Golden Son by Pierce Brown
Just a few days ago, I put my Best of 2014-List online. Red Rising was part of it. Shortly later, I published my list of the books I’m looking forward to the most this year, with Golden Son being the first book, as it was released three days ago. I finished the book yesterday and I’m still speechless. I loved the first. Maybe I’m a bit biased with my love of Dystopian Sci-Fi, but I know Red Rising has been a grand success, especially for a debut book.
Golden Son does it better. What? Everything! That’s not easy to do. Still, I’m angry. I’m downright angry at this bloody book. Why? Because I can’t wait for the third. The ending is brilliant and a cliffhanger if I’ve ever seen one! Now, I’m used to that. I’m a good waiter. I know that haste makes waste. And there are so many books out there, I’m unlikely to run out anytime soon! Still, here I sit, with Golden Son just finished and I’m still raw, still taut as a bowstring, still unable to believe what happened.
The whole book is a great piece of art, of entertainment. The last fifth transcends even that and reaches up into the height of literature. I’m not one easily surprised. Many surprises are set up in books so you can catch wind of them, can see them as likely possibilities. This is one of the books that managed to surprise me. Once. That was enough. Afterward, I doubted everything. The tension rose to heights unimaginable and I was sitting here, primed on my seat, expecting every new page to bring something dreadful, some new shift in the story, for thing to break unmendable. I loved it! Every minute of it. When you don’t know what to expect, every new word is an adventure and even the dread such an adventure might bring will not dissuade us from going.
What’s the book about? Darrow. Darrow and his little uprising. Some years have passed between the two books, but Darrow is still a young man. That shows at times, as he can be naive, even with all he has experienced. He’s unsuited to this world of the treacherous Gold, but his prowess in battle make him a figurehead for them. It’s not so easy though, as he’s cast away like a broken toy and his survival in peril. So we are ushered into a fast tale of betrayal and blood, where truth is only an imagination. How will Darrow fare? His origin sets him apart, in constant danger of discovery, and his deceit eats at Darrow, eats right to his core.
One part of this book I really liked was the way ship combat was handled. Instead of those behemoths blowing each other into smithereens like you see in many Sci-Fi stories, the ships are actually deemed too expensive to waste. So instead of blowing them up, the tactic goes to board the ships, overwhelm their defenders, “clean” the ship and take it for yourself.
Concluding: The book is a whirlwind with Darrow at the centre and his decisions shape a galaxy, make or break on a razor’s edge. A fastlike plot spanning multiple planets and moons, armadas of spaceships flying and fighting. It’s grand in all its aspects and I enjoyed reading it throughout. Not even 10 days into 2015 and I’ve already found a likely contender for my Best of 2015 List. That should tell you enough. If you’ve read Red Rising, I believe there was no question in buying this book anyway. Do yourself a favor and start this year with some incredible fiction.