Golden Son is the second book in the Red Rising series which tells the story of a young man who belongs to the “Reds” who are the lowest tier of society and his attempts to infiltrate the “Golds” (the top) to then try and overthrow them.
If you haven’t yet read by review of Red Rising, make sure you read my review of that and then you can continue reading below as I don’t want to spoil anything.
After the events of the first book, I was hyped, I was pumped and ready for the sequel to take things to another level. I’d heard Golden Son was far superior and when the series was taken to another level. However, I just don’t know if I could agree with this.
Note that my review below may sound negative but it’s simply because I was expecting a book that was far superior to how I ended up finding it.
Golden Son plot – 4.25/5
Golden Son carries on quite soon after Red Rising and rather than deciding to build on the hype that we had from the first book, it seems to just decide to do a load of talking, a little bit of action and then have a great finale. In all honesty, that’s how I found the whole plot.
However, to stop this section from being that short, I’ll expand. There were moments within the story where I was intrigued: people dying, big battles and moments of change, but other than that I just kept finding myself zoning out as the characters continued to talk about how bad the world is around them and how the politics is broken.
I found myself often thinking: yes, we know all of this, we don’t need to keep talking about it. And there was some decent action and moments of pace but generally, until the last 100 pages, I just didn’t find myself that impressed.
Golden Son characters – 4.5/5
Now, one thing that Pierce Brown does specialise in is his ability to write geuinely great and realistic dialogue with characters who are oozing personality.
Unfortunately, the people that Darrow has surrounded himself with as a result of being part of the “Golds” are all arrogant and quite annoying in how they speak to one another.
However, there are some bright sparks in the group with some being funny, others being humble and then the interactions that happen later on between some big names are incredibly powerful.
Golden Son final rating – 4.25/5
Golden Son didn’t blow my mind or build on the series quite like I hoped, however, it was great fun and just as good as the first one, giving a final third that really picked up the action, the emotions and my general enjoyment of the book too. The dialogue is once again, superb and makes for characters that you build real opinions of. If you enjoyed Red Rising, you’ll almost definitely enjoy Golden Son but I just honestly didn’t find it as exponentially better as the rest of the internet seemed to think it was.