Review: Golden Son

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Author: Pierce Brown

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Golden Son is the second installation of Pierce Brown’s Red Rising trilogy. This is the continuation of a story about a Red named Darrow who pretends to be a Gold so he can make his wife’s wish come true. Personally, this book gives the vibe of anti-racism not because of the colors but because of rising against slavery despite of when the society tells you otherwise. The first book ended when Darrow accepted his nemesis, Nero au Augustus, offer to join his house.

Augustus is Eo, Darrow’s wife, executioner. Originally, he sought to kill him but as the story unfolds he decided that there’s more urgent matter to attend to. With his comrades, Darrow fight for the seat of Sovereignty against the people of the moon and the Bellonas. But when he thought that he won, his deepest secret unravels that made one of his lieutenants to turn his back against him while those who remained loyal died.

“You a son of Red. I a son of Gold.

That world when we’re brothers is lost.”

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Golden Son is full of false loyalties, deception and war. In this book, the war only is not versus the house of Augustus and the Sovereign, but also between Darrow’s heart and mind. This story posses whatever the readers asked for a dystopian novel. Golden Son along with Red Rising  is the embodiment of fighting tyranny and the struggle by doing so.

On the other hand, I love of how Brown portrays Darrow in this book. He’s full of insecurities and issues yet he managed to lead a powerful army and go to war. Despite of his questions about himself, people look up to him and pledge their loyalty to him. Darrow is someone who lost so much yet he didn’t make that a reason to give up because he knows that what he’s doing is for the greater good.

Darrow’s only flaw for me is that he is too full of Eo’s dream that he forgot to dream on his own. For me, having a visualization of the future is essential in every character.  Darrow seems like someone who held on too tightly in the past that he can’t let go of it anymore.

This story taught me a lot. It taught me that wherever you came from doesn’t define the success that you may achieve, that sometimes your friends is not really your friends. Golden Son affects me on the most personal level, especially losing Quinn. Though she only plays a small part in the story, I can imagine the grief of Roque and the mask that Sevro wears to pretend that he is not affected. Even if it is not really elaborated, their love triangle made this book suddenly worth reading for me.

I can’t wait for the conclusion of this trilogy.

Rating: 4.5/5

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Review: Red Rising

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Author: Pierce Brown

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Red Rising tells the story of a sixteen year old helldiver named Darrow. He, along with his fellow Reds mine a substance called helium-3 that is believed to make the planets in the solar system to be habitable for the human race. But Eo, Darrow’s wife learned that the Reds we’re being fooled and enslaved. She discovered that they were being used by the society to supply helium-3 while the other colors we’re already living in Mars. Because of this, Darrow was whipped while Eo was hanged by the gallows. Eventually, a rebel group called Sons of Ares recruited Darrow to be their new member. His body was carved so he’ll look like a Gold. After all the pains and sufferings he emerged as a Gold and penetrated the Institute so he can finally avenge the death of his Eo.

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Red Rising is the dystopia burn out pill I have been looking for quite some time. This is, hands down, one of the best dystopia novel I have read and I have read plenty. What I like about this book is that the author explore every possible angle that Red Rising provides. Pierce Brown talks about oppression, war and survival, but it doesn’t end there. The story didn’t only offer bloodbaths but also showed how important to use your knowledge in winning a war. It is about trust and loyalty, and knowing where to put them.

Another thing that I noticed is the poetic prose that Red Rising possess. Though written in minimalist style, the heavy theme that the book has was still showcased. I love how this book was so intelligently written and I can’t get enough of it. The pages we’re oozing with wisdom with its carefully crafted plot line.

It is evident in the story that the characters, especially Darrow, we’re very carefully thought about. Pierce Brown know exactly how he wanted his characters and he made the right approach in introducing them to the readers. The depth of the characterization made Darrow unforgettable. He is every bit of a Gary Stu, he is the best helldiver, the top-notcher on the Institutes examination and it looks like he can gain followers so effortlessly. And I think the story calls for it. When you were put in a new and dangerous environment, it is essential to have the talent to survive and be resourceful. Darrow is simply exceptional on everything he does. On the other hand, I noticed that female characters we’re only secondary next to Darrow. They only had supporting roles that helps Darrow’s character develop.

All in all, I super love this book and I recommend it to everyone especially to those YA SciFi Fanatics.

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Rating: 5/5

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