Truth time, I have fallen off the Goodreads group wagon. There were a lot of reasons why: spoilers (it's technically a re-read so I can't really complain too much), NaNoWriMo eats a lot of my time spent on my laptop in my time away from work, and Thanksgiving is the start of our busy season at the bakery. Which means I've been reading on my breaks, early in the morning, and late night. I've also been too engrossed in the story to stop and write a small passage via my phone. Putting Red Rising down isn't an easy task.
But enough of that. What about Part Two, Reborn?
I don't want to giveaway any spoilers, only tidbits to entice everyone to give this series a try. So I'm sorry if things get a little vague or slightly confusing. Red Rising is sort of one of those books where even a little detail could lead to a big spoiler. One thing I will say is I just want to give Darrow a hug. Everything he's gone through during this part of the book, everything that he's endured for his people, and they way the Institute is set up to train the Golds in life and warfare. The title for Part Two might be Reborn, but it's theme is that Darrow cannot have nice things. Like in the first part he almost gets something great, but at the last minute it's snatched away from him.
Reborn starts off with molding Darrow into a member of the Gold, the higher class, society. He's taught how to speak like them, walk, act, etc, but it doesn't stop there. It follows his journey all they way through until he arrives at the Institute that turns Gold children into the leaders of their people. While the section starts off a little on the light-hearted side, it doesn't end that way. The entire story escalates to one pivotal moment that I had been hoping would never happen.
What I love about Pierce Brown's storytelling is that he doesn't bog the reader down with the science of things, or too much background information. The entire story is told through first person point of view, Darrow's point of view. So a lot of things are just fact. Weapons will be mentioned, sometimes briefly described, but I've never felt lost in the technology of this advanced age. Also, we see the world through Darrow's eyes. So the details we get of his new world inside the Institute are the things that matter to him. Again, I never felt bored because Brown was describing the scenery to the very last rock (which is honestly a personal preference of mine).
I also enjoy how Darrow isn't really the hero of this story. At the start I thought the Sons of Ares were going to turn him into some sort of hero, but the farther into Part Two I got, the more I started to feel I was wrong. Darrow has been forced to become something he never thought he would ever be. Feared. He is being forced into a place he doesn't want to be. I'm not sure by the end of the third book that Darrow is going to save the world, but maybe burn it down. My biggest fear is he won't survive to see the end of Morning Star, the last book in the series.
Pierce Brown has created a character in Darrow that you just have to root for. No matter how brutal the act, the risk, every time he gets hurt I squeak. I've grown attached, I want to see him tear the Golds apart. Also, I feel the need to mention the sass is so very strong with Darrow. Sometimes his inner monologue causes me to giggle, or the way he sasses the other Golds. He might be a Helldriver of low color, but Darrow is no fool.
"See. That's what I don't get. If I am a good man, then why do I want to do bad things?"
Darrow, Part Two of Red Rising.