By Pierce Brown
Not My Edition:
Hardcover, 446 pages
2015, Del Rey
Golden Son takes place two years after Red Rising. Darrow has gone through further training at the Academy, this time in a mock-war in space. But Darrow is tricked and when he loses the final battle, his Gold patron loses faith in him. This could devastate his plans to take down the society that has repressed his people for generations. But the tables turn once again and Darrow sees his chance to start a real war between all the colors.
Okay – I’m done. Yet again, I feel like I’m reading a different book than most. It seems that there’s almost as much hype around Golden Son as there was Red Rising and I am having a hard time seeing the appeal in either book. My biggest problem? I don’t care! I don’t care about Darrow – he lost me when they transformed him from a Red to a Gold stuck him in a forest for 100000 pages. The rest of the cast? I don’t care! I don’t think that any of the characters are particularly well-developed, and while I’m at it, I think it’s so weird that Darrow calls his sort-of girlfriend Mustang. To me, there’s nothing compelling about this series or the characters. It’s still lacking the sci-fi element that I was looking for the in beginning. Yes, they’re in space, and sometimes they talk about grav-boots or weird weapons, but for the most part, I forget they’re on another planet in a distant future. Nothing really sets this book apart from your standard YA dystopia. I’m just thankful they skipped over the space battle training because then instead of feeling like I was reading the Hunger Games, Percy Jackson style, I’d be reading Ender’s Game, Percy Jackson style. The action was repetitive and boring – each battle felt the same and I was just waiting to see if someone “important” died – but since I didn’t care about any of the characters, it really wouldn’t have mattered.
Brown’s writing still left much to be desired. As I mentioned in my review of Red Rising, he’s a big fan of similes and odd character descriptions and I felt they became even more ridiculous in this book. I was tempted to put a sticky note on every page that had a wild one, but I didn’t want to waste the stickies. I’m willing to bet there’s a stupid simile or description at least every 2-3 pages. In the beginning, I highlighted some of the more…entertaining (?) ones:
“Her sensual mouth wide, with lips shaped to purr insults.”
“Bruises, most faded, stain my body like little ponds of blue and purple ringed with yellowing sands.”
“A child could beat the living hell out of this beautiful kitten of a man.”
“He’s built like a squat block of dirty ice carved by a rusted blade.”
Can you hear me groaning? Beautiful kitten of a man!? Are you serious!? I can’t even begin to imagine a body shaped like a “squat block of dirty ice.”
I’ve had enough – this series simply wasn’t for me. If you’re into it, more power to you, but this did not live up to the hype and I won’t be reading the next installment, cliffhanger be damned.