Video Review(5m): https://youtu.be/YuFpxLufCjA
Pierce Brown takes what worked really well in Red Rising and just improves on those aspects in Golden Son. A lot of things that made Red Rising uncomfortable and odd were basically gone in Golden Son. The first thing that was improved was the setting. Red Rising was grounded for the entire book while Golden Son is mostly on space ships and going to different planets. Golden Son visits Luna, which is our moon, but basically one large city that rules over the entire solar system. We also get a great scene on Europa, Jupiter’s moon, and then we end up back on Mars for an epic war. Because the setting changed throughout the book, without focusing on the travel, it allowed me to really be more engaged in the story.
Another part that was improved was the unpredictability of Golden Son. Darrow comes up with some ingenious ideas to get out of situations. Sure, it is quite obvious to the reader that Darrow is a Mary Sue, a perfectly idealized character without many flaws, but this reader just didn’t care because it was too much fun. Each chapter ends with such a high amount of tension or a crazy reveal that you must read the next chapter too. Because of this, the book goes by extremely quick.
The relationships between all the characters just get stronger as the book goes on. There is a ton of action in these books but Brown does a great job of giving us these character interactions that make us really care about what happens to everyone. No, this isn’t next level characterization but the friendships between the characters really work. There are a lot of “bro” like friendships that really appealed to me because I’m male. There are a few female relationships that work but I think that overall the female characters aren’t given as much characterization because we are seeing everything through the eyes of Darrow. Trust is such a strong theme that the reader will always have it in the back of their mind while reading and this creates great moments during the story.
I really enjoyed Golden Son, it was one of the most fun books I’ve read this year. Like with Red Rising, this book is violent. The violence isn’t as disturbing as it was in Red Rising but the entire series is basically a rebellion war and a lot of people die. Check this book and series out when you want an easy read with a lot of action. If you hated Darrow in Red Rising, you’ll probably hate him more in Golden Son. I personally like the character and it really gives me the motivation to get things done. I like the YA style writing and pacing that Brown incorporates into his books.
21/25 Possible Score
5 – Plot
4 – Characters
4 – World Building/Setting
4 – Writing Style
4 – Heart and Mind Aspect