- Series: Red Rising Series (Book 2)
- Paperback: 464 pages
- Publisher: Del Rey; Reprint edition (July 7, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0345539834
- ISBN-13: 978-0345539830
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2,120 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,225 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Golden Son: Book 2 of the Red Rising Saga (Red Rising Series) Paperback – July 7, 2015
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An Amazon Best Book of the Month, January 2015: One of the pleasures of author Pierce Brown’s world building is the juxtaposition of the primitive and high-tech: blood feuds fought with complex weaponry, a game of truth mediated by lie-detecting scorpions, and, of course, an antiquated class system in a world where carvers can make a Red into a Gold. In Golden Son there is no shortage of deception or heroics and the action never wanes. There is no second book slump here, instead Brown amps up the tension by putting Darrow into ever greater physical and emotional conflict. Just like Red Rising, the first book in Brown's series, the end of Golden Son has me counting the days until the next (and final) book is released. --Seira Wilson--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Praise for Golden Son
“Gripping . . . Both author and lead character have cranked up the emotional stakes. . . . With Golden Son, [Pierce] Brown avoids the sophomore slump, charging the novel with the kind of dystopia-toppling action you’d expect in a trilogy ender, not a middle volume. On virtually every level, this is a sequel that hates sequels—a perfect fit for a hero who already defies the tropes. [Grade:] A”—Entertainment Weekly
“Stirring . . . Comparisons to The Hunger Games and Game of Thrones series are inevitable, for this tale has elements of both.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Brown writes layered, flawed characters . . . but plot is his most breathtaking strength. . . . Every action seems to flow into the next.”—NPR
“It’s a far superior sequel, in fact: one of the rare breed of reads that improves upon its predecessor in every conceivable category. . . . In a word, Golden Son is stunning. Never mind how little we’ve seen of 2015: Among science fiction fans, it should be a shoo-in for book of the year.”—Tor.com
“Pierce Brown is a prodigy. As great as the first book of the Red Rising Trilogy is, Golden Son is even better. A wild ride full of suspense, intrigue, and serious ass-kicking bravado, it’s expertly written and emotionally engaging, with top-notch universe-building that begs for further exploration. I want more!”—Christopher Golden, New York Times bestselling author of Snowblind
“The stakes are even higher than they were in Red Rising, and the twists and turns of the story are every bit as exciting. The jaw-dropper of an ending will leave readers hungry for the conclusion to Brown’s wholly original, completely thrilling saga.”—Booklist (starred review)
“Dramatic . . . the rare middle book that loses almost no momentum as it sets up the final installment.”—Publishers Weekly
Praise for Pierce Brown’s Red Rising
“[A] spectacular adventure . . . one heart-pounding ride . . . Pierce Brown’s dizzyingly good debut novel evokes The Hunger Games, Lord of the Flies, and Ender’s Game. . . . [Red Rising] has everything it needs to become meteoric.”—Entertainment Weekly
“[A] top-notch debut novel . . . Red Rising ascends above a crowded dystopian field.”—USA Today
“Compulsively readable and exceedingly entertaining . . . [a] must for both fans of classic sci-fi and fervent followers of new school dystopian epics.”—Examiner.com
“A story of vengeance, warfare and the quest for power . . . reminiscent of The Hunger Games and Game of Thrones.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Fast-paced, gripping, well-written—the sort of book you cannot put down.”—Terry Brooks, New York Times bestselling author of The Sword of Shannara
“Pierce Brown has done an astounding job at delivering a powerful piece of literature that will definitely make a mark in the minds of readers.”—The Huffington Post
From the Hardcover edition.
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Top customer reviews
The series strikes at the fundamental core of our American independence - free will. Many stories have been told of dystopic societies that paint a worrisome future for us if we "continue down the path we're on." Most of them have oppressive regimes that all feel they are doing what is necessary to keep the peace. Look to Star Wars and The Hunger Games, to name just a few. These stories take our fundamental desire for free will and suppress it in a structure that appeals to the reader on a visceral level.
Brown does a remarkable job of playing with the reader's emotions, to the point where one takes personal offense at the content of the story. This draws the reader in and attaches themselves to the fate of the characters, willing the characters to make the right choices and make the same decisions the reader would make. You're all but cheering along with the victories, and weeping with the tragedies.
The world Brown has built is rich and expansive. Not just the planetary scale of characters, but the depth with which the society has been carefully constructed to serve the story and reflect history. There's enough for everyone to relate to from a historical perspective, and yet it's easy to become lost in the overwhelming "now" of the narrative.
Golden Son is as amazing as Red Rising; the story is relentless and engaging, if not a bit predictable. Just a bit, though. There are patterns that must be followed of course, but you'll still enjoy the ride the entire time.
+ Continues the overarching themes and ideas from the first book. Generally speaking, if you like the first one you should like this one. The book has enough negatives that it should be 3stars... but it reads sooo good that I cant do it.
+/- Slightly more political then the first book.
- The main issue in the book is the time-lapse. It is handled extremely poorly. It almost seems like I missed a 1.5 novel. Darrow has established relationships with other people, gained new friends, and somehow ended his relationship with Mustang by the time we catch back up with him. Not to mention he has under gone a ton of training and other trials---- some of which are not even brought up until the end of the book.
- By the end of the book characters have started become repetitive. We see the same character cycle with at least 3 characters in a row.
- This book has missing plot elements- minor plot spoiler (I try to be vague): [There is a point in the book where the protagonists are trying to martial forces because they don't have enough. But it backfires and they lose a bunch instead. But then they are able to carry out the plan with less forces...even though they couldn't before. 3-1=5. Apparently.
A lot of the things I liked about Red Rising were present in Golden Son, as well. The raw emotion we saw in the first 20% of so of book one were here, too, although it was a little more spaced out and there wasn't quite as much of it. But every time I was becoming a little less invested in the story, there'd be one of those moments where Darrow (the POV character, if you haven't read book one) would remember why he was doing what he was doing, what he was fighting for, something about his past, etc., and I'd be pulled right back in.
I think characterization is a little uneven here, but that's the nature of any first-person POV book. Darrow is complex and intelligent and doesn't ever forget where he came from. However, he has conflicting emotions and he is most definitely NOT infallible. And he's walking a tight line -- he needs the support of his high-status (Gold) patron, but his own feelings tend towards "demokratic" (to use the spelling from the book). There are some revelations about certain characters in the book that almost make me want to go back and read Red Rising again with this additional knowledge, to see if there were subtle clues in their behavior that pointed towards future events.
One thing this book has going for it is that the villains who play main roles in the story are not one-dimensional. And you don't always know they're villains, until it's too late. Trust is a big issue here -- Darrow wants to trust people but sometimes chooses the wrong allies, sometimes shuts out people he shouldn't. But he also makes some decisions to trust people, especially people with lower social status (lets a Blue captain his ship, lets an Orange give him advice with respect to throwing off enemies, gives a Stained man a weapon traditionally used only by the nobility) that I think will be important in book three. (If you haven't read book one, various social classes have colors and pretty much everything they are allowed to do or not do is dictated by what color a person is born into. Darrow was born a Red -- a low working class -- but has been altered to appear a Gold, the ruling class.)
The weak point, I think, is that this is a very similar book to Red Rising. What was carried out on the ground with castles, among students, was transferred to ships in space. The same rivalries and many of the same characters were back. (On the plus side, the same narrative structure of defeat followed by victory followed by defeat was in place, and that really worked. Pierce Brown doesn't really ever take EVERYTHING away from his heroes, even when things are looking pretty grim. There's always some way out. I hate reading about defeats for characters I've come to care about, but I know that if I get through them, some triumph -- even a small one -- is sure to come soon. So even though the book did not end on a happy note for me -- and it was somewhat of a cliffhanger, for people who hate such things -- I have hopes for the outcome after volume three, and wish I didn't have to wait for it!)
This series is shaping up to be a rather typical hero's journey, I think. It has a fair amount in common (overall structure wise, though not with respect to individual events) with the original Star Wars trilogy. I sometimes get bored with such stories, but the writing style (present tense, too, which usually bothers me but I don't even notice it here), the emotion, the action, and the ups and downs really all worked together to keep me interested.
I would not start the series with this book. Not only will you learn so much more about the characters, the world of the story, etc., when you read about them in book one, but Red Rising is really an entertaining book in its own right and you won't want to miss out on that.