Red Rising was released 2 years ago. How could I not know that? Somehow this managed to slip my radar. But I found it. And oh, am I glad I did!
Meet Darrow. He's a Red, the lowest class "citizen" in a futuristic coloured-coded society. The Reds are miners on Mars. They believe they serve a greater purpose. They are making Mars livable for future generations.
But then Darrow and his wife are arrested for entering a garden they are forbidden to. During their punishment, Darrow's wife, Eo, sings the forbidden song. Her punishment is death. Reds are not allowed to bury their loved ones, but Darrow cannot handle the thought of his wife not getting what she deserves. This means death for him.
But Darrow is saved. And he is shown the great lie. Mars is livable. There are cities that prosper. The colours live wonderful lives, while the Reds are slaves. He is told he's the chosen one. Chosen by Ares himself to bring justice for all Reds.
Darrow is transformed into a Gold. This transformation is painful, but is nothing compared to what he will face.
Darrow is sent to infiltrate the prestigious Institute, the training academy that produces all the top leaders of Society. His job is to rise as high as he can within the Gold ranks. The only catch, is he must survive the Institute and all the tests thrown at him.
Darrow is a wonderful character. He is torn between who he is, who he believes his wife wanted him to be, and who he feels he's become. He makes friendships, but knows one day, this friends will be his enemy. He struggles with being true to himself, and being true to his disguise.
The best part of not knowing about this trilogy until now, is I don't have to wait a year for book 2!