January 6, 2015
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** my review of Red Rising **
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.
If you're worrying that Golden Son cannot possibly be as good as Red Rising, stop worrying right now. I, actually, liked Golden Son quite a bit better.
Now a Gold, Darrow is making a name for himself. Leaving behind his Helldiver life, his Red world he is commanding ships, winning renown - and enemies.
To picture the world of the Red Rising Trilogy, take Ancient Rome, throw in some space ships, space travel and weaponry and just a bit of Game of Thrones.
Society in Darrow's world is still firmly divided, the colors each having their own role, separate and distinct from the others. Now, though, we see more of how the Golds' world works. How they see the Reds (and others), how they treat each other, how their segregated world works.
Darrow has to maneuver the Gold world, keeping his true origins secret while they are still very much a part of who he is.
As the larger plot unfolds, characters we know come back, often in surprising ways. Relationships begun in Red Rising work even better here. Whether it is the friendships (or more) started or enmities established in the first book, they're back and better than ever. Now out in the 'real world' and away from school, the characters and their relationships have grown up. The friendships feel truer, the animosities more perilous. The characters and motives that were unclear before are only murkier before.
The deeper into the story we get, the more we can see how well done the world Pierce Brown created is. The political intricacies, the familial bonds and history, the personal relations, all come together to form full lives for the characters - and more than a little bit of intrigue, drama and danger.
The action and violence of Red Rising are back, as well, with some truly amazing twists and turns.
After the ending of Golden Son and everything that has happened to and between the characters, I am really excited for the conclusion of this trilogy.
received for review from publisher via NetGalley