January 6, 2015

Review: Golden Son

Golden Son Book two of the Red Rising trilogy
By Pierce Brown
Available now from Del Rey (Penguin Random House)
Review copy
Read my review of Red Rising

GOLDEN SON starts several years after RED RISING.  Darrow is about to graduate the Academy, command his own fleet, and aid the Sons of Ares right under the nose of the ArchGovernor of Mars.  Unfortunately, his plan goes awry and he must scramble to stay one step ahead of his enemies if he wants to stay alive.

GOLDEN SON is an action-packed book that will thrill fans of RED RISING who have been eagerly awaiting Darrow's next adventure. Those who haven't read RED RISING will likely be very, very confused.  There are a variety of intricate alliances and the book makes no effort to catch readers up on what has happened before.  GOLDEN SON expects you to have a good memory.

Now, it wasn't a perfect book.  There's a lag in the middle, and Darrow continually makes surprisingly stupid decisions.  He's amazing at tactics, great at strategy, and yet he often misses the obvious or puts off doing things he knows he must do.  I forgive some of those mistakes because he is only twenty, but at the same time, this is what he's trained to do and is suppose to be a genius at.  To be fair, I mostly noticed these issues after finishing the novel.  I was too busy flipping pages to find out what happened next while reading.

I love how much happens in GOLDEN SON.  It isn't just war.  It's evaluating what you're fighting for, and how you're going to do it so that you can look at yourself in the mirror.  It's about finding the humanity in people who aren't like you, and reaching out to the best in people instead of encouraging their worst.  For a dark, grim series, there's a truly optimistic core.

I do warn you that there is quite the cliffhanger.  If you aren't a fan of cliffhangers, you might wait until the final book of the trilogy comes out next year.  Things look grim for Darrow and his allies, but I have hope that red will rise in the end.

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