by Pierce Brown
(#2 of the Red Rising Trilogy)
In Red Rising, our hero Darrow became one of humanity’s elite, rising from the mines of Mars to the heights of Olympus. In a society fixated on Greek mythology and built on a strict colour coded caste system, the Golds are very much on charge and are looked on almost like gods. They control mankind’s expansion across the Solar System with cruel efficiency and a brutal disregard for the lower castes.
Sequels can often be disappointing, and the middle book of most trilogies tend to lack the pace and plot of the others, but not so here. Where Red Rising concentrated on Darrow’s Tragic and subsequently brutal fight for acceptance as one of society’s elite, Golden Son moves beyond the Red Planet, taking on all the trimmings of a great space opera.
The action is much more intense and the scope much broader. Darrow is still fighting for his life, and those of his people, but this time against the backdrop of an impending civil war that threatens the very fabric of Society itself. With unexpected twists and turns, Darrow finds himself at the centre of a conflict between the ruling families.
Working for the rebels who rescued him from is own execution our hero is a key figure in the fight to bring down the colour system and free “his people” from centuries of oppression.The scope of the story, it’s relentless pace and broad canvass make this a compelling read. It has political intrigue, epic space battles, personal and emotional conflicts and more than its fair share of very descriptive fight scenes. The characters are engaging, but not necessarily with a long life expectancy!
Pierce Brown is proving to be a major new force in Science Fiction. All in all, a great read and I am looking forward to reading the final part of Darrow’s tale.