By Pierce Brown
Series: Red Rising, Book 2
My Rating: 5 Stars
I was lucky enough to get my hands on the prepub of this highly anticipated sequel by Pierce Brown. When I first saw it become available on NetGalley, I’ll admit I jumped for joy, cheered to the walls in my office at work, and then proceeded to send out about a dozen text messages to friends and family that would be jealous I potentially had access to this book before anyone else. Some of those people hadn’t read the book but I knew they would be excited because they had certainly heard me spending the last year singing praise for Red Rising. When I was approved, words simply can’t describe my excitement. Lucky for me I was about to head off on three weeks of vacation to snowy Alaska, where I planned to do nothing but sit with endless amounts of chai, a big, soft, cushy blanket and my Nook. The first book I planned to read was this book. Yay!!!!!! So, I’d like to thank Pierce Brown for making this available to his readers ahead of the pub date, to NetGalley for providing it to me and to Del Ray (Random House) for approving my request for this book. I know this book wasn’t officially released until January 6, 2015, but since I technically read it in 2014, I went ahead and listed it as one of my top picks for 2014. One of the other two fiction books being the first book in this series, Red Rising, obviously. Congratulations Mr. Brown, you made my list twice this year. I fully anticipate the concluding book to make the list next year (I hope) and for the series as a whole to be my top series pick that year as well.
Darrow has fully immersed himself and infiltrated the Gold class. Though he has not had contact with his fellow resistance fighters he moves forward with the plan hoping they are still out there somewhere and will find him and provide him the next steps to the plan. But Darrow’s security in the Gold class isn’t guaranteed. There are those who don’t want him to succeed and he’s made enemies. Enemies that will do everything they can to destroy Darrow and all that he has worked so hard to achieve. Darrow knows the dangers of his progression and advancement but he’s determined to destroy the Gold class from the inside and to do that he must push forward despite the dangers, despite his friends, despite all that he stands to lose; including himself.
Yeah, I loved this book. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this book may actually be better than the first. And Red Rising was an amazingly awesome book. This book rocked at levels that are hard to achieve. That’s quite a feat considering it’s a second book in a series. Like movie sequels, middle books in a trilogy are often packed full of introspection, character development and possibly even plot filler but often very little action. Not Golden Son. I’m going to go out on a limb and say this book had more action than Red Rising. And who doesn’t want more action? Actually, this book had almost too much action. Let’s just say it’s a good thing my mother had to work and I was home alone while I read the majority of this book because I couldn’t stop yelling out and jumping out of my seat whilst reading. By the end, I felt like I’d run a marathon. IT WAS INSANE!!!!!
I have to say that Darrow is one of my all-time favorite characters ever. He’s tormented, played with, betrayed, loved, hated and trusted throughout the course of the first two books. And often he gets treated all these different ways by each character he meets. It’s no wonder he can’t truly trust anyone. He’s a toy in a game that is so much bigger than him, and he’s trying to win the game by just knowing some of the rules and some of the plays. He’s clearly at a disadvantage being an impostor in a world that is vastly bigger than he ever imagined. He’s trying to out smart those that have had years to learn the system and he has to always be on his toes if he’s going to win. It’s truly fascinating to watch him stumble, fall and get back up and push forward. And I’m more curious now having finished Golden Son than I was at the end of Red Rising of what is going to happen to him. The cliff hanger endings of this series are absolutely nail-biting. It’s the cruelest form of torture for a reader. Thanks alot Mr. Brown!!
But what really impressed me with this book was the impending sense of doom throughout this entire book. Red Rising ends and you can’t help but think, “Oh Yeah, Darrow is in now. He’s getting his revenge. Those Golds are going to die. Yeah!!!!” Yeah…not so much. Golden Son is so much more than that. If you look closely at the characters within the book, you have to wonder who exactly the Golden Son is. Is it Darrow? You’d think that’s what Brown is referring too. But maybe it’s one of the other sons presented in the book. Aren’t they all Golden Sons in their own way? Don’t they all strive to be considered and referred to ask that? Don’t they all present some sort of valor and devotion to their families and friends? Don’t they all strive to be the one who stands out? With the turn of each page you can’t help but watch as all of these sons converge to an epic conclusion that’s sure to bring their whole world to a crashing halt. At least that’s where I think this series is going. Is that where this series is going Mr. Brown? You’ve kept me on the edge of my seat for so long….sigh…I suppose I’m going to have to wait until Morning Star comes out in 2016.
So, in conclusion, this book was awesome, amazing, mind-blowing, heart-racing, epic, devastatingly suspenseful. You won’t be able to put it down. And when you are finished you aren’t going to be able to wait for the third book. This is one of the best new series to come along and if you haven’t read it yet you are truly missing out. Go and get them now. Don’t walk; run. Run now. Run faster. Cheers!