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.
*** I received an ARC from Del Rey (Random House) through NetGalley for an honest review. Expected publication date: 1/6/15 ***
HOLY F%CKING HELL, BLOODYDAMN, GORYDAMN and these are just a few of the things that I found myself shouting, mostly in my head, as I read and finally finished this book. If you thought Red Rising was intense, that was just a tease. Golden Son blows it out of the water. It is such a roller coaster of a ride with all the highs and lows that I feel emotionally drained and just need shut myself away from life for a few days to come to terms with it all.
To say that a lot happens in Golden Son is an understatement, from the moment we meet up with Darrow and crew again two years have passed and the games are still on. Darrow is still trying to gain his footing in the world of a Peerless Scarred, he has something of a grasp of all that is going on around him, but there are more pitvipers in The Society than he ever encountered in the mines and not even his skill as the Helldriver can keep him from stumbling on the path as he continues to try and accomplish his goal. But though he stumbles, Darrow has grown up and there is a maturity to him that wasn’t there in Red Rising. Yes, he makes mistakes, rage is his bedmate after all, but he finally gains the clarity of what needs to be done to “Break the chains”, it’s just a question of can he really get it done before someone pulls the rug out from under him. And there are many who are more than willing to do the pulling, because everyone has an agenda and trust, loyalty, honor and friendship are only words that are used as weapons for ones own gain. Some are obvious, but more are so hidden that I am suffering from an extreme case of whiplash at who ends up doing what in this book because there were many that I didn’t see coming, though as I look back I probably should have.
This book is very much an intense journey and the pacing of the book reflects that. At times it moves at a good clip, while others seem to drag just a little but each is necessary to the overall story arc. There are many new characters thrown into the mix, but we also get to catch up with all those we got to know in Red Rising and they help to add to the story and give even more depth to the world that has been built. Even though there were times where I felt that it was just too much to deal with, that the book could have ended earlier, though where it does end is a great freakin’ cliffhanger, I find that I need, not want, NEED to have the final book of the trilogy in my greedy little hands right now because to have to wait for it is just a cruel and unusual punishment.