Golden Son* by Pierce Brown
Red Rising Trilogy #2
Published by Random House on January 6, 2015
As a Red, Darrow grew up working the mines deep beneath the surface of Mars, enduring backbreaking labor while dreaming of the better future he was building for his descendants. But the Society he faithfully served was built on lies. Darrow´s kind have been betrayed and denied by their elitist masters, the Golds – and their only path to liberation is revolution. And so Darrow sacrifices himself in the name of the greater good for which Eo, his true live and inspiration, laid down her own life. He becomes a Gold, infiltrating their privileged realm so that he can destroy it from within. A lamb among wolves in a cruel world, Darrow finds friendship, respect, and even love – but also the wrath of powerful rivals. To wage and win the war that will change humankind´s destiny, Darrow must confront the treachery arrayed against him, overcome his all-too-human desire for retribution – and strive not for violent revolt but a hopeful rebirth. Though the road ahead is fraught with danger and deceit, Darrow must choose to follow Eo´s principles of love and justice to free his people.
I was hooked after reading the first novel of Pierce Brown´s Red Rising Trilogy. And despite the fact that I gave this a half star less in my rating, I enjoyed it very much and had my fun reading it.
This second book is not less good or shows less of the author´s style, it just didn´t give me the great feeling I felt after I finished Red Rising.
Darrow has become a Gold. His look has changed, he spent the last three years of his new life learning war strategies, and logistics etc at the academy and now his failure to beat Cassius in their final war game at the academy has made him lose the support of the one, who reigns over Mars. Left alone, without any protection he needs to go back to his roots and use what he´s not only learned growing up deep beneath the surface of Mars but also during his time as a Golden. But will it be enough to achieve what he does and wants in Eo´s name?
Golden Son is told from the first person of Darrow and brings the reader into a world where only power, money, and success counts. If you fail you lose everything. People follow others like leaves and grasses bend in the wind and your supporter stay only as long behind you as long as they see some advantage in it.
Pierce Brown shows that hypocrite and decadent world as Darrow experiences her. Shows that one can be in one minute your friend and follower and the next you bitter enemy fighting you to the core. His tone is ironic even sarcastic, his writingstyle clear, strong and with some gutter language. In combination with the high-level language of the Golden, the reader gets to see a story with some twist and turns and an absolutely shocking end.
Looking like a Gold doesn´t mean that you are a Gold. But that is exactly what Darrow needs to be to not only survive in this deadly and deceptive Society but also to do what he came to do. To infiltrate their world to make them pay and rebuild a new one for his folk. No easy task when you don´t know whom you can really trust and when the way you treat your real friends makes them angry and vindictive.
The author brings again some very interesting and powerful characters into the game. Some seem to be Darrow´s friends and show that their anything but, others are his real friends and seem to be the enemy. You never know who is really by his side because he/she believes in what he does and who don´t. And that makes this book so great; gives the story the right amount of hate, passion, surprise, and fantastic figures.
Yes, despite the fact that I enjoyed this novel, I am giving a half star less. That is because I wasn´t completely haunted and thrilled the way I was with the first book and still I loved it. So read it yourself to experience what I mean.
*I read the German edition new release on June 13, 2016, by Heyne
While trying to make it as a writer, Brown worked as a manager of social media at a startup tech company, toiled as a peon on the Disney lot at ABC Studios, did his time as an NBC page, and gave sleep deprivation a new meaning during his stint as an aide on a U.S. Senate campaign. He lives in Los Angeles, where he is at work on his next novel.