Forged in the harsh underground mines of Mars, Darrow is a Red – part of a society of pioneers that endure brutal, desolate conditions to collect the Helium-3 that will one day make Mars habitable for those desperate to escape a dying Earth. Food is scarce, laws are brutal, and life is tenuous. But Darrow is a Helldiver – smart, headstrong, and unafraid – knowing that their sacrifice will one day create a new world.
Or so he thinks. Until his wife Eo is killed for rebelling, and Darrow is saved from death by a group of rebels called the Sons of Ares, who reveal a brutal truth: Mars has been inhabited for generations by a ruling class calling themselves the Golds. And the Reds are nothing more than slaves.
Heartbroken but furious, Darrow agrees to disguise himself as a Gold, undergoing surgeries and grueling training to join their superhuman ranks. Soon he infiltrates the Institute, the elite Gold academy that will give him the opportunity to take down their society from the inside. But first he must survive it.
For someone that doesn’t necessarily read science fiction, I devoured this book in a matter of days. I’ve heard it compared to books like TheHunger Games, Ender’s Game, and Game of Thrones (and once to Lord of the Flies, which I found particularly interesting). The world Brown creates is richly detailed and complex, weaving elements of ancient Rome with futuristic space colonies in a fascinating way. Don’t think this book’s appeal is limited simply to genre or dystopian fiction fans – I recommend it to anyone looking for an engrossing, action packed read.