*I received a free copy of Golden Son from Del Rey via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *
Warning: This book includes mature content such as: sexual content, and/or drug and/or alcohol use, and/or violence.
Series: Red Rising Trilogy #2
Published by Del Rey on 6 January 2015
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy, Science Fiction
As a Red, Darrow grew up working the mines deep beneath the surface of Mars, enduring backbreaking labor while dreaming of the better future he was building for his descendants. But the Society he faithfully served was built on lies. Darrow’s kind have been betrayed and denied by their elitist masters, the Golds—and their only path to liberation is revolution. And so Darrow sacrifices himself in the name of the greater good for which Eo, his true love and inspiration, laid down her own life. He becomes a Gold, infiltrating their privileged realm so that he can destroy it from within.
A lamb among wolves in a cruel world, Darrow finds friendship, respect, and even love—but also the wrath of powerful rivals. To wage and win the war that will change humankind’s destiny, Darrow must confront the treachery arrayed against him, overcome his all-too-human desire for retribution—and strive not for violent revolt but a hopeful rebirth. Though the road ahead is fraught with danger and deceit, Darrow must choose to follow Eo’s principles of love and justice to free his people.
He must live for more.
I don’t even know where to start! Golden Son is fast-paced awesomeness, danger, brutality, chess-play, intrigues and deadly battles.
My Golden Son review:
Golden Son starts two years after the end of Red Rising, and it’s obvious from the start that much has happened in Darrow’s life in the meantime. The readers are brought into the midst of the action, on a space-ship where there is either a big victory to be won, or a loss so bad it might be impossible to recover from. The pace is more or less at break-neck speed through-out the story, and that really goes well with the plot and the characters and all that’s at stake in Golden Son.
The intrigue in Golden Son is many-fold, there are so many layers of political play, treason, games, and both long and short cons going on. It really isn’t easy for Darrow to trust, and it seems even harder for him in this story. The writing is so beautiful I feel like I have to make sure I’ll do it justice in my review. The story Brown paints is so vivid, colorful and brutal, it’s impossible to not pay attention to the smallest details. The poetry of Darrow is like a strong melody, one that made me feel slightly obsessed for the time it took me to read. And I dreamt of Darrow and his friends when I slept at night, that’s the kind of impact Golden Son had on me.
Darrow has a lot of different things to deal with in Golden Son, he needs to always be the best, he needs to keep his secrets, and at the same time, he really needs to show his friends and allies that he trusts them enough to open up to them. This balancing act, as well as missing his family and feeling a little uncertain about Dancer and the Sons of Ares has Darrow doubting both his mission and his new way of life. Between the highly political aspects of the story, and the bloody battles being fought in several places, I almost felt a little out of breath at times, but I also really needed to know more.
The world-building was already amazing in Red Rising, and Brown expertly used the building blocks to make the whole universe in the series even more realistic and strong. The story is split into parts, and each part has a theme. The writing is so good – quite poetic in places amidst all the brutality of the action – mostly from Darrow’s point of view in first person present tense, and this way, the readers only know what Darrow knows. And the ending, I don’t even have any words to explain that. I simply have no idea how Morning Star will begin. And I’m so sad I have to wait for a whole year before I can find out what will happen next!
Some of my favorite Golden Son quotes:
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. Small order.
I’m still playing games. This is just the deadliest yet.
Were I still the man Eo knew, I would have stood frozen in horror. But that man is gone. I mourn his passing every day.
So many doubts. Is this me being a coward?
We lock eyes. He grins toothily. And I know I’ve made a deal with the devil.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: