So. Darrow is a Red, which means he goes into the pits of Mars to mine [element I'm too lazy to look up] to help terraform Mars' surface, so that all the weaker colors (currently wasting away on Earth) can come live there. In the spirit of dystopian literature, that is totally all a lie, the government is corrupt, Mars is terraformed already, and everyone is just hanging around in space-gardens and dashing about in space-cars while the poor Reds die in the mines.
Not to make her the subject of every discussion of YA dystopia ever, but Katniss Everdeen is abrasive, yes? It's kind of the schtick, that she's sort of rough around the edges. But she's not just a turd for no reason, you know? She's not all like, Oh, stupid elders thinking they know shit. They have slow reflexes, what do THEY know, with their old-person brains. Because that's Darrow. He is a jackass that I, at the not-ancient age of 32, want to punch in the teeth.
So there's that. And then, whichever team mines the most [element]
(Later he's all, If they'd only make the Laurel fair, then the teams would work harder, and I'm like OMG YOU'RE RIGHT BUT THAT DIRECTLY CONTRADICTS WHAT YOU SAID EARLIER WHEN YOU KNEW THE LAUREL WAS UNFAIR BUT YOU THREW YOURSELF DOWN A MINE SHAFT AND NEARLY DIED IN AN ATTEMPT TO WIN WHAT YOU KNEW WAS UNWINNABLE EAURRRRRRGH CONTINUITY AND SENSE-MAKING.)
You'll be singing this for hours WHO IS YOUR DYSTOPIC OVERLORD NOW?
What were we? Ok. So Darrow and his wife get caught...sneaking into a space garden? I forget. And they get a bunch of lashes for this, only when the wife goes for her lashes she sings a Forbidden Song and so gets hanged instead. She does this on purpose because she believes in Revolution, but rather than just...I don't know, foment unrest among her fellow slaves, she MARTYRS herself so that her husband will rise up and revolt to avenge her. FEMININE WILES AND ALSO SACRIFICE. (Ugh.)
And it sort of works, because he does something to get HIMSELF hanged (I don't remember, steals her body or something) but instead of waking up dead, he wakes up on the surface of Mars, in the hands of Revolutionaries who want to re-make him as a Gold (the ruling power) so he can infiltrate their system and fuck shit up. It's...actually kind of an ok plan.
You don't really deserve Chris Traegar-level enthusiasm for this but I'm throwing you a bone, here.
Apparently he isn't the first person to undergo what they creepily call 'Carving,' where they Wolverine/The Swan him into a beautiful, unbreakable machine, outfit him with a fake family history, and send him off to subterfuge. I'm underplaying what a process this all is, and apparently the previous Carvees all died because body mods are a bitch.
So he applies to Gold School where, because he's secretly a Red and a badass miner and augmented to shit (and kind of a Mary Sue, to be honest) he's excellent at everything, including punching things. Which comes up sort of a lot, because once they've passed whatever tests, they're split into teams and dropped into an elaborate game of Capture the Flag.
And despite what seems like a majillion Resistance Dollars spent on his new look, and despite the CONSTANT surveillance both implied and explicitly described, and despite how deadly, deadly seriously the Golds take this shit, Darrow keeps doing stuff like weeping his dead (and kind of famous now) wife's name, or clutching his red headband that he brought from Below, or wearing a pendant of a flower that SEEMS to be native to the mines. It's like he's trying to get caught, is what I'm saying.
You get to NOT DIE, you unrepentant asshole.
Anyway, the whole point of the
But I just don't care enough to read the rest of what I'm sure is going to be at least a trilogy. I don't like Darrow, I don't like this edgy-poetic style of writing ('His face has become like a blood blossom') and I don't think sentences like 'It is weeks of physical therapy' should be allowed. WHAT is weeks of physical therapy?
It is, kitten.
Four caterpillars. Requisite ass-covering: book received from publisher.