23.1.14

Book Blurb Breakdown: Red Rising by Pierce Brown

book blurb breakdown
                introduction

Book Blurb Breakdown is a Sarcasm & Lemons feature where your anal English degree-holding author rips apart (gently) jacket blurbs to pin down what makes her want to pick up the book instantly--and what makes her want to throw it at the wall.  See the original post for more detail.  

Previous Breakdowns: 
Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira



today's blurb
Status:  Read


the blurb: as is 
from Goodreads

The war begins...

Darrow is a Helldiver, one of a thousand men and women who live in the vast caves beneath the surface of Mars. Generations of Helldivers have spent their lives toiling to mine the precious elements that will allow the planet to be terraformed. Just knowing that one day people will be able to walk the surface of the planet is enough to justify their sacrifice. The Earth is dying, and Darrow and his people are the only hope humanity has left.

Until the day Darrow learns that it is all a lie. Mars is habitable - and indeed has been inhabited for generations by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. The Golds regard Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

With the help of a mysterious group of rebels, Darrow disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside.

But the command school is a battlefield. And Darrow isn't the only student with an agenda...


the blurb:  shredded 

The war begins... (I never really need these little intro lines.  Sometimes they work.  This is kind of vague.)

Darrow is a Helldiver, one of a thousand men and women who live in the vast caves beneath the surface of Mars (Very cool. Grabbed me immediately. But not actually true. Only certain members of Darrow's people are Helldivers. It's nitpicky, but I notice details like that. It's not so hard to make it accurate, and it would actually add a layer to Darrow's character here to mention why Helldivers are special.). Generations of Helldivers have spent their lives toiling to mine the precious elements that will allow the planet to be terraformed. Just knowing that one day people will be able to walk the surface of the planet is enough to justify their sacrifice. (This is good. It captures how the people feel.  They're heroes.  It's all okay.) The Earth is dying, and Darrow and his people are the only hope humanity has left.  (I love how hopeful and noble this is, because clearly it's going to get turned on its head in about a minute.  It sets a good tone.) 

Until the day Darrow learns that it is all a lie.  (Whaaa?) Mars is habitable - and indeed has been inhabited for generations by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. (It's also inhabited by many other Colors.  It would be better to make it clear here that only the Reds are enslaved but the Golds rule over everyone.  It's still effective this way, but it would be even stronger to know just how powerful the Golds are, just how lowly the Reds.) The Golds regard Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.  (Okay, this is a pretty great set-up.  You've told these people they're humanity's last hope to escape a dying Earth--and it's all lies?  That's gonna set up some super intense anger and conflict.)

With the help of a mysterious group of rebels, Darrow disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside.  (Awesome.  This sets up the main arc of the book well, and it's intriguing.  How does a kid raised in mines parade as a wealthy elite?  Who are these rebels?)

But the command school is a battlefield.  (Okay, you got me.  I'd add "actual", because it's literally a battlefield.  This isn't some metaphor, and I think making that clear makes it even more dangerous and compelling.) And Darrow isn't the only student with an agenda... (Let's just dispense with the ellipses already.  You hooked me a while back.  I don't need the 'dun dun dun'.) 





the verdict 
4/5 stars

This is a different take from last time because I've actually read this book (which is amazingomgwantmorelovelovelove, by the way).  From this perspective, I can still remember what drew me to this book, but also how they could have made it better.  The blurb does a great job of setting up an interesting conflict and giving hints at the dangers involved.  It also sets a good tone for the epic scope of this series.  However, there are some slightly inaccurate statements that could have been changed to be even more compelling.  It's useful to know that a Helldiver is a special kind of miner because it tells you how Darrow is different from his friends.  It's helpful to know that the Reds are the only class of people full enslaved, because it tells you just how pissed off Darrow is to find out the lie.  And how strong the Golds are.  It's also helpful to know that the "battlefield" comment isn't a metaphor like I first though pre-reading--it's the truth.  So I think being more detail-oriented would have really packed a punch.  However, as is, the blurb still showed me (a) how this book is different from other dystopians, (b) what the main conflicts were, and (c) what I could expect from book 1, all very succinctly.  



your thoughts

Does this blurb grab you?  
Do you agree with my thoughts?  If not, how so?  
Do you have any recommendations for blurbs I should shred?  










4 comments:

  1. I actually saw a few people blogging about this book but the title and cover didn't grab me at all so I skipped over a few of the reviews. One day I decided to see what was so great about this book that people kept blogging about it. It was the blurb that drew me in. The reviews I have read since are just extras. I haven't read the book yet so I can't say if I agree with you or not. No recommendations from me either.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had a similar experience. It was the blurb that grabbed me--despite all my complaints. ;P It's amazing what a few paragraphs can do. It's a fabulous book, by the way. I hope you enjoy it!

      Delete
  2. It for sure grabs me. It makes the book sound intense, mysterious and full of action.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is! So apparently it did its job. (:

      Delete

Thanks for visiting Sarcasm & Lemons! Come say hi. I love when people say hi. (: I will read every single comment and respond as soon as I can! Which might take a while, because my life is crazy.