Genre: Science Fiction
Year Published: 2015
Number of Pages: 691 pages
Date Read: 8/4/2017
Publisher: Gale Cengage Learning (Large Print)
Series: Red Rising #2
“Home isn't where you're from, it's where you find light when all grows dark.”
It has been awhile since I had last read “Red Rising” by Pierce Brown and when I found out about the rest of the books in Pierce Brown’s “Red Rising” trilogy, I just has to pick up the next book “Golden Son” as soon as possible and man, was I in for one intense and shocking ride!
Darrow used to be a Red, but when his beloved wife Eo ends up dying in the last book due to defying the high and mighty Golds, Darrow then decides to disguise himself as a Gold in order to infiltrate the Gold Empire and fulfill Eo’s dying dream to live a life of freedom. While in the Gold Empire, Darrow starts making friends at the Gold Academy and after he wins the deadly competition in the last book, he becomes Augustus’ most cherished warrior. However, Darrow soon realizes that the Sons of Ares are starting a rebellion against the Gold Empire and Darrow realizes that the only way he can take down the Gold Empire is if he causes a war between the Golds themselves. As Darrow becomes Augustus’ champion and puts his plan to action, he will soon learn about the importance of true friendship while discovering several betrayals within his army that might eventually break him.
Wow! Just wow…. After I had read the first book in the “Red Rising” series, I never would have thought that the second book “Golden Son” can beat the brutal, intense and shocking nature of “Red Rising.” But lo and behold, “Golden Son” managed to beat out “Red Rising” in terms of having the most brutal and shocking twists to ever happen in this series! Pierce Brown has done a fantastic job at writing this story as it is much more intense and shocking than the first book and I was quite surprised by the number of betrayals that happens to Darrow throughout this book as the characters that I expected to betray Darrow were not the characters that I was expecting. But probably the best part about this book is the characters themselves and how much they had developed from the first book, whether it is a positive or negative progression for them. Pierce Brown has done a great job at developing all of these characters from the first book, especially Darrow himself as he went from being a weak protagonist who was not sure about his goals in life and whether or not he can succeed in infiltrating the Gold Empire to being a strong protagonist who eventually went up the ranks of the Gold Empire and even had the courage to lead an army to take down his enemies. I also loved the progression that both Sevro and Mustang take in this book as they go through the most amazing development among Darrow’s other allies and I like the fact that Darrow and Mustang’s relationship actually progresses further in this book and I cannot wait to see more of Darrow and Mustang in the next book! I also loved the friendship shared between Sevro and Darrow as they have one of the most unique friendships I have ever read in any science fiction novel!
Anyone who does not like strong language and gory violence should be warned that there is some strong language in this book, such as the usage of the “s” and “f” word and it would probably be best to skim over these words if you are offended easily. Also, the violence is pretty strong in this book as it features massive slaughter of many people and the gory fights between the characters are told in great detail.
Overall, “Golden Son” is a truly intense and shocking second book in the “Red Rising” series that fans of dystopian fiction should definitely check out and now, I am going to read the third and final book in the series, “Morning Star” because the ending of this book is seriously killing me and I got to know what is going to happen to Darrow in the third book!
Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog
I read this for the Horror square.
I agree with Moonlight Reader that ultimately this book really was underwhelming. I think all of the elements of a good horror story were there, but the characters, the slowly moving plot (and not in a good way by the way) and the ending just left me cold. And I also didn't really feel annoyed enough to rate this lower or like it enough to write it higher than I did. I just feel indifferent, hence the three stars. I can see why there are comparisons to "The Turn of the Screw" but that book built tension in a great way. You don't know whose telling the truth because of the way it's written. You are shown the truth really early on,and then there's a mild twist thrown your way at the end.
"The Boy Who Drew My" is about a ten year old boy named Jack who's on the Asperger's scale. Growing up in Maine, with his caretaker father (Tim) and his lawyer mother (Holly), Jack is worried that due to his behavior he's going to be sent away. By the way this kid has like a thousand names in this book so enjoy that when he's being referred to by different people. I think the author did that as a way to show how nobody really gets this kid, but it was annoying as a reader to just try to keep deciphering all the names.
Three years ago when Jack was playing in the ocean with his best friend Nicholas he almost drowned. Since then he is afraid to leave the house and doesn't go to school or play with his friends. The only boy who still plays with him is childhood friend Nick. And even Nick finds it wearing to be around Jack. Jack has become obsessed with drawing and after a time you start to realize that what Jack draws, seems to have a foothold in the real world.
Holly is in despair about what's their life's going to become now that Jack is getting older and stronger. His father Tim is just an a******. That's all I'm going to say about him. Every time we shifted to that character I just kept hoping that something would eat him. So things are going along like this when things come to a head when Nick comes to stay with the family while his parents go out on a cruise..
The parts that I liked dealt with Holly, Jack, and Nick. I liked it when Holly started to retreat back into her childhood faith in Catholicism and seeks out the local priest to share her troubles. The priest and his housekeeper end up giving her some guidance with the housekeeper much more helpful.
I'm going to ultimately say I was disappointed with this because I thought that the book was kind of turning into a type of Japanese horror book which I would have loved a lot more than what we got. There were hints here and there that's where the author was going and then it's like he forgot about it halfway through and went in the other direction. I mean I felt like I just read the book version of a M Night Shyamalan movie.
The writing I thought was good the author definitely can write a phrase. I also felt like I was in Maine in winter on a desolate stretch of beach and sea.
The flow was a chore though. I think the reason why it was though was the fact that as a reader you're already given an insight into what is going on. So it's not a surprise to you. It's very annoying to read about people who were super clueless. Holly and Tim were in turns mocking, inquisitive, and dismissive every time any of the children tried to tell them what was going on. And at this point I don't understand why they were acting that way considering how many strange things were going on around them.
Maine in the winter term at Christmas time was a great setting for this book. I felt cold and alone just as I think the author wanted me to feel.
The ending fell flat. I don't think the author got that it painted two characters in a very bad light since you can guess what's going to happen from there.