The Hunger Games in Space (without much about space). This book was exciting enough, and had a decent plot, but was chock full of stupid, lazy, kind-oThe Hunger Games in Space (without much about space). This book was exciting enough, and had a decent plot, but was chock full of stupid, lazy, kind-of-gross tropes like:
Darrow, the protagonist, is part of a society of "Reds", red-haired and red-eyed people who are on the bottom of the societal totem pole, with "Golds" at the top. They are horribly mistreated and underfed, in order to keep them under control. "Reds" speak with a brogue, and marry really young. And are like, so good at dancing. And they have such wonderful folk songs. And fiery tempers. Too bad a lot of them are constantly drunk... Is anyone else beginning to feel uncomfortable here?
(view spoiler)[My dead wife makes me stronger: Once Darrow's wife was introduced—I mean like, the second her name was mentioned—it was pretty clear she was going to die. I thought, "Okay, if this chick dies to give Darrow motivation, like every other wife or girlfriend at the beginning of a dude story, this book would have to do something really amazing to get more than three stars." Then she died, obviously, and the book did not do anything really amazing. (hide spoiler)]
Damsel in distress: (view spoiler)[Darrow's replacement love interest (you gotta have a replacement love interest) is someone he begins to have feelings for as they nurse each other back to health in a cave during a deadly war game between children (Hunger Games much?!). She seems pretty cool, except near the end she obviously gets kidnapped, in order to give Darrow the motivation to go all deus ex machina on the bad guys. Because, as we all know, women exist to motivate men!
When he has to break into the enemy stronghold to find and free her, this totally happens:
She groans. "I've become the maiden in distress, haven't I? Slag! I hate those girls."
Haha! Wow, dude! Lampshading this does not make it better! (hide spoiler)]
The Chosen One/I Know Kung Fu!
I think maybe this book started out with good intentions. Like, maybe it had some kind of equality message, at first: Golds are engineered to be physically superhuman, but really all of humanity has things to offer, keeping Reds as basically slaves is wrong, yadda yadda. Except that message totally gets lost because not only is Darrow really super special and better than all other Reds, he is better than all the Golds, too, and he can learn super fast and is just the fastest and most intelligent and capable (view spoiler)[even before the modifications that give him the physical attributes of a Gold (hide spoiler)]. It doesn't really get the message across that Reds and all lowColors deserve equality; instead the message seems to be "Darrow is the Messiah and deserves to be in charge of everyone else."
The more I put my thoughts about this book into words, the more I want to knock my 3 star review down to 2. Let's call it 2.5 stars["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more