TITLE: Golden Son
AUTHOR: Pierce Brown
SERIES: Red Rising (#2)
PUBLISHER: Del Rey
GENRE: Sci-Fi, Dystopia, Young Adult
RATING: 4/5 Stars
As a Red, Darrow grew up working the mines deep beneath the surface of Mars, enduring backbreaking labour 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.
What I Liked:
- As with 'Red Rising', the world-building is just insanely good. Brown has an entire Universe's political hierarchy, social and economic system and historical context mapped out. When building Fantasy or Sci-Fi worlds in particular, it's really important to do that and as a result, the whole book becomes more believable. Brown proves that Sci-Fi isn't just about spouting off technical terms and visiting a couple of planets. There is so much more to consider.
- The characters too were very complex. I remember really liking them all in 'Red Rising' (there is a huge cast so that could be problematic for some people) but Brown does a great job of connecting them all together and giving them each a distinct personality. As it has been a long time since I read this book's predecessor, I did have to remind myself about who a lot of the characters were and what motivated them. Tricky, but not impossible.
- The plot twists in this book were beyond impressive. I was on tenterhooks the entire time! It's a fast-paced book with plenty of actions to be seen along the way: tense conversation, a lie detector test that I held my breath for the entire way through, battles, betrayal and war! There were moments when I thought that the plot was running away with me a bit but it definitely never got boring.
What I Disliked:
- In my review for 'Red Rising' I mentioned that Pierce Brown was a fan of short sentences. He still is. But not only that, he has a flair for the overly dramatic and a tendency to let Darrow's inner monologue repeat itself and ramble on for just a teeny bit too long. Despite all the things I loved I actually found it really hard to get past this which is why I found rating this book so hard and I had to keep putting the book down.
This book was a little bit of a roller-coaster and though I liked so many aspects of it, I'll definitely admit I made a mistake in not reading them more closely together. There are so many characters to remember, so many rules to keep in mind and a lot of context that is essential to know. I felt quite confused at portions of the story because there were things that I couldn't remember that were not explained to me again. Not that I think Brown needs to spoon feed me information repeatedly, but when building a huge universe, remember that readers are human and need a few casual reminders here and there.