Trigger Warning: Death, gore
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 love 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.
He must live for more (Goodreads, 2015).
Things I Enjoyed: Golden Son picks up two years after the events of Red Rising. I enjoyed the pacing of this book more than the first one as there was definitely a lot more action. I also loved seeing Darrow grow as a person and a leader. His struggle between continuing his mission and protecting his friends made me sympathize with him so much more than when he was a cocky brat early on in Red Rising. His romance with Mustang seems to have hit a wall due to Darrow trying to keep people at arms length which made me sad since I enjoyed their camaraderie and thought they made a better couple than Darrow did with Eo. The end of the book makes their relationship and Darrow’s very future seem incredibly uncertain. I wonder if Pierce Brown will follow the infamous George Martin approach with his main character. Regardless, this book is full of twists and the ending was truly heartbreaking. I’m glad that the next book is out, because I can’t imagine having to wait a year to see what happens next.
Things I Didn’t Enjoy/Found Confusing/Would Have Changed: There is a lot of violence in this series and the author is pretty graphic in his descriptions, which I’m not a fan of. I also felt like the color system still wasn’t explained very well to the readers.
Overall Thoughts: This was a 4 out of 5 star read for me. I usually stay away from dystopian fiction, because I feel like it hits a bit too close to home at times, but I really enjoyed following the story of these characters. Definitely a series worth picking up.
Quotes I Enjoyed/Found Significant:
They say a kingdom divided against itself can not stand. They make no mention of the heart”
I try to kill him in my heart before I kill him in the flesh”
I would not have raised you to be a great man. There is no peace for great men. I would have had you be a decent one.”