So, this was a re-read of this series for me and I have to say that I loved it as much this time as I did the first time around. Pierce Brown created an absolutely fascinating world for this series, and he did so beautifully.
The books center on Darrow, a “Red” who works in the mines below the surface of Mars. The Reds are mining a material that will allow Mars to be terraformed so that humans can successfully colonize it. It is important work and work that Darrow is happy to be doing as he understands its importance.
Except that the work has already been done. Mars has already been terraformed, as have all of the other planets in the solar system, all their moons and even some of the larger asteroids. At this point, the Reds are actually just slaving away in the mines earning money for the ruling families of the Golds. While the Reds are slaves, kept underground in competing clans, the Golds are essentially gods. Tall, beautiful and strong where the Reds are small, puny and weak, the Golds rule a society where every color was made to serve a specific purpose.
Reds are for slave labor, Pinks for pleasure, Blues for technology, Grays for military applications, and Gold to rule them all.
As it turns out, some of the “Lower Colors” don’t exactly love that they aren’t able to advance in society, no matter how capable they are, because of the color they were born into (I know, weird). This dissatisfaction leads to rebellion and eventually, Darrow becomes a part of that rebellion. A huge part, really, tasked with infiltrating Gold society and bringing it down from the inside. The whole thing is exciting and well-written and I’ll probably re-read the series yet again before the fourth book comes out early next year.
My only complaint, both the first time and this time, is that I wanted more. The author does such a wonderful job creating this world, but I want to know more about the colors that don’t play a major role in these three books. The Blues, for example, and their hive-mind. And the Obsidians, monstrous warriors that tried to rebel before and were blasted back to the Stone Age by the Golds. And the Pinks, bred for pleasure by keeping them in pain unless they’re providing pleasure to a Gold, Silver or Bronze. I want to know more about that, all of it. I want more Pink, please.