With shades of The Hunger Games, Ender’s Game, and Game of Thrones, debut author Pierce Brown’s genre-defying epic Red Rising hit the ground running and wasted no time becoming a sensation.
Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom from the overlords of a brutal elitist future built on lies. Now fully embedded among the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his work to bring down Society from within.
A life-or-death tale of vengeance with an unforgettable hero at its heart, Golden Son guarantees Pierce Brown’s continuing status as one of fiction’s most exciting new voices.
Author: Pierce Brown
Part of a Series: Yes. Red Rising #2.
Release Date: January 6, 2015
Publisher: Del Rey (Penguin Random House)
No. of Pages: 464 pages
Price: None. My copy was sent to me by Twitter’s @RedHelldiver. He was quite generous to send me a signed copy of the book after challenging me to get 10 people read and tweet about Red Rising! Ahh, I am eternally grateful, my goodman!
Genre: Science Fiction, High Fantasy, Dystopian, Adult, Adventure, War, Young Adult
I’ve read Red Rising way back December 2014, and I’ve put off my reading for this series for the sole purpose that I did not want to be left hanging after reading the second book. I (patiently) waited for the third book, Morning Star, to come out before deciding to continue reading the Red Rising trilogy. And, after having been sent a copy of Morning Star by Penguin Random House, I was more than ecstatic to get back on the Darrow train! *choo choo!*
In this exciting second installment of the series, we see Darrow’s rise and fall from grace. We see just how much he keeps on struggling to do what’s right or what’s morally correct in order to see his wife’s dreams through. Our beloved Darrow goes through so much in this book that I, as a reader, could only feel sorrow towards him and his experiences. We see development in terms of not just our characters, but the story and world building as well.
After becoming a Lancer for one of the greatest houses on Mars, Darrow was expected to accomplish great things. His master, Nero au Augustus, along with his Gold friends and allies all were waiting for Darrow’s next move. In this book, we see just how many mistakes Darrow makes in a single move. His decisions and tactics all affected his mission and, more often than not, his performance. Here, we see how Darrow, after years of striving hard in the Institute and the Academy, still struggles in implementing Eo’s dreams. We see just how much he develops into a man brave enough to defy the odds to establish a better world for his people from a scared Red from the first book.
The MC’s despair through out the entire book activates raw emotion from the reader. When you see just how much Darrow regrets making the wrong decisions, you’ll feel sympathetic. You’ll feel for him, knowing just how pure his intentions are, and yet, he ends up doing the wrong things.
But then again, Darrow wasn’t the only character that improved here. We also see more of our favorite bunch: The Howlers, The Sons of Ares, our favorite female lead, Mustang, and so much more. They all got their improvements, and the same time in the spotlight. We see how their bond with one another strengthened through the years, and I, personally, can’t help but fangirl over just how close they’ve become since the first book. Their friendship is actually one of the many reasons why I loved this book. It wasn’t just about the wonderful action story. Not just about the premise. You rarely get to read action and/or fantasy stories that successfully incorporate stories of friendship, and Golden Son did just that. I loved it!
The world building was also impressive. Pierce takes us to different places: Mars. Luna. This, in my opinion, made the story a lot more complex, but also a lot more interesting. It widened the readers horizons, giving them glimpses as to how big Darrow’s world actually is. We get to know more about their social system, and just how much power the Golds wield and how oppressed the other colors are. With this, we see just how much we want Darrow to succeed. He certainly has to live for more and break the chains!
And that ending? Ugh, it makes you want to cringe for dear life. I don’t want to go too much in to detail so as to maintain a spoiler-free review, but all you have to know is I am rooting for Darrow more than expected. He HAS to succeed, overthrow his oppressors, and live the life he and his people deserves. Live for more, Darrow!
As for the negatives, there were quite a few scenes that felt unnecessary to me, which didn’t feel like they contributed a great deal to the story, but all the positives greatly outweigh these negatives. And the pacing, well, it’s understandable that this wasn’t one of the fastest stories out there. The story requires this pacing and it’s okay with me.
Overall, Golden Son was such a gorydamn great book! It prepares the reader for the end, and I feel delighted to have finally read the continuation of Darrow’s story. Let me just take a few moments to breathe, and then I’ll get back to this series after my dreadful internship.
Characters – 5.00
Plot – 4.50
Writing Style – 4.50
Pacing – 3.5.00
Ending – 5.00
TOTAL – 4.5 / 5 Stars
“He always thinks because I’m reading, I’m not doing anything. There is no greater plague to an introvert than the extroverted.”
“Home isn’t where you’re from, it’s where you find light when all grows dark.”
“Friendships take minutes to make, moments to break, years to repair.”“I will die. You will die. We will all die and the universe will carry on without care. All that we have is that shout into the wind – how we live. How we go. And how we stand before we fall.”“Wise men read books about history. Strong men write them.”“Why can we not simply restart the day? Do everything right. Save the ones we love.”
About The Author:
Pierce Brown spent his childhood building forts and setting traps for his cousins in the woods of six states and the deserts of two. Graduating college in 2010, he fancied the idea of continuing his studies at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a magical bone in his body. So while trying to make it as a writer, he worked as a manager of social media at a startup tech company, toiled as a peon on the Disney lot at ABC Studios, did his time as an NBC page, and gave sleep deprivation a new meaning during his stint as an aide on a U.S. Senate Campaign.
Now he lives in Los Angeles, where he scribbles tales of spaceships, wizards, ghouls, and most things old or bizarre.