“Darrow is a miner and a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he digs all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of the planet livable for future generations. Darrow has never seen the sky.
Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better future 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 joins a resistance group in order to infiltrate the ruling class and destroy society from within. He will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies... even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.”
Courage is a trait that I believe has always been valued since the beginning of time. We are always ready to support “the little guy”, the person who is willing to make a stand to “the big guy”, and try to change things for the good for everyone. They are willing to sacrifice everything to make the world a better place, especially for the people they love and their family.
Darrow is no different. He is a guy who is trying to make his mark on the world, and believes that people cannot be cruel to him since he is nice to everyone. There are people of course he disagrees with, but he does not wish ill things unto them. He is there with the rest of the Reds, digging to find the elements needed to make the surface of their planet, which is actually Mars, livable and make living better for the people all around the world. Even though he has never seen it, and probably never will, it is enough to give him ambition to move forward.
But as you learn early on from reading, he is stunned to learn that the government and the people he put his faith in have lied to him and have already reached the surface. They’re conspiring to keep the discrimination of the lower class alive and to keep them in their place and not able to move forward and make a difference like Darrow has been working for. Add that to the fact that his heart gets completely shattered, Darrow becomes a man on a mission.
You will be shocked to learn that Darrow is only sixteen years old during the time the novel takes place, but he becomes more of a man than you can believe. His love for his wife Eo and his ambition makes you want to cheer and fight alongside with him, jump for joy when he is successful, and jump into the pages and give him a hug when he is down.
Pierce Brown creates a very powerful character in Darrow, and even though this book is classified as Young Adult Dystopian, it will pave the way for the future books in the genre, and shatter the reputations of the ones that came before him. Brown creates a book that is unique in its own way, and one that will never be repeated no matter how much time may pass.
Reviewed by Mercedes Olivas
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 1/28/2014