by Pierce Brown
Genre: Science Fiction
Published: 1/6/15 by Random House
4.5 out of 5 stars
I enjoyed, but did not love, the first book in this series, Red Rising. I think I rated it at 3.5 stars. I thought it had some interesting moments, but it also was a little slow and boring at times for me. I ended that book thinking that I would like to continue reading this story, but I really hoped that the story would improve as it continued.
And what an improvement in this second book, Golden Son! I thought it was significantly better than the first book. I think second books in trilogies often tend to be the weakest, but this one was just great. This series is set in the future in a civilization on Mars. Society is divided into color castes, and rising above one's caste is unacceptable and prohibited. Enter Darrow, a Red born (the lowest of all the colors), who infiltrates the highest color Golds and becomes one of their leaders. In Golden Son, Darrow takes his place in Gold leadership, leading his friends (and a few traitors) into battles against his most powerful rivals. This story is full of twists and turns, as loyalties are constantly shifting and allegiances are broken. Friends become enemies. Enemies become friends. It is hard to know who can be trusted. Pierce Brown has no fear in killing off his characters, which added to the level of suspense. I really could not predict much of what was going to happen or who was going to survive through it all.
I have read a lot of comparisons between this book and Hunger Games, but really, Golden Son is in a league of its own when it comes to young adult dystopians. This one is much, much more science fiction and less romance than any of the other books in this genre that I have read. I don't read much science fiction, and wouldn't describe it as a favorite of mine. But this story was just so fun and entertaining. I loved following Darrow through this wild ride!
And I have to mention the ending! Because it is one BIG ending! And one big cliffhanger. I feel like the whole game changed in book 2, so I will be eagerly waiting for book 3 to find out how Darrow's story will end.