Even better than the first book. I enjoyed this one tremendously. After reading the first book, I was very much looking forward to seeing more of theEven better than the first book. I enjoyed this one tremendously. After reading the first book, I was very much looking forward to seeing more of the politics of this world. And that's what we get. Darrow has infiltrated the Golds and works to bring them down from the inside, end their tyranny, and free his people, the Reds, from enslavement. There's so much political drama and action. Brown does a wonderful job describing this action through Darrow's eyes. I highly enjoy being inside Darrow's head as he deals with the politics, betrayal (his own and by others), and the consequences of what he plans to do. It's exhausting and thrilling. And that ending - Heartwrenching!
I see many people comparing this book to The Hunger Games. I can see why - teens competing in a very violent, ruthless game. But I think the end goalI see many people comparing this book to The Hunger Games. I can see why - teens competing in a very violent, ruthless game. But I think the end goal for the Institute, as the game is called in this book, is very different. The point is not to be the last man or woman standing. You not only need to survive, but you need to win, to be a leader, to show your worth. A lot of people do die; it's a very violent book from the beginning. This book also had a Brave New World feeling for me with the hierarchy and science.
This book is about a young man out for vengeance for someone very dear to him and really for his whole people - the Reds - the slaves of this universe. Darrow will imitate and infiltrate the Golds, compete to enter the Institute, survive the Institute, rise in the Gold ranks, and bring them down from the inside.
I liked the first half and the last quarter the most. The Institute did drag for me a bit in the beginning. But what Darrow goes through and what he does both in the beginning in the mines of Mars and later while in the Institute was fascinating. I loved his voice. He's smart, but makes mistakes. He learns and grows. The world building was great and I can't wait to read more of the politics in the next books. Planets and moons have been terraformed. Democracy is seen as a great evil. Hierarchy rules and the Golds are at the top.
Scary or suspenseful stories that take place on spaceships freak me out a lot. For me, the setting is claustrophobic and alien and just generally makeScary or suspenseful stories that take place on spaceships freak me out a lot. For me, the setting is claustrophobic and alien and just generally makes my skin crawl. But I'm always drawn to them and always have to watch the show or read the book. This one was well worth my small anxieties.
This story is more suspenseful than scary. The mission for the people on this ship is to travel the farthest any human ever has and then turn around and travel back to earth. Cormac Easton is the ship's journalist. He is observing and writing about the mission for the folks back home. But the mission is far from successful. First they find the captain dead in his hypersleep chamber upon waking. Then the crew, one after another, die, all in different ways, until Cormac is the last man standing. And once he realizes the ship does not turn around towards home like it's automatically supposed to, Cormac knows he is doomed.
All that I've got up here is tranquility now, I suppose.
That's just the first quarter of the book. I'm not going to give away the rest of the story other than it includes flashbacks to the months and weeks leading up to the mission. During these flashbacks we learn more about the crew and Cormac's relationship with his wife. These flashbacks are revealing and important to what is happening on the ship. And what's happening on the ship is enthralling. The reveal is slow going, but never boring. It's dark and beautifully written.
That was how it was sold: a voyage to rival Columbus, to rival the stories of Jules Verne.