By Alberto Pupo
Dystopian Novels, involving class warfare seem to be nothing more than a trend in the literary world. After the Hunger Games, a lot of authors have been attempting to hop on this particular trend. Pierce Brown’s Red Rising Trilogy at first blush seems to be nothing more than an adult take on the Hunger Games. Instead of cities and towns, the world depicted in this trilogy separates society into different colors the red being the lowest of the low, while the Golds rule them all. Unlike the Hunger games that remain firmly set in one world, this trilogy is set in various locations of the Solar System as it is set in a deep future. The action begins on Mars were the Red are essentially an exploited color that has been lied to and kept within their bubble, ignorant of the truths of the world and what is happening on the planet’s surface. The main character in this trilogy is Darrow. He faces tragedy in his life, and because of this, he falls into a web of a revolution where he, in essence, infiltrates the enemy.
While the first book of the trilogy harkens the Hunger Games (especially with certain Hunger game type sequences at a school known as the Institute.) This story eventually separates itself because of its scope and magnitude. It shows about the nature of humanity, and the will to survive. It shows the decadent cruelty of those of the highest color (The Golds). It shows the blind devotion and how those of other colors have been subordinated to follow their lead.
The story is full of sequences of betrayal, where those who once pretended to be friends show their true colors. Enemies can become friends and friends enemies. Even though most of the story is full of grim setbacks and seemingly insurmountable odds the trilogy wraps to a satisfying conclusion (for the moment as there is a follow-up trilogy coming).
If you are a fan of science fiction this an enjoyable read, with a good amount of humor, sex, violence, and intrigue. And yes, in the end, the trilogy does find its niche in the sci-fi world and manages to separate itself from The Hunger Games or any other books in the same vein.