By Pierce Brown
Del Rey (Random House), 2014
Audience: Adults, Older Teens
The war begins...
Darrow is a Helldiver, one of a thousand men and women who live in the vast caves beneath the surface of Mars. Generations of Helldivers have spent their lives toiling to mine the precious elements that will allow the planet to be terraformed. Just knowing that one day people will be able to walk the surface of the planet is enough to justify their sacrifice. The Earth is dying, and Darrow and his people are the only hope humanity has left.
Until the day Darrow learns that it is all a lie. Mars is habitable - and indeed has been inhabited for generations by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. The Golds regard Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.
With the help of a mysterious group of rebels, Darrow disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside.
But the command school is a battlefield. And Darrow isn't the only student with an agenda...
This book got a lot of hype on reviews that I saw, so I made it a point to read it.
My reaction: It wasn’t that great.
The characters weren’t likable, and I felt like I had read the story before. It was advertised as “The Next Hunger Games.” It was more like reading The Hunger Games from the point of view of another district. The main character was like a career - ruthless, cunning and violent. Supposedly, he will eventually use the power and rank he gains for good some day. Do his good intentions justify everything he did?
It would have been nice to see him do some good. The school and training part went on for too long. Had that part been shorter, we could have seen him make some progress in the world. I don’t think I’ll read the sequels, but I hope that he does make his world a better place.
It was well-written and I think other people will like it. It was too violent for me and I’m tired of dystopian novels. I need some contemporary teen romance!