It’s currently nearing the end of April. I read this book sometime over Christmas and New Year. I didn’t write about it then, lots of stuff went on. You know ‘real world life.work stuff’ that you don’t ignore. So I read, and meant to write and then didn’t. I apologise, but that means that I am not looking at this with fresh eyes, but I enjoy the writing part so I’ll get on with it, and hopefully you’ll not curse me too much if I missed a detail.
This is a world divided by blood – red or silver. The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change. That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart
Before I begin too much about the book itself, and please note my introduction to this blog, I want to say that I loved this book. This was like the X-Men meeting Hunger Games (with a little less bloodshed, but not much!) and actually, it was exactly the sort of book that I wished to read at the time.
I wasn’t sure what to expect of it. Either it was going to be really good, and addictive, read, or I was going to thoroughly hate it. I didn’t think I was going to have any go between in it.
We are introduced to our main character Mare (I distinctly recall disliking her name, even if it was just a shortened version of her actual name). She’s been reflecting about the state of the world, of how society is split into two distinct groups. Reds, the commoners, because they have red blood. They aren’t special, there are a lot of them and they are the foundation of society. They are downtrodden, hard worked and poor. They are ruled over by the Silvers, who are Silver blooded and have special powers – control of over fire, water, earth, metal, healing, truth etc. They are the ruling elite and consider the Reds so completely beneath them, almost like cattle. Apparently, the whole world also considers this view.
Mare is trying to avoid being conscripted into a never ending war, one that’s already taken her brothers. Her sister has escaped, apprenticed to a dress maker. Mare’s friend is also being conscripted, but Mare has decided to try and do everything possible to get him out of his situation.
In along the reds is a terrorist group called Red Dawn. They are fighting for the civil rights of the Reds, militantly.
You can see why they’re paths would cross.
Without giving too much away, things go wrong for Mare as she’s revealed to have her own special powers. Reds don’t have powers, so this is something that shocks all those that witness it. Because of this, she’s placed into the care of the Royal family, they give her a husband to be – one of the princes – not the one she wants, of course – and ultimately – betrayal, love and the truth all happens.
What I really liked about this book actually was that it was set in a world that is both so similar, and so different to ours. The differences – like the super powers were pretty obvious – but the similarities were a little surprising. Things like TV, radio and communications existed, and there were also things like CCTV and presumably computers [just not like how we know and use them]. There was also new materials and compounds that existed as well. I really enjoyed those little details that made it both completely different and a little familiar as well.
For me this book was a joyride. I loved how it read, and I couldn’t help but think this was an action film in the making, and it wouldn’t surprise me if it was picked up by a film studio somewhere. There’s a lot of emphasis of action films, and super hero films at the moment, and with the release of The Darkest Minds later this year – there’s an appetite for this stuff. I’d love to see this on the big screen.
Have you read this one? What did you think? Would you watch a film based on this premise?