Golden Son (Red Rising #2) by Pierce Brown
Published: January 8th 2015 by Hodder & Stoughton
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: 5/5 stars
I won’t provide a synopsis, as this is the second book in the series. If you want to have a look at what this series is about, you can check out:
My review will be spoiler free, even if you haven’t read the first book.
I put off reading this book for almost a year, a decision I’ve come to regret. I actually read Red Rising in March of 2017, and absolutely loved it. I didn’t own the sequel then, so I decided to wait a bit before continuing the series. Last summer, I found copies of Golden Son and Morning Star in a book deal, making them about £3.5 each. I couldn’t resist getting them! Yet somehow, it still took me 6 months to finally pick it up. I should’ve done it sooner, because this blew my mind.
Let’s talk about what I liked first, shall we?
I mentioned in my review of the first one that this series manages to truly convey a rebellion to me. I’ve read a lot of dystopian books about rebellions, but this series actually makes me feel like I’m at the heart of the rebellion. It’s quite fast-paced, and so many things are happening. Schemes, enemies and allies, betrayal, friendship, losing hope… It’s all in here. There was really never a dull moment here. I personally love to read about both battle and fight scenes, and the more political side of ruling the world. This book definitely has both!
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.
So many plans go wrong, and there isn’t one magical way to fix the world. It’s more of a grey area. The rebellion will cost so many lives. But is it not worth it, to free the billions of people who are oppressed?
I can’t really say much about characters or plot, because I truly don’t want to spoil anything for you. It’s safe to say that the Howlers are my favorite people in this series though. They’re so precious, and I want to protect them.
Darrow is truly growing on me too. I already found him intriguing in the first book, but this one made me feel proud of him. He’s learning to open up and trust others, which makes my heart happy. But at the same time, he’s still calculating and smart. He has a job to do, and doesn’t lose sight of it.
He’d have me win for him, but I’d win for the Red girl with a dream bigger than she ever could be. I’d win so that he dies, and her message burns across the ages.
I also like the fact that he’s not blindly accepting orders. He’s using his own judgement too, to determine what the right path is for him.
There were quite a few moments in this book that left me speechless. Left me wanting to scream, “I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING,” at the book. Certain reveals took me completely by surprise, as I would not have guessed correctly at all. And can we talk about that ending?? What???
Something interesting I noticed while reading this is that Pierce Brown has the habit of using really short sentences when building tension. When Darrow feels extreme emotion or something is about to happen, the sentences become shorter. I really liked that!
Eo would say this is the hell they’ve built their heaven upon.
As always, there were a few things I wasn’t a big fan of too.
There’s quite a time jump in the beginning of the book. I think there’s a gap of about 2 years between the end of Red Rising and the start of Golden Son. I found that rather confusing, as it took me a while to figure out we took such a jump in time.
Because so much happens in this book, it can be a tad overwhelming at times. I took my time reading this to make sure everything could sink in.
Although it is addressed later on, I don’t like the fact that some characters use terms such as ‘whore’ to insult women in this novel.
My last small complaint is that I don’t have a clear overview of the solar system in my mind, which sometimes makes it hard to follow the story. Like, where are the characters? Which planet or moon are we on, and how is it situated with regards to Mars? My copy didn’t have a solar system map in it, so I found that kind of disappointing. My copy of the third book does though!
All in all, this was an incredible read. I love the characters, the plot twists took me completely by surprise and the ending left me speechless. I can’t wait to read the third book, Morning Star, soon. Have you read Red Rising or Golden Son? What did you think of them?