The series is filled with so many references that few people can recognize them all on their first read through.
- Beyond specific pop-culture references, the trilogy is filled to the brim with reference to Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology, with a few biblical references thrown in for good measure.
- And that's not even counting the sheer number of references to real-world historical figures or classic works of literature.
- On a more specific note, the first part of Antonia's last name (Gold children born from extramarital affairs are given hyphenated surnames) is Severus.
- On his way to meet Mickey for the first time, Darrow walks past two Greens advertising a VR simulation of Osgiliath
- During the course of his education, Darrow mentions listening to audiobooks of The Great Gatsby, 1984, Lord of the Flies, The Iliad, Ulysses, The Count of Monte Cristo, Metamorphosis, and Anabasis.
- Vlad Dracula gets a mention.
- Upon being told about the ArchGovernor's son, Darrow asks if the Jackal is supposed to be a predestined Alexander, Caesar, Genghis, or Wiggin
- While escaping from Luna, Darrow's response to a Blue telling him their odds of survival is "Never tell me the odds."
- While he and Darrow take The Pax a few chapters later, Darrow says "They can't stop the signal"
- When discissing the potential existence of aliens, Victra refers to a Drake-Roddenberry equation.
- During the Iron Rain, Darrow describes the sight of a Gold shedding their thermal armor as looking like a Miltonian angel.
- At the start of the book, Victra is imprisoned in cell 2187, the same cell number as Princess Leia.
- On page 64:
- When listing the notable creations of Gold technology and Carvers, Quicksilver references Mirkwood
- Ragnar shoots down Cassius and Aja's ship with a Sarissa missile.
- Mustang's flagship is named Dejah Thoris
- After killing a Gold named Felica, Victra remarks "Bye Felicia"
- When Darrow and Victra confront Roque on the bridge of the Colossus, Victra says "You're in a corner, poet," referencing the famous Poet's Corner in Westminster Abbey where most of England's greatest writers are buried.
- "We'll always have Luna."