Golden Son by Pierce Brown

Posted On 21 February 2015

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Just finished reading Golden Son by Pierce Brown – which is just so good!!  And, what an ending – a little bit jaw dropping, but enough of that.

Firstly, this isn’t the kind of series that you can jump in and out of – you need to read Red Rising first and you need to be aware of potential spoilers below.  Basically, you need to know the characters, the allegiances and the friendships – not that they won’t continually shift like sand in front of your very eyes but you do need to have a firm grounding at least before the world starts to move beneath your feet.

Now, Golden Son moves us forward a little.  Darrow, now completely in favour thanks to his exploits in Red Rising, is being given the chance to prove himself in war.  Battling it out amongst the stars.

To be frank, I’m simply not going to go into the plot at all and that may seem like a bit of a cop out but this is such an intriguing book with so many chops and changes that to elaborate would be to spoil.  Basically there is a LOT of action, a LOT of clever ‘big picture’ tactics and a lot of betrayals! Not to mention some heartache.

So, to the characters.  Darrow is as much a maniac as he was in the first book.  He certainly isn’t a stranger to fear but his fear doesn’t rule him and he rushes into the fray completely regardless of his own safety.  Frequently he becomes involved in situations where there seems to be no chance of success or even survival and yet he not only escapes or survives but frequently excels.  What I would also point out about Darrow is he’s very conflicted.  He loved Eo and yet he now loves Mustang for which he feels guilt.  He was born a Red and yet he excels as a Gold, in fact you could be forgiven for thinking that he’s more Gold than most!  He is basically a man who is desperate to stop living a lie and yet revealing the truth could be fatal for him and the cause he works for.  He’s still surrounded by his close pack of friends and he also makes a strange alliance where least expected.  The strange thing with Darrow is that he isn’t a stupid character at all and yet he seems sometimes to be unable to see the plain truth in front of him – in fact I would say that’s probably my only criticism – he doesn’t appear to be able to see when he’s making enemies even though it appears to be perfectly obvious to others.  Maybe his inability to see when he’s making mistakes is what makes him such a great character.  On top of which he constantly questions things and certainly suffers from self doubt and the whole revenge itinerary that he started out with has become greatly muddied by the fact that he’s made friends with his enemies – it seems after all that maybe not all the Golds are bad after all!

There is obviously the inclusion of characters from the first book although the author is quite ruthless at ‘erasing’ characters. Mustang, Roque and the Howlers and on top of that we have some new additions – I particularly liked Ragnar.

As I said I’m not going to go into the plot as it would totally spoil so much of the surprise that awaits.

The setting was a surprise here – where the first book felt almost mediaeval with it’s battles to the death played out in a warfare type world with castles and forests and ponies this book is practically majestic in scope and planted more firmly in the sci-fi world with spaceships, sophisticated armour and weapons, grav boots and defence shields.  Not everything takes place in the stars of course but this was a surprise for me and I confess very well done.

This is an incredibly fast paced and emotional ride that will take you up high before crashing down low at great speed.  It’s very clever, in fact the way the plot twists and turns is really quite fascinating and even when there are snippets that you might predict they’re usually only a small piece of a much bigger puzzle.

And the other thing that I really like about this book is the whole concept behind the perfect civilisation.  All the colours being born into their particular livelihood with no movement between ever being allowed.  Such a strange regimented world with Darrow being the perfect example of how it doesn’t work – he really does excel more as a Gold than most born into such positions.  It takes the whole notion of survival of the fittest to a new level and is a great theme to explore.  Brown writes with a lot of classical ideas often quoting latin and the like and the concept of the colours seems almost to be based on Plato’s idea for a just city – although that never really quite worked out either.  Basically human nature will interfere with the best laid plans.

A very gripping read.  Emotional.  A bit of a roller coaster and with an ending that, whilst predictable to some extents, was jaw dropping in the extreme in others.

I await the final instalment eagerly – particularly as this book didn’t come to a nice satisfactory conclusion!

I received a copy of this book through the publishers via Bookbridgr for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

15 Responses to “Golden Son by Pierce Brown”

  1. Tammy

    Yes, I agree with everything! This definitely had a different feel to it, being set mostly in space, but I really enjoyed that change. And all the twists! One minute you think you know what is going to happen, and the next he pulls the rug out from under you. Just brilliant! I can’t wait for Morning Star!

    • lynnsbooks

      I thought the change was an absolutely brilliant idea – it just keeps you on your toes. And I love the unpredictability of the series so far (I’m sure I read that Pierce Brown was in politics in some way – and it shows with his writing!!
      Lynn 😀

  2. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Yes, a roller coaster ride! My emotions were played to their limits in this book, the ending made me want to punch Pierce Brown in the face and hug him at the same time, it was just that CRAZY!

    • lynnsbooks

      Hahah, punch him in the face – I could definitely go with that emotion at certain points but, yeah, also hug him. If anything I’d say Golden Son was even better than Red Rising – so convoluted and twisty turny!
      Lynn 😀

  3. DJ_Escapes

    When it comes to sequels in a series, I really don’t mind the plot being left out in a review. Weather or not I liked the previous book in the series is going to determine if I continue reading on more anything. Plus, if I haven’t read the series so far (like Red Rising), plot explanation usually just equals more spoilers.
    So when I read these I just look to see if the reviewer thought it was good as the previous and how much they enjoyed it. Going off of you reaction, this series is now firmly set as a series I must read!

    • lynnsbooks

      The worst spoiler I’ve ever seen was for book 2 of the Mistborn books. I’d read the first and actually just looked at a synopsis of the second – talk about spoilers – I was gutted!
      I’m really enjoying this series tbh. There are a lot of comparisons with The Hunger Games and whilst I can see the angle they’re coming from I really don’t agree with them – in fact I think I’m enjoying this series more!
      Lynn 😀

      • DJ_Escapes

        I hate it when that happens! And unless you willing to wait years to read that book, the spoiler is stuck in your head.

      • lynnsbooks

        I was gutted – it was a REALLY BIT spoiler!
        Lynn 😀

  4. jenclair

    OK–you’ve hooked me with this review. I’ll look for Red Rising!

  5. Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    Ahh! This book was insane, like you said it was emotional and a roller coaster and SOO EXCITING!. And the ending!! Agghhhh!!! Need. Book. Three.

    • lynnsbooks

      REALLY NEED BOOK THREE! Patience is greatly over rated. I want the book NOW.
      Lynn 😀

  6. Sunday Summary | Lynn's Book Blog

    […] Golden Son by Pierce Brown, No.2 in the series and so bloody good. Review of Red Rising here. […]

  7. Don’t quote me, but, I love quotes!!… | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] sunt leones. Here be lions.’ The Golden Son by Pierce […]

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