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

Golden Son (Red Rising #2)
by Pierce Brown

Summary: 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.

Source: I purchased a Kindle copy.

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Golden Son was absolutely amazing.

I thought things might be easy for Darrow after the Institute, but that was far from the case. Essentially, after Red Rising, he rose and was a Peerless Scarred, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t faced with tons of tough choices. I wondered what would come next. Would there be new orders from the Sons of Ares? Would Darrow have to prove himself more? What would happen if the orders from the Sons of Ares conflicted with his feelings?

My favorite thing about this series is how complex it is. So many.. too many.. dystopian novels take a simplistic route and only focus on one major aspect of the societal structure, conflict, or relationship. As a lover of dystopian fiction, I crave the stories that explore more than one aspect. It’s not just about creating a rebellion, pointing out what’s wrong with the society, or having a badass main character. You have to look at how people think, how they react, where the weak spots are, what the true problems are, and how to achieve a successful revolution without failing. Most books that contain rebellion in the fact of an unfair government don’t explore the what if situations. Everything works out seamlessly for them. But the Red Rising series really does a great job of touching on just about every aspect of the general conflict and all of the tiny conflicts within.

The other thing I love about Golden Son is how Darrow is amazing and intelligent and super badass, but he also has a ton of flaws. Some of those flaws became huge problems that he had to deal with, learn from, and work around. Much like in Red Rising, when he lost his place at the top in the Institute, he had to think about how to win back power and trust at the same time, which is very difficult. And once you have the power and trust, how do  you keep it? How do you refrain from alienating people who put all of their trust in you when you are bombarded by your own secrets?

I absolutely love this series and Golden Son was a great sequel that didn’t disappoint, even when I was scared it wouldn’t live up for the first book. I’m anxious to read the next book and I’m even a little sad I read it so quickly and have such a long wait for the next book. I am almost heartbroken after reading Golden Son and I have so many questions. I just want to scream because I need more! The ending was just.. wow. I can’t discuss without insane spoilers, but wow.

Golden Son and the Red Rising series is complex, genius, full of adventure, strategic, enjoyable, well written, and emotional in many places. I felt like I got a lot more of Darrow’s internal struggle and grief in this sequel and it really tugged at my heartstrings whenever he was faced with a tough choice, a surprising revelation, or when he was knocked down by his enemies.

I highly recommend the series. It’s only January, but I’m betting Golden Son and Red Rising will be some of the best books I’ll read all year. I am forced to read light and completely unrelated fiction in order to not have a book hangover because anything in a similar genre will probably not live up to these books!

If you are a fan of dystopian fiction, science fiction, war/military fiction, strategy, and/or Greco-Roman mythology, Red Rising and Golden Son are MUST READS. The Red Rising series is perfect for people who have read The Hunger Games and similar stories and can’t help but feel like everything is too easy, predictable, or light because they don’t explore enough or aren’t realistic or violent or hard enough. I still enjoy those types of books, but there’s no question that Red Rising and Golden Son sated my curiosity and feels like a dystopian story that FINALLY does what they all should do.


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