Expected Release Date: January 6, 2015
Publisher: Random House
Imprint: Del Rey
Author’s Website: http://www.pierce-brown.com/
My Source for This Book: Amazon Purchase
Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2, Red Rising Trilogy
Series Best Read In Order: YES
Steam Level: Chaste
Pet Peeves: Cliff Hanger Ending
Favorite Tropes: Betrayal, Politics, Epic Action Scenes
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.
As a Red, Darrow grew up working the mines deep beneath the surface of Mars, enduring backbreaking labor while dreaming of the better future he was building for his descendants. But the Society he faithfully served was built on lies. Darrow’s kind have been betrayed and denied by their elitist masters, the Golds—and their only path to liberation is revolution. And so Darrow sacrifices himself in the name of the greater good for which Eo, his true love and inspiration, laid down her own life. He becomes a Gold, infiltrating their privileged realm so that he can destroy it from within.
A lamb among wolves in a cruel world, Darrow finds friendship, respect, and even love—but also the wrath of powerful rivals. To wage and win the war that will change humankind’s destiny, Darrow must confront the treachery arrayed against him, overcome his all-too-human desire for retribution—and strive not for violent revolt but a hopeful rebirth. Though the road ahead is fraught with danger and deceit, Darrow must choose to follow Eo’s principles of love and justice to free his people.
He must live for more.
Usually, when I read a trilogy, I find that the second installment is never quite as good as the first. After all, the second book in a trilogy is intended to further a story that you’re already familiar with, and yet will not have a satisfactory ending.
However, as much as I loved the first book in the series, Red Rising, Golden Son blew it completely out of the water.
One quick note for those unfamiliar with Pierce Brown — this series has to be read in order. Don’t pick up Golden Son until you’ve read Red Rising, because while you should be able to follow along with the basic storyline, you won’t understand the important nuances of the relationships between the large cast of characters.
This book, oh this book. One of the most frustrating things for me as a book reviewer is the fact that the more I love a book, the harder it is for me to put into words just how bloodydamn good it is. This book has me so out of sorts that I’ve had trouble coherently expressing the depths of my love for this series — it’s that good. It has been a long time since I have actually gasped, yelled, cheered and cried at the hands of a book, yet that’s exactly what I found myself doing as I read. The same tight writing style that I came to love in the first book continues on in Golden Son, and there were many times that I literally found myself on the edge of my seat (or throwing myself around dramatically on the couch) as I read due to the big-screen worthy action, or the many unexpected turns that the story took.
Darrow is not perfect, and that’s exactly what I love the most about him. He can be naive, his noble intentions sometimes lead to horrific consequences, and he’s often a victim of his own hubris. More than my love of Darrow, though, is this author’s ability to write such a vast and diverse cast of characters and make them so much more than set dressing. From Darrow’s connections and friendships made in Red Rising to new allies and enemies, by the time you’re done, you feel as if these people are family of sorts.
As for love, there is of course the budding romance carried on from the first book, beautiful because of its flaws rather than its perfection. The romance is very subtle, and not at all the focus of the story, and honestly that’s exactly how it should be for this tale.
This book broke my heart in so many ways. Love, hope, friendship, family, politics, loss, and betrayal are all beautifully interwoven into the story, and every action has a consequence — some of which are truly devastating. It’s hard to ignore some of the societal parallels between the futuristic society that Darrow lives in, and some of the slippery slope policies we have in our world today, and the balance of hope and helplessness, and the very harsh realities of revolution and war took my breath away.
Honestly, the only thing that I didn’t love about this book isn’t even something I truly hated so much as was frustrated by: the cliff-hanger ending. As I was reading the last chapter, I found myself holding my breath, then chanting “No no no no no” as I read, and the cliff-hanger that the author leaves us with this time had me screaming. As most readers are already familiar with this author’s cliff-hanger ending from Red Rising, I won’t spoil it for anyone, but I will say that this cliff-hanger was far more frustrating than the one in the previous book.
My final thoughts on this one are easy to sum up — it was bloodydamn amazing, and after you read it, come find me on Twitter so that we can cry together about the long wait until Morning Star.
A very solid 5/5 Stars