(Red Rising #2)
by Pierce Brown
Genre: science fiction, dystopia, fantasy
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.
The second part of the series is just as fantastic as the first one, but the stakes are much, much higher. I was thrown by just how important his every action suddenly is. You think his time in the arena was harrowing? That was truly kids’ stuff. Now he’s moving and commanding actual war ships, sticking close to his allies from the arena. The world-building moves to another level completely and if the first book did not get you hooked this one surely will. It’s a perfect sci-fi fest spiced up with Roman politics.
“They say a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. They made no mention of the heart.”
Mars retains its central position but the war everyone is murmuring about in the first book has started. Events spiral out of control almost immediately and its one close call after another. Darrow has his hands so full he begins to drop a lot of the juggling balls he’s had control over in the past. I was enthusiastic about the way the author let past events and grudges affect the present. There’s serious consequences to all the things that had happened and even if you can see something bad is coming, you have no idea just when and how or in what way it will hit our protagonists. The amount of back-stabbing reaches Caesar’s levels.
“Friendships take minutes to make, moments to break, years to repair.”
If this book ever gets a movie adaptation, you’ll be tempted to watch it through the cracks between your fingers. I was just tapping my e-reader like a mad woman. Yeah, it’s one scary and thrilling read and a total page-turner. I can’t even imagine what will happen in the last book because the level of destruction we have here… I have no idea how the author will untangled the deadly web he created here and thereby utterly crushed the hearts of his readers.
Every character we meet again has his or her own ideas, agendas, and alliances and that makes their decisions hard to predict because you never know just how much of their loyalty is to Darrow and his rebellion. That is very clear to readers and Darrows’ allies but not to him – he’s too torn between his old life and love and the new reality of his life. His upbringing among the community and cooperation-oriented Reds makes him put more stock into friendship than is wise in the Gold cut-throat society. Golds are vicious and what the adults do to each other when they clash will make your stomach turn. No grudge or advantage is ever forgotten.
“For seven hundred years, my people have been enslaved without voice, without hope. Now I am their sword. And I do not forgive. I do not forget. So let him lead me onto his shuttle. Let him think he owns me. Let him welcome me into his house, so I might burn it down.”
The other thing that is so great about the book is the focus on other colours and their own desire for more freedom and actual recognition of their importance in the society. Darrow has an edge in the game because he knows how to make allies with these people, the only problem is that the Golds don’t understand or like this outlook. They’re raised to feel superior to everyone and we all know how hard it is to change such people. You’ll find your own favourites among other colours but there will also be Golds that will blow your mind. Be prepared for many surprises and revelations.
“You’re a sinister little shit, aren’t you?” Victra asks.
“I’m Gold, bitch. What’d you expect? Warm milk and cookies just because I’m pocket sized?”
I also must point out female characters – we get some new and fascinating women to fangirl about. And my crush on Sevro has only strengthened while my issues with Darrow grew throughout the book. You’ll be tempted to shout at him at certain points or just groan because you know he really has no choice between a bad and a worse situation. That’s why it makes this such a fascinating read and why I was so engrossed to the point of ignoring everything else in my life. I even had no desire to eat – I had to finish the next chapter now.
The ending of this book though…. OMG! It is an unfairly cruel cliff-hanger so I hope you’ll postpone your reading of this book until you’ll be able to reach for the last book. I know I was going out of my mind at that point. It was just a long chant of NOOO.
I can’t wait for the last book!
“He always thinks because I’m reading, I’m not doing anything. There is no greater plague to an introvert than the extroverted.”