When I read Red Rising, I had to work a little to get myself in the right frame of mind to believe in life on Mars, and the many generations of planetary life the author detailed. Now, coming back to Darrow, the Red who rose, the action seemed to come swifter, with little need for scene setting and backstories. Darrow is attempting to overthrow the class system on Mars and throughout his Society, continuing the mission he began in the first book. Having tried to read book two in a series before this without reading the first book, I was relieved this time to have very little catching up, besides the small bits I simply forgot in between reading them.
A few years ago, this book would have been outside the realm of my typical reading, but after reading Red Rising and Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam books, I was a complete convert. I love that they include just enough details about the human characters to make them relatable, yet they are still extraordinary. I noticed in this book, and maybe it was in the last as well, that there are some things about our limitations that are “upgraded” in this future, and some that are left alone, perhaps not to be improved upon. I will let you discover these on your own. I will also say that I especially appreciate that women seem completely equal in these books. In the beginning, when the character’s names are not familiar and their exploits are described, it is almost shocking to see a female pronoun used to describe a warrior, ruler, etc. Once you become engrossed in the world of this book, however, anything seems possible. Saying that in a week that Washington has approved women for all levels of combat seems like a mixed blessing, but I will go with the idea that equality among all people is always a good thing. If you haven’t started this series yet, you need to do it soon — Morning Star comes out February 9th, 2016.