Posted in Fashionably Late Reviews :)

ARC: Golden Son (Red Rising #2) by Pierce Brown

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I won a proof copy of this book from Hodderscape and it was like Christmas had come early.

I have championed Red Rising all year, having read it waaaay back in January 2014 as an eGalley. And I knew then, I just knew, that this was going to be an epic series, and if it didn’t receive the recognition it deserved then there was something gorydamn wrong with the world.

What I find most engaging about Golden Son, is the acute attention to detail. It follows on from Red Rising, seemlessly jumping ahead in time and it doesn’t feel like I’ve missed out. The politics become more complicated, the scheming, the plotting… it’s complex. And yet, it’s so easy to fall into Darrow’s world.

Brown does this really clever thing throughout Golden Son where certain facts about a motive or a plan are kept hidden from the reader until the revealing moment and it’s like ‘ooooh dayum!’ There was plenty of opportunities to click my fingers throughout this book. Snap!

My copy may have been a proof, but the writing was slick. Yeah, I noticed some teeny tiny grammatical things, but I’m certain they would have been picked up on the final sweep, true?

I really enjoyed the character progressions in Golden Son. Each one seems to be on a different personal journey- as in, the ‘supporting cast’ don’t feel like they are ‘secondary’ to the action. We may be following Darrow, but it’s clear he’s not the only one with a destiny to fulfill.

For instance:

Mustang – I have to mention her first because she’s badass. As a character she manages to be both hard and soft. She’s curvy and sharp. Muscular and squishy. And clever. So, so clever.  I really felt for her. There aren’t many female characters that we get as close to like Mustang, so I found myself clinging to her more. And she doesn’t have an easy time of it. I mean, hell, she loves Darrow… And that’s only going to lead to tears and heartache.

Sevro – The slimy little shit. Ha ha! Another character I hold dear. He’s a little rough around the edges, and I like how he’s sorta carved his own place in the system, with his Howlers. But then we see him, in glimpses, as the small boy he still is. Inside at least. And those moments made me ache.

Roque – Actually, there are no words. I have no words for this character. Only tears.

The Jackel – Don’t trust him, they say. Don’t trust him. Do NOT trust him. And yet we the reader, along with Darrow, shrug it off and think that it’ll all be fine. He’s not so bad, is he? He’s helping. What’s the worse that he can do, eh? I think Darrow can’t NOT trust. Regardless of what Darrow says and feels of himself, I can’t help but feel like Darrow’s biggest flaw (and asset) is that he wants to see the best in people. Always. And that can lead to questionable trust in quetionable people.

Sophocles – Heh heh. THE best literary invention.

Ragnar – The new dude on the block. I couldn’t help but imagine him looking like a Dementor. A badass ninja Dementor, with less of the face suck. He does a real solid for Darrow.

Darrow – His journey through this book is painful. It has moments of beauty and moments of horror. The decisions he has to make, the weight of a nation on his shoulders, his heart on his sleeve (while trying hard to keep it hidden) and all the while trying to reconcile his Gold and Red self. I think he manages this… It’s just a question of whether those he loves the most will reach the same kind of solution in the future?

The ending to this book is explosive. I have a heart of stone… But if I were a cryer, it’s safe to say I would have been blubbering like a baby. Mostly because it ends at such a pivotal moment! I was left feeling seriously shell shocked. So much happens in those last pages…

Intelligent, compelling writing. It’s funny, it’s heartbreaking. It doesn’t fail to entertain. Easily the best book I read in 2014.

5 out of 5. Without a doubt. Perfection.

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YA writer. Epic reader. Professional procrastinator.

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