Why I chose this book:
After devouring Red Rising, the first book in this trilogy, I became an instant, and rather rabid, fanatic. So, when the lovely and gracious Amanda dangled before me the idea of an ARC to review, I could hardly keep my giddy joy at bay.
Golden Son by Pierce Brown
Publisher: Del Ray (Random House)
Publish Date: January 6th, 2015
Genre: Adult, Young Adult, Science Fiction
Synopsis: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 Songuarantees Pierce Brown’s continuing status as one of fiction’s most exciting new voices. (Goodreads)
The relationships Darrow forged in Red Rising, along with his new allies in Golden Son, only get more precarious as he treads a fine line—pushing them away, asking for their loyalty, being a fearless leader. Even while intending to topple the Society the Golds uphold, Darrow fights with friendship and the notion of humanity. Are the Golds less human than the rest of the Colors? Are they more? Or have they simply been raised to believe in cruelty and hierarchy? If so, can he reverse what they are and make them see equality among the Colors? With so much inner turmoil, it is hard for Darrow to decipher exactly who his friends are, especially when they are so adept at switching loyalties—a side effect of being a Gold, or of being raised as a Gold?
Enter Mustang. The strong, clever, and utterly badass girl Darrow cavorted with at the Institute. She is fair and political and, oh yeah, GOLD. You could call this a love triangle, but, well, Darrow’s wife is dead, so. . . THAT ONLY MAKES IT BETTER. Okay, sadder. Gone is the pining of your typical doughy-eyed school girl caught in a triangle. Darrow loved a girl who loved a revolution, and now he has a heart divided.
This book wrestles with a lot of gray-area issues, one of them being the cost of a rebel uprising. Darrow faces two sides of the Sons of Ares, divided by how they will bring about a revolution: by mass casualties, or by decisive action. If the end result is the same, does it matter how it is achieved?
Add remainder of inner turmoil, let boil for 300+ pages, or until ready to explode.
What I Adored:
DARROW. I dare you not to love him. This guy is a conquerer, Alexander the Great incarnate—a charismatic, unstoppable war machine with a head for strategy. A clever scholar with endless ingenuity. A human being capable of pride and plagued by grief. At heart, he’s a lost boy, fighting a revolution he inherited from the woman he loved. And hope just may be his fatal flaw.
Oh, also, plot twist. After plot twist. After heart-wrenching plot twist and reveals worth buckets of feels. And then, THAT ENDING—well, spoilers, Sweetie.
Seeing the most vague synopsis, I wasn’t sure what this book would hold, and I couldn’t fathom how it could manage to top Red Rising. I am here to tell you, ladies and gentlemen, it does that and more. I suffered serious bouts of emotional devastation on several occasions while reading. I cheered, I cried, I shut my Kindle cover in frustration. I only hate that I will have to wait a year for the final book!
**Caveat for the Squeamish:
Once again, this book is not for the faint of heart. And, once again, it’s bloodydamn worth it. Like its predecessor, this book contains gratuitous violence. Unlike its predecessor, the results of much of this violence are not so readily seen. Hundreds, sometimes thousands of lives weight the decisions of war that Darrow must make. Not to worry! Morality and the terrifyingly easy way in which a war depletes life are both major themes, enriching the crazy-awesome turns of plot.
I gave this book five stars on Goodreads.