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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

ARC Review: Golden Son (Red Rising Trilogy, #2) by Pierce Brown

Allow me to borrow that swear word often used in the book and use it in a sentence that will somehow express my feelings for this sequel, which I loved more than I ever did with Red Rising. That was bloodydamn amazing and traumatically painful.

I just suffered full emotional carnage of the worst kind at the hands of this book, and I wouldn't have it any other way. And when I say carnage, it was like I opened a box that held all my emotions and Pierce Brown took everything, the joy, laughter, sadness, pain, surprise and ripped every single one of them into shreds.

Title: Golden Son (Red Rising Trilogy #2) by Pierce Brown
Release Date: January 6th 2015
Published by: Del Rey
Source: Publisher (Thank you, Penguin Random House!)
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository


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 started reading the book partially clueless because I had no idea what has happened in the story. It felt like I was immediately immersed in Darrow's life as a Gold, and I had no idea how to piece the story back together. I abruptly noticed the time skip, and my brain was left questioning what the heck happened in the years that followed that got Darrow to where he was. As soon as I did, I knew I shouldn't have asked that question. Darrow has integrated well in the Gold culture, and if in Red Rising he's on the outside looking in, now he's smack in the middle of court politics, power struggle and a never ending fight for power as a Gold. And boy, was it cut throat, dirty and vicious.

Oh how he almost reached the peak of power, only to fall from grace so low you wouldn't think it was possible for him to rise up again. And rise up he did, but not without incurring losses, betrayals and facing heartbreak countless of times. Reading Golden Son and looking back at Red Rising's story made me feel like the first book was just a very long prequel, and then Pierce Brown threw everything in the reader's way in Golden Son.

Ah, Darrow. What else can I say about this boy? I liked how unconventional he is. In the eyes of everyone he's a hero, but you see more than a handful of moments when he's just like everyone else: a scared boy, unsure, confused, torn between the paths he had to take and burdened by a mission he was having doubts he can fulfill. Rash. Bold. Proud. He makes mistakes and suffers the consequences greatly. He doesn't know how to handle his emotions and relationship with Mustang. He couldn't balance being the leader of a war, still keep friendships intact and look over the people he cared for. Despite all the cruelty he has seen and has suffered in the hands of the people he now fights with, he's still capable of being kind. And no matter how powerful they think he is, he still can't save everyone worth saving. He's perfectly flawed, his journey as well, and I like it that way.

As if the suffering isn't enough with what Darrow has to go through for his vengeance, for war, for freedom, he has finally learned to deal with his feelings. For Victra, for Cassius, for Eo and for Mustang. Mustang. Ah, Mustang. I am starting to think that his story with Virginia is one that will never, ever get a happy ending. It's like one moment they're at the cusp of attaining happiness, only to be separated by circumstances that were bigger than the both of them. And I desperately want Darrow to be happy, and not only because there's a shortage of that particular emotion in this book. Pierce Brown's writing isn't only solid and strong in describing such a rich world, but he's also managed to scratch hearts and illicit raw emotions from his characters, beloved (like Sevro, Quinn and Roque) or not, with all the deaths, losses and goodbyes.

Just like how it was when Red Rising was released early last year, Golden Son has raised the bar very high for sci-fi novels this early in the new year. It will be hard to rival this book in terms of writing style, world building and story telling. Pierce Brown's superb writing has once again been made obvious by crafting another masterpiece that readers will devour in a flash. Golden Son revealed yet another facet in the life of Darrow, a tale of success and ruin amidst betrayals and lies with alliances made and broken, set in a grisly futuristic universe of warfare and politics. Unpredictable, exhilarating and stunning, Golden Son has wonderfully set the stage for the third book in the series by presenting to the readers one hell of a story, leaving them guessing what else is there in store for the third and last book, Morning Star.

It's impossible not to be affected by this book. It's intense, suspenseful, tragic, twisted. I literally broke down in tears from all the tension and stress thrown my way while I was reading this and after I finished. I couldn't take it. I was taken in for such a wonderful but heart wrenching, tiring ride. Bravo, Pearce Brown, you've done it again. And in a grander fashion this time around. Now can you please tell me how do I survive with an obliterated heart, waiting for the next book?

My rating:

Content (plot, story flow, character):

Treat your heart as a sacrifice while you read this book. You will feel the absence of one at the end because of all it has to endure throughout the whole reading experience. I am not exaggerating. Pierce Brown has ruthlessly piled one tension-filled scene on top of another, snatched away well-loved characters, introduced ones that you'll like only to disappear, re-introduced hateful ones, and the readers just had to deal with all of it. Amazing.

Stunning: Worthy of a Goddess' Praise!

Book Cover:
*caresses cover* Hello there, gorgeous!


  1. I don't want to freak you out or anything, but I've been seeing your tweets about Red Rising and you're one of the reasons why I'm excited for this book. I need to read this!

    1. Hi Nikita! Nope, not really freaking out. But yay, you need to read Golden Son because of #feels! Seriously. Good luck with your heart after you finish reading. Hehehehe

  2. The first book left me hanging! And I read a lot of gooooooood reviews about Golden Son and I badly want to read this!


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