Laurel is only a bold move away. More, they doubt me. “You are being a coward, Narol.”

Silence on the other end of the line.

Calling a man a coward—not a good way to get his cooperation. Shouldn’t have said it.

“I say make the scan yourself,” Loran, my cousin and Narol’s son, squawks. “Don’t and Gamma is good as Gold—they’ll get the Laurel for, oh, the hundredth time.”

The Laurel. Twenty-four clans in the underground mining colony of Lykos, one Laurel per quarter. It means more food than you can eat. It means more burners to smoke. Imported quilts from Earth. Amber swill with the Society’s quality markings. It means winning. Gamma clan has had it since anyone can remember. So it’s always been about the Quota for us lesser clans, just enough to scrape by. Eo says the Laurel is the carrot the Society dangles, always just far enough beyond our grasp. Just enough so we know how short we really are and how little we can do about it. We’re supposed to be pioneers. Eo calls us slaves. I just think we never try hard enough. Never take the big risks because of the old men.

“Loran, shut up about the Laurel. Hit the gas and we’ll miss all the bloodydamn Laurels to kingdom come, boy,” Uncle Narol growls.

He’s slurring. I can practically smell the drink through the comm. He wants to call a sensor team to cover his own ass. Or he’s scared. The drunk was born pissing himself out of fear. Fear of what? Our overlords, the Golds? Their minions, the Grays? Who knows? Few people. Who cares? Even fewer. Actually, just one man cared for my uncle, and he died when my uncle pulled his feet.

My uncle is weak. He is cautious and immoderate in his drink, a pale shadow of my father. His blinks are long and hard, as though it pains him to open his eyes each time and see the world again. I don’t trust him down here in the mines, or anywhere for that matter. But my mother would tell me to listen to him; she would remind me to respect my elders. Even though I am wed, even though I am the Helldiver of my clan, she would say that my “blisters have not yet become calluses.” I will obey, even though it is as maddening as the tickle of the sweat on my face.

“Fine,” I murmur.

I clench the drill fist and wait as my uncle calls it in from the safety of the chamber above the deep tunnel. This will take hours. I do the math. Eight hours till whistle call. To beat Gamma, I’ve got to keep a rate of 156.5 kilos an hour. It’ll take two and a half hours for the scanCrew to get here and do their deal, at best. So I’ve got to pump out 227.6 kilos per hour after that. Impossible. But if I keep going and squab the tedious scan, it’s ours.

I wonder if Uncle Narol and Barlow know how close we are. Probably. Probably just don’t think anything is ever worth the risk. Probably think divine intervention will squab our chances. Gamma has the Laurel. That’s the way things are and will ever be. We of Lambda just try to scrape by on our foodstuffs and meager comforts. No rising. No falling. Nothing is worth the risk of changing the hierarchy. My father found that out at the end of a rope.

Nothing is worth risking death. Against my chest, I feel the wedding band of hair and silk dangling from the cord around my neck and think of Eo’s ribs.

I’ll see a few more of the slender things through her skin this month. She’ll go asking the Gamma families for scraps behind my back. I’ll act like I don’t know. But we’ll still be hungry. I eat too much because I’m sixteen and still growing tall; Eo lies and says she’s never got much of an appetite. Some women sell themselves for food or luxuries to the Tinpots (Grays, to be technic about it), the Society’s garrison troops of our little mining colony. She wouldn’t sell her body to feed me. Would she? But then I think about it. I’d do anything to feed her . . .

I look down over the edge of my drill. It’s a long fall to the bottom of the hole I’ve dug. Nothing but molten rock and hissing drills. But before I know what’s what, I’m out of my straps, scanner in hand and jumping down the hundred-meter drop toward the drill fingers. I kick back and forth between the vertical mineshaft’s walls and the drill’s long, vibrating body to slow my fall. I make sure I’m not near a pitviper nest when I throw out an arm to catch myself on a gear just above the drill fingers. The ten drills glow with heat. The air shimmers and distorts. I feel the heat on my face, feel it stabbing my eyes, feel it ache in my belly and balls. Those drills will melt your bones if you’re not careful. And I’m not careful. Just nimble.

I lower myself hand over hand, going feetfirst between the drill fingers so that I can lower the scanner close enough to the gas pocket to get a reading. This was a mistake. Voices shout at me through the comm. I almost brush one of the drills as I finally lower myself close enough to the gas pocket. The scanner flickers in my hand as it takes its reading. My suit is bubbling and I smell something sweet and sharp, like burned syrup. To a Helldiver, it is the smell of death.


From the Hardcover edition.

Revue de presse

“[A] spectacular adventure . . . one heart-pounding ride . . . Pierce Brown’s dizzyingly good debut novel evokes The Hunger Games, Lord of the Flies, and Ender’s Game. . . . [Red Rising] has everything it needs to become meteoric.”Entertainment Weekly

“[A] top-notch debut novel . . . Red Rising ascends above a crowded dystopian field.”USA Today
 
Red Rising is a sophisticated vision. . . . Brown will find a devoted audience.”Richmond Times-Dispatch

“A story of vengeance, warfare and the quest for power . . . reminiscent of The Hunger Games and Game of Thrones.”—Kirkus Reviews
 
“Fast-paced, gripping, well-written—the sort of book you cannot put down. I am already on the lookout for the next one.”—Terry Brooks, New York Times bestselling author of The Sword of Shannara

“Pierce Brown has done an astounding job at delivering a powerful piece of literature that will definitely make a mark in the minds of readers.”The Huffington Post
 
“Compulsively readable and exceedingly entertaining . . . a must for both fans of classic sci-fi and fervent followers of new school dystopian epics.Examiner.com
 
“[A] great debut . . . The author gathers a spread of elements together in much the same way George R. R. Martin does.”Tor.com
 
“Very ambitious . . . a natural for Hunger Games fans of all ages.”Booklist
 
“Ender, Katniss, and now Darrow: Pierce Brown’s empire-crushing debut is a sprawling vision.”—Scott Sigler, New York Times bestselling author of Pandemic
 
“A Hollywood-ready story with plenty of action and thrills.”Publishers Weekly
 
“Reminiscent of . . . Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games . . . [Red Rising] will captivate readers and leave them wanting more.”Library Journal (starred review)


From the Hardcover edition.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Très noir, voire glauque 2 janvier 2015
Par Lady Lama TOP 500 COMMENTATEURS VOIX VINE
Format:Format Kindle
"Red Rising" (2 tomes parus pour le moment, pour ce qui est prévu comme une trilogie) présenté comme le nouvel "Hunger Games", a bien de nombreux points communs avec lui. Mais semble aussi chercher ce qui est le plus glauque dans l'humain. Et ne s'appesentit que rarement sur les sentiments. Meme si les messages sont au final positifs (non à la vengeance, oui à la justice...), je garde une impression mitigée de ce tome, où la souffrance physique et psychologique est omniprésente.

L'histoire : Darrow, 16 ans, travaille dans les mines de Mars depuis 3 ans, tous comme tous les Reds de son âge. Il est un conducteur d'engin d'élite, mais ne dispose d'aucun privilège. Exposé aux dangers des poches de gaz, il n'a jamais vu la lumière du jour de sa vie (tous comme les autres "low Red"), de toute manière on lui a dit que l'athmosphere etait irrespirable et que son travail etait un sacrifice nécessaire pour la terra formation de la planète pour les générations futures. Ce qui faux.

Suite à une escapade romantique dans un jardin virtuel des Greys (les forces de maintien de l'ordre) avec sa femme, il est capturé, fouetté puis pendu (tout comme sa femme). Sauf que... Il se reveille ressuscité, ou quasi. On a maquillé sa pseudo mort et on lui demande de se mettre au service de la rébellion, en infiltrant les Gold, l'élite du monde.

Apres des transformations physiques extrêmement douloureuses, Darrow va candidater à l'Institut pour tenter de rejoindre l'élite des Gold.
Lire la suite ›
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Amazing book! 30 juillet 2015
Par Laura
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
A truly fantastic book. Darrow is fantistic and his story of overcoming a battle of the classes is amazing. Similar tot the Hunger Games but so much better. I will definitely be reading the sequel 'Golden Son' soon!
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 étoiles sur 5  2.063 commentaires
217 internautes sur 249 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Dark, violent, and really interesting futuristic fantasy. I could barely put it down. 6 décembre 2013
Par Sandy Kay - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
If you took a little Lord of the Flies, a little Hunger Games, and a little Hogwarts Academy, then mixed it up with some Roman history and set it hundreds of years in the future you might come up with this book. With all the "borrowed" elements one might think it would feel a little "been there, read that" but that would be wrong. It took a little while at the beginning for me to get into the story, but once it kicked into gear, I could barely put it down.

The story is set on the planet Mars in a caste-driven society where your entire role in life is determined by the caste (denominated by color) into which you are born. Children are often genetically (or otherwise) modified to suit their caste status and be easily identifiable by color. The Reds are at the bottom, slaves forced to live and mine deep beneath the surface for a necessary substance. They live short lives of hardship and oppression (certain songs and dances carry a death sentence), but are unaware of the lies they've been told.

Darrow is a young Red miner, married to Eo until she is killed by the government for a small act of rebellion. Then everything in his life changes and the story really starts when Darrow is recruited by a revolutionary group to infiltrate the ruling Gold society. The first step is to be accepted at the Institute where the elite Gold young people are trained for leadership.

I don't want to give away any more of the story because it is so much better to read it without knowing what is going to happen next. I have to warn you that there is a lot of violence in the book. The level of brutality makes it often hard to remember that most of the characters are only teens/young adults.

This book is not in the Young Adult category, but I could see teens wanting to read it, especially guys, because most of the characters are teens. Parents who monitor their teens reading, especially younger teens, need to be mindful of the violence, though it is likely no worse than they see in video games and television. Even so, I wouldn't recommend it for younger teens. The swear words are mostly made up for the book, being things like "bloodydamn," and "piss." There are some "off stage" rapes but no sex scenes.

As I said above, once the book got moving, I could barely put it down. This is the first part of a trilogy and I cannot wait for the next book.
61 internautes sur 70 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Utterly brilliant. Timeless. 13 mars 2014
Par Maryellen - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
Sometimes an author comes along and writes a book so fascinating that it takes readers by storm. RED RISING is THAT book. Debut Novelist Pierce Brown blends the past, present and future together in a novel that if you haven't read yet, you'll want to soon because it is all you're going to be hearing about.

Darrow is a Red. He is sixteen years old and a slave. He is what is known as a "Helldiver". He drills deep into the miserable bowels of the planet Mars mining for elements that would make the surface of the planet inhabitable as Earth has become overpopulated and dominated. All Reds are slaves. Only, they don't really know it.

Darrow is married to Eo. They grow up much more quickly living under the surface of Mars. Eo is beautiful, and also a Red. She loves Darrow and has dreams that they will escape this life under the surface. Eo knows they are enslaved. And she's willing to go to her grave for freedom. And she does exactly that in an act of rebellion.

Heartbroken and determined to avenge Eo's death, Darrow allows himself to be recruited by a mysterious faction whose plan it is to infiltrate the Golds. The Golds are those who are the elite; those who enslave the Reds; and those who hold the lie that the surface of Mars is uninhabitable when it is already inhabited. To do this, Darrow must become a Gold. He must undergo a complete and painful transformation to make him stronger, taller and more golden.... And only then, will he be accepted into their "Academy" where he will compete against other Golds for prestigious placement in their hierarchy.

The battle in the academy among the "students" who are separated into 12 houses is brilliant writing. Utterly brilliant. Words form the artwork in your mind that creates vivid canvases that come to life as the battle scenes play out. Many of the scenes are gruesome. All of the scenes are vivid, meticulous and smart.

The characters that are created in this whole new world that takes the mystery of the Roman gods and combines it with the sad history of slavery and class warfare and today's societal ills, are built upon, nuance by nuance, until they seem as if they're fighting for you. Not only are we given the gift of Darrow as our main character, but watch for other players in this game, especially Servo, Mustang and Rogue. These are exciting and complex characters.

This is supposed to be a book for young adults. And it is, I suppose. But don't be fooled by the genre, this book has it all~~the dystopian society, science fiction, romance, mystery and it THRILLS. Though comparisons could be made to THE HUNGER GAMES, DIVERGENT and THE PARK SERVICE, this book is somehow different, somehow, more evolved. Anxiously awaiting January 2015 to find out what happens in GOLD SON (Red Rising Trilogy #2).

✰✰✰✰✰

An ecopy of this book was graciously provided by the publisher via NetGalley. The above opinions are my own.
58 internautes sur 68 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Awesome first book! 10 décembre 2013
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
Near as I can tell, this is Pierce Brown's first novel. Sometimes first novels are rife with issues. Pacing issues. character development problems. Not so here. I'm quite impressed. I really enjoyed this book.

The story of Red Rising is the tale of Darrow who is a mine worker in a colony below the surface of Mars. What Darrow and his entire community do not know is that the Mars that they believe that they are striving to terraform has already been terraformed. The people on the surface live in a very structured caste society. The people below the surface work as slaves and have no idea of the world beyond and are kept that way.

The books has almost 3 acts. The story of Darrow living in the mines. The story of Darrow being enlisted as an enemy of the state and his indoctrination. And the story of Darrow going off to play with the higher ranked society "Golds" in school. It is this third act that plays out the longest and is pretty much the focus of the book. I'm not going to give away more of the story but it's worth the read.

The academy section of the book reads a little bit like lots of other novels. The Hunger Games. Enders Game. Lord Of The Flies. The mishmash of different ideas and the telling works regardless of the originality of it. Frankly, I just couldn't put it down. There are just enough plot twists including a few that i just never saw coming. Regardless of the fact that you know that Darrow will win in the end, it was the telling that makes this work. The combination of science fiction, society divisions, plotting, strategy and combat was really engrossing.

I'm very happy to have been lucky enough to get an early copy of this one and I can't wait to see what else Pierce Brown does in this series. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
35 internautes sur 40 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 I love it. I hate it. 18 juillet 2014
Par Cora L. Foerstner - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
Just the other day, I was telling my daughter that I don’t like trilogies, but they seem to find me. Red Rising found me.

A debut novel and the first book in a trilogy, Red Rising by Pierce Brown is a science fiction dystopian novel set on terraformed Mars. Dystopian novels abound and some people are getting tired of them, but I love them.

Brown’s book has been compared to Hunger Games, The Lord of the Flies, and Ender’s Game. I agree with the comparisons. As you might have guessed, the novel isn’t wildly unique—it borrows from everywhere, including Roman mythology. However, I did enjoy the book and put aside another book I was having trouble finishing to read it. The borrowing doesn’t bother me; after all, Shakespeare borrowed extensively.

It’s also been called dazzling, which I don’t agree with. The book is violent, brutal, graphic, and needs a shot of feminist sensibility. It also reflects our world in disturbing ways while reflecting on the complexity of individuals within society.

Brief Summary:

Mars is divided into classes with color designations: Golds are the rich, powerful rulers, above everyone, and Reds are the lowest dregs in this cast system, lower than the Grays, Coppers, and Pinks.

Darrow, the sixteen-year-old protagonist, is a red “Helldiver,” living underground. He discovers Reds have been lied to and that Mars is inhabitable and has been for generations. After his wife is killed by a Gold, he joins a group of revolutionaries and is transformed, like Pygmalion/My Fair Lady, into a Gold. He infiltrates a prestigious school for the elite. His goal is to take down the unequal society and overthrow the Golds.

Review:

Okay for some honesty, I have a love/hate relationship with this book. I cannot recommend it without some caveats. Before I get to the negatives and positives. Here are some general observations:

•It starts slow, which I didn’t mind too much, but the story didn’t grab me right away.

•Once Darrow leaves the underground, things get interesting fast and the pace never slows; it becomes a hard to put down book.

•Mars’ society reflect our world so much that it’s impossible not to make comparisons. There is a complexity in the novel that makes this an interesting aspect and invites introspection. The complexity begins to breakdown the pure good vs pure evil dichotomy in Darrow’s mind and that might have dominated the novel.

Things I Like:

1.Writing: The writing is excellent. I expect good things from future books by Brown.

2.Mars: The world building and the plotting were shiny—it’s a tightly woven, gritty story with an easy to understand world system.

3.Vendetta: There’s lots of revenge. Since I feel rather powerless to right the wrongs of the world, I like stories with revenge and a hero who plunges forward to make things right.

4.Multifaceted: Once Darrow enters into the world of the Golds, things become more complicated. He likes and understands some of his fellow students, yet knows he may have to kill them.

5.Point of View: His first person narrative is honest and pulls me into his story and makes me care about him, but there are some problems with his character (see below).

6.World: Brown creates a brutal Machiavellian world that is detailed, from the variances in life, language, education, and power. By the end of the story, you know that one language slip on Darrow’s part may be his future downfall because at least one person heard.

Don’t let the comparison to Hunger Games fool you. This is a fast paced, extraordinarily violent book, and makes Hunger Games seem like kindergarten violence.

I liked the story and was caught up in the fast, tightly pace story, but . . . I have some concerns.

Things I Didn’t Like:

1.Less Than Complex: Several reviews claim that the characterization in Red Rising is more complex and developed than the characterization in Hunger Games. I disagree. Katiness is a reluctant hero and the complexity of her character is at once subtle and nuanced. Other Hunger Games characters are well developed and multifaceted. Our hero Darrow is about revenge, with an occasional insight. He gives himself over to violence, revenge, and hatred with little subtlety and passing insights.

2.Perfect Hero: He is also maddeningly perfect. He, a Red the lowest of the low and not educated in Gold culture, has the top scores on his test and bests all the Golds; he immediately becomes a leader; he steps into his role as a Golds with few slip ups; he’s physically strong and out fights everyone; he outwits everyone; he’s the only one who protects the helpless. He’s the old fashion Dudley Do-Right turned Spartan-Rambo, a bigger than life, perfect hero, who rescues everyone. Really?

3.Supporting Roles: The other characters, with a few exceptions, are cardboard figures with little distinguishing features to set them apart. They are secondary to and play supporting roles to Darrow. Throughout the story these “future leaders” of society acquiesce to Darrow’s leadership.

4.Sexual Violence and Rape: This is the area I find most revolting. My problem is not that there is sexual violence and rape in the story, but that everyone except Darrow accepts and ignores it. I find it unbelievable that female characters and male characters would stand for this. With all the violence and fighting, other students would fight back. After all, they are Golds and see themselves as above all others and privileged. Would they allow other Golds to be raped with impunity? Even the adult proctors don’t do a damn thing and some of the students are their sons and daughters. Only our hero has the moral fiber to take action. Really?

5.Female characters: Even Mustang, who says she hates weak females who have to be rescued, willingly gives up being a leader to follow Darrow. In the beginning of the novel, his young wife sacrifices herself so he will become a hero. I found this particularly difficult to swallow—almost a deal breaker. Although there are female proctors, none of the student leaders are female. Yet they are supposedly given an equal place among the men, yet all the females are easily overcome.

6.Violence: The violence is sometimes excessive. As an adult, I shrugged this off; however, I would recommend this book to older young adult readers. Parents should read it first to see what they are handing their teenager.

Although I have some major issues with the book, I liked it. I got caught up in the story and finished rather quickly, which probably reflects that I too am susceptible to and influenced by societal attitude that violence, sexual violence, rape, and second-class treatment of women is normal.

I think that the love/hate problems I have with this book reflect the deep seeded influence of my culture. I want things to be better in fiction. I harbor a hope that future societies will be more advanced.

When it comes to plot, quality of the writing, world building, conflict and action, I’d give Red Rising a 4; however, when it come to character development, the portrayal of women, and sexual violence, I’d give the book a 2. So my 3 star rating reflects the love/hate relationship I have with the book.
82 internautes sur 100 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Even though this didn't work for me, I still recommend it to others. 6 mars 2014
Par Inspiring Insomnia - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
Reading the reviews of Red Rising on Goodreads saddens me. They are glowing. Rapturous. Of course, I don’t always agree with the consensus, but I usually have some inkling as to why my experience with a book was different from the majority of readers. But in the case of Red Rising, I’m bewildered. What did all these reviewers see and feel that I didn’t?

On its surface, this should have been a 4 or 5 star book for me. It’s a dystopia with shades (many shades) of The Hunger Games. There is a lot of violence. There’s a world that’s revealed to be very different than how it was originally perceived. There are the poor, downtrodden lower-classes fighting for independence against the ruling class. These are some of the elements that usually make a book work for me.

Red Rising started off very promisingly. Darrow lives underground on Mars, working as a miner – a so-called Red. He’s married to the lovely Eo, and he’s fairly content with his lot in life. But Eo isn’t content. She pushes Darrow to understand that they are slaves to the ruling class, the Golds, and a simple act of rebellion leads to her execution. Darrow craves vengeance, and he agrees to undergo an extreme form of plastic surgery, which will transform him into the genetically superior physical appearance of a Gold. He will then attempt to infiltrate the Golds after gaining acceptance into their prestigious Academy.

So far, so good. The preceding events occur during the first 30% of the book. I expected the remainder of the story to consist of a spy drama, with Darrow struggling to maintain his cover as he seeks out Golds who may be sympathetic to his fight. I thought he’d learn the weaknesses of the Golds and how to exploit them during the coming rebellion. Instead, he was assimilated into their society immediately, and there was as very little mention or thought given to the events that led him there. This is when I had my first “Huh?” moment. So much time was spent on transforming Darrow’s body into the perfect Gold, so I assumed that the need for such fastidiousness indicated that there was great danger of being exposed. Nope. There was also much talk of the need to eliminate Darrow’s accent which would peg him as a Red. Darrow also had to erase certain words from his vocabulary and learn to use new ones. Now, this must be trickier than his appearance, because speech involves conscious and constant thought. But he accomplishes this instantaneously. I wondered why so much focus was placed on the various ways Darrow needs to disguise himself, only to have them barely factor into the story again.

At this point, my expectations went out the window, and I was curious to see which path the story will take. It turns out that Darrow takes the path to become a leader of his group at the Academy, tasked with eliminating (or possibly murdering) the competing students in a military-style competition. I’m still not sure how Darrow managed to be accepted as a leader among these bloodthirsty people. He didn’t seem particularly charismatic or more strategic than anyone else. But no matter, because Darrow has seemed to forgotten that he’s not REALLY a Gold, and I pretty much stopped caring when my hopes for an espionage element were dashed and we were left with endless, uninteresting discussions about slaves, discussions of strategic warfare, and the drawbacks of nepotism. These points were repeated over and over, and I checked out.

Despite my misgivings about the book, the number of great reviews makes me think that most readers will enjoy it.

Note I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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