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 Songuarantees Pierce Brown’s continuing status as one of fiction’s most exciting new voices.
Golden Son, the second novel in the Red Rising Trilogy, picks up 4 years from when we were first introduced to our main character. Told in the first person narrative by Darrow, a Red rebel looking to lead his oppressed people to freedom, Golden Son is a brutal, action packed story that has major body counts, vivid scenes of bloodshed and death, reunions and stunning revelations, betrayals and shocking turn of events.
I dare say that Golden Son, which picks up right where Red Rising left off, pushes the trilogy into a more adult themed area rather than young adult. Perhaps because the trilogy has been compared to Ender's Game where all the main characters are teenagers, readers continue to believe it's still a young adult novel. It's just not true. Perhaps I am wrong in this area, and I accept that. But....
Darrow, his friends, and enemies are now in their early 20's or older. If anything, this would be considered New Adult without all the sexual encounters or tapestry. The theme for Golden Son is just as dark as Red Rising, but without the need for Brown to once again introduce Rape to tell his story. Brown digs deeper into this society and the machinations of those in charge, including our first look at this societies Sovereign who is a real joy to read about (sarcasm), her furies, and her Knights.
Golden Son is much more political and dangerous in nature for everyone involved. Darrow is far from safe. He has enemies who want his head, and his heart on a platter for his actions in Red Rising. His friendships and alliances are tested and found lacking because he is still thinking about revenge rather than using his head to guide his decisions. He also keeps way too much to himself, rather than relying on those who have helped him face death in the face.
If you love a certain characters in this trilogy, I should warn you, without spoilers, that Brown will test your patience and your emotions right up until the very last page which is just a stunning way to end a story. This is not a lovely romantic novel where Darrow finds happiness and settles down and everything is right in the universe.
Darrow tries to remain true to who he is, and not just another psychotic gold tool to be used whenever his master says jump. His actions are sill guided by Eo's desire to see her dream come true and her people free from slavery. But, Darrow is a leader of men and women now, and they stand behind him. Darrow is a character that has some emotions, and not just a robotic machine looking for some payback to those who wronged him. He is pushed to the limits, and then goes a step beyond that point.
If you are looking for friendships to follow, look no further than Darrow, Sevro, and Ragnar who is a wonderful addition to this trilogy. If you are looking for romance, well, I can't say any more other than Mustang and Darrow do share some moments together, but I won't dare go any further than that because in the end, Darrow really is in deep kimchee, and I'm a bit surprised by Mustangs actions. Some of them make sense, others are curious in nature.
In the end, I am eager to find out how Brown wraps up this trilogy so that all questions and situations make sense when I turn to the last page. Again, the ending of Golden Son will leave you stunned to the very core, and demanding more! Pierce expands his universe from Mars, to the moons of Jupiter, and the book is so action packed, that you will need a break or two to take a breath from what is happening.
Author - Pierce Brown
Title - Golden Son (Red Rising Trilogy# 2)
Published by Random House/Del Rey
Release Date: January 6, 2015
Genre: Science Fiction
Format: E-Book, 464 pages