Golden Son (Red Rising #2) by Pierce Brown (2015)
Fiction | Sci-Fi | Dystopia
“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.”
Book One: RED RISING
pooled ink Review:
Pierce Brown’s sci-fi saga is just as thrilling as ever. All the characters I hated to love and loved to hate were back in full form, new characters were thrust into the volatile mix, and as Darrow continues to rise for the Reds I’m left slack-jawed at the cleverness and audacity of each twist and turn.
Sevro is still my favorite because he’s awesome and just became more so with this book. I also really love the honest turmoil and complexity within Darrow. He’s a Red disguised as a Gold, he has Red ideals and family but has unexpectedly made Gold friends who often are his new family. He came into this saga’s plot with a narrow view and a singular goal but with every chapter his view expands and his goal gets ever more complicated and conflicting. Sacrifice has always been required and paid, but the deeper he gets the more it is called for.
I loved having all the crazy Howlers back and getting to know some new characters who join Darrow’s crew, but it’s not all fun fuzzy reunions. Brace yourself for betrayal because when everyone is out for their selves then you can never trust who is truly loyal and who is simply playing the game. Remember, Darrow isn’t the only one who can lie, in fact amongst Golds it’s practically an art form. And while Darrow’s honorable heart is his strength, it is also a blatant weakness he must work hard to protect.
Oh, another warning, get attached if you must but remember that this is war and in war all things die. We learned this brutally in Red Rising but it doesn’t end there, the playing field just gets a bit bigger.
Seriously, this book will take you for a ride! SO many twists and turns and shifts and changes! No character is set in stone. None. And it all works seamlessly to keep you on your toes never knowing quite who or what to root for. This was definitely a fantastic sequel that took everything great about Red Rising and simply expanded it into deeper waters.
(Okay, now here comes the awkward confession)
However while I definitely appreciate how fantastic this book was, especially as a sequel (because sequels tend to suffer for whatever reason) I admit I struggled to really fall into it the way I did with Red Rising. The first book had me captivated even if I did feel that it moved rather slowly until Darrow arrived at the Institute, but this book…while every scene was active and thrilling, at times I still struggled to keep my hand from reaching for the TV remote.
Sometimes I’d be sprawled on the couch thinking I’d been reading for hours and hours only to find that a mere single hour had passed and I’d made hardly any discernable headway in the book. That whole effect, feeling like you’re racing ahead only to find that you’ve barely moved at all, like running in a swimming pool, is not a feeling I’m fond of. It was so good and action packed and yet there was so much going on that I felt exhausted when I’d really only read maybe 50 pages. So while yes this book is epic, I sometimes struggled to get through it. At one point I even set it aside to read a YA Fantasy just for a change of setting and pace.
It honestly feels blasphemous to say that I struggled with this book but I can’t change how I honestly felt. Well, actually, I shouldn’t use the word “struggled” because it’s not quite accurate. I loved this book, but I was also exhausted by it. Does that make any sense? But don’t get disappointed! Like I said this really was an epic book, maybe my body and brain just didn’t have the energy levels needed when I decided to finally read it. Maybe if I’d read it a different week or month I would’ve flown through it with nonstop exhilaration! Ya never know.
Regardless! This was still a well-written sci-fi indeed.
Golden Son follows its predecessor into a dramatic build that will have the trilogy’s conclusion stealing all breath and thought. Epic, cunning, and a declaration that will alter everything to come, Darrow takes his mission into the heart of society and detonates. If you enjoy science fiction that spins ploys like a ballad, war like poetry, and loyalty like a wolf amongst men, then you need to enter the world of the Red Rising saga.
Purchase here: Golden Son
Check out the rest of the series: Red Rising (book 1)