Review: Golden Son (Red Rising#2) by Pierce Brown

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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.

 

 


thoughts

After finishing Red Rising, I had high expectations for Golden Son. After finishing it I can safely say it was a good read. However it did drag in the beginning for me and suffered slightly from second book syndrome. It was an absolutely necessary transition book to the epicness of Morning Star, but still a bit slow for the first 30% or so. I will admit I had a hard time jumping back into it! The book picks up with Darrow leading a fleet of ships against Karnus au Bellona, Cassius’ brother. The setting, the terminology, the names- it was a lot to take in at once. Once I got used to it, the story picked up quickly.

Darrow is a different character in Golden Son. He hasn’t heard from the Sons of Ares in months, and he loses sight of his mission. How can one person change the fate of an entire world? He also has a hard time letting his friends in which causes him some serious grief later in the book- although you will be relieved to know he does open up to a few!

Once I was fully immersed back in Darrow’s world I was happy to see familiar faces- Roque, Tactus, Cassius, Mustang and Sevro. While not all of them were on Darrow’s side (Cassius is still verrrrry angry if you were wondering), they all have their important parts to play. Also, Sevro is my favorite little Howler in the series. He is as crazy as ever. We are also introduced to some new (and some of my favorite!) characters. Victra, Antonia’s sister, has kind of a tough-love attitude but ends up being a very loyal companion to Darrow. We also meet Ragnar, an Obsidian, who is one of my favorite characters in the series!

I don’t want to speak too much to the plot, but know that it is incredibly intricate, smart and sets the tone nicely for the third book. It is filled with action-packed scenes and clever battle tactics. Darrow also continues to be the luckiest character in the world and he escapes from some pretty ridiculous situations. However, Darrow does face some challenges throughout the story. He finally learns what Eo told her sister before she died, he deals with the weight of his secret as he learns to love some of the Golds as his own family when they were previously the enemy, and he deals with betrayal that hits a little too close to home. Darrow is an extremely complex character and this book really highlights how much he has changed from a quiet, hard-working Red to a Peerless Scarred that wants to change the structure and political climate of his entire world. 

The story itself has a very different feel than Red Rising. Darrow now out in the real world and his actions have direct repercussions on the world he lives in. He also finally learns more about the organization that originally recruited him in the first place, the Sons of Ares. While this story literally has nonstop action, a huge part of this book is Darrow reconciling the mission he thought was important with the one he is now realizing- living in a world where Reds, Golds, Pinks, Obsidians ,etc. can all live together. If you loved Red Rising then you will be excited to continue on this incredibly complex and amazing story with Golden Son. Also, THAT ENDING. I immediately picked up Morning Star and started reading.

While it was a little slow to get started, this is an incredible series and this book on further displays Pierce Brown’s massive talent. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

4/5★

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