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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » "So this kid is what? A predestined Alexander? A Caesar? A Genghis? A Wiggin?"

   
Author Topic: "So this kid is what? A predestined Alexander? A Caesar? A Genghis? A Wiggin?"
Shanna
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So I work in a bookstore and I'm trying to commit some extra time to staying on top of upcoming popular teen reads. I grabbed this book for cheap and it took me by surprise when I stumbled onto this line about 270 pages in...

quote:
"So this kid is what? A predestined Alexander? A Caesar? A Genghis? A Wiggin?"
The book is Pierce Brown's "Red Rising" which is the first book in a new series. Its about a teenage boy named Darrow who belongs to a caste of human beings called Reds, the pioneers who mine Mars so that the planet can one day be terraformed to ensure the future of the human race. Its a hard, short, and dangerous life filled with hardship and deadly overseers, but Darrow commits to it entirely because he believes in their work. His wife is not so convinced and is killed for trying to open his eyes to the truth. Her death sends him of a mission of vengeance that proves his wife was right, they aren't pioneers but rather slaves, mining on a planet that has been fully teraformed for the benefit of the wealthy, highColor caste called the Golds.

He is recruited by a group that believes his rage makes him the perfect candidate to infiltrate the violent Golds who govern the planets and control the interstellar armies. What follows is part-Hunger Games, part-Ender's Game as Darrow is presented with a number of tests where even the right choices have terrible consequences.

Its a wonderful book and while it utilizes alot of the elements from other popular teen series, it does so in really imaginative and different ways.

I did take some issue with it being categorized as a "teen series" because of the language and brutal depictions of war, including the prevalence of rape as an act of power (thankfully none of these scenes are graphically described.) The death toll in the book is high it often makes the Hunger Games look tame by comparison.

Going back to my original quote, it was a wonderful surprise to see "Ender's Game" so clearly referenced, as if they exist in the same universe. In the context of the story though, its not clear if they're referring Ender or Peter. Darrow is like Ender in that he's naturally intelligent, but he also has all of Ender's potential for violence and then some.

Unlike many books where morality is rewarded and cruelty punished, "Red Rising" plays with the idea that moral choices can still have terrible consequences and immoral choices can appear the right ones if the ends justify the means. Darrow is a character who struggles with whether its okay to make slaves of slavers, who is repeatedly faced with the decision whether its allowable to sacrifice one to save the many, etc.

ANYWAY...it was a fantastic read and fun surprise quote. Thought OSC fans would find the reference interesting and if anyone reads it, I'd love to hear their opinion.

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stilesbn
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It sounds interesting. I put it in my queue but I probably won't get to it for a while.
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dansigal
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Really enjoyed the book, it's been getting a lot of buzz as the next "big thing" It certainly meets the formula of what most big YA trilogies (though this books is not really YA, it's a bit more sophisticated) are doing...young protagonist, dystopian future where people are split up into castes. But the story itself certainly isn't formuliac.

I also caught the reference when I read it, which was a lot of fun.

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Vasslia Cora
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I really enjoyed it too! I bought it on a whim without seeing anything about so I was pretty upset when I found out it wasn't already an established series, I want the next book dagnabit.
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Shanna
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I thought it was a standalone. I'm glad I'm not stuck waiting a year, but January is still pretty far off. Can't wait to read the fallout of his choice at the end of book one.
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beatnix19
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"I also caught the reference when I read it, which was a lot of fun."

Not to be a jerk or anything, but the word your looking for is allusion, not reference. I teach jr. High reading and never get to use the term outside of class!

And thanks for the heads up on the series. I'm always looking for new books to read through and suggest to students.

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Belle
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Yes, but allusions are in fact a type of reference, are they not? You are, actually, referring to another work. I wouldn't say the use of reference is incorrect, as I would consider allusion and reference to be synonyms. Allusion might be the more accurate word to use in this case, but reference is not technically incorrect, in the opinion of this particular Jr. high literature teacher.

[Smile]

Now, let's discuss whether metonymy and synecdoche can be used interchangeably, or if synecdoche is a type of metonymy. Ready??? Go!!!

[Big Grin] (Not that I teach metonymy to my 6th-8th graders, we do well to grasp the difference between simile and metaphor.)

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Thesifer
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I have two copies of this book (Accidentally got a Second Print somehow) .. And started reading it recently, but then I got drawn into The Stormlight Archives and some Trades I need to catch up on. So it took a back seat for now.
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millernumber1
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Loving the terminology discussion.

Have placed a hold on Red Rising at my library - looking forward to trying it out. Thanks for the recommendation, Shanna!

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fifalove
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(Post Removed by JanitorBlade. Utilitarian Spam.)

[ April 22, 2014, 10:35 AM: Message edited by: JanitorBlade ]

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Mr. Y
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Whistled.
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