Golden Son (Red Rising #2) by Pierce Brown

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

My thoughts of the book as told by Dean Winchester (and occasionally Sam Winchester)

4.5 out of 5 stars

This may have been the darkest book I've read to date. Not that's particularly a bad thing... but I was not prepared for this one. It took a toll on me. Physically, mentally and emotionally. I thought Red Rising was bad, but I had no idea what I was in for when delved into this one. It was too much for me. Especially that bloodydamn ending!

In Red Rising, we left Darrow swearing his allegiance to ArchGovernor Augustus. Here, we find Darrow at the Academy at the start of Golden Son, where he's training in all aspects of war, ground and space warfare. I don't think he got to cover the naval warfare part of his education. He might have gotten to it had he not let his pride get the best of him when he went against Karnus au Bellona in some test. But that's a good thing because one of the issues I had with Red Rising was that Darrow was too good at everything. That definitely changed. Also, Mustang's character has developed, I guess it was the aging. In Red Rising, I felt that Mustang was so dependent and reliant on others that couldn't quite fend for herself. I didn't really think that would change, but boy was I wrong. In this one, she's strong, independent and bold. On of my favorite things about her is that she doesn't give a rat's ass about what anyone thinks, even her father.

One problem I did have with this book though was the writing. Don't get me wrong, Pierce's storytelling is Peerless (see what I did there?). But, it wasn't so much the structure that threw me off as it was some of the scene setups. I couldn't quite visualize some of the surroundings and characters. Take Ragnar for example, right now I don't have a set picture of him in my mind. I've had trouble with this throughout the book. In fact, I'm not the only one. I read some reviews on Goodreads to see if anyone had a similar experience, and found that a few people did. (If I were the only one I wouldn't have mentioned it).

(SPOILERS AHEAD) Another minor issue I had was that some of the people mentioned and added to the story-line weren't properly introduced. For example, Lorn the former Rage Knight. Darrow supposedly trained with him before the Institute, but I don't recall any mention of him. This may be a problem of memory, if so then I apologize Pierce. But I really don't remember anything about the Rage Knight- if he was mentioned- in Red Rising. Also, the Ash Lord. I would have liked if he were introduced as well. Hopefully, he makes an appearance in Morning Star. Hence the 4.5 stars

"Rise so high, in the mud you lie" - Karnus au Bellona

 And lie in the mud he did. When Karnus said this I didn't think he meant it literally, but apparently, that was his intent.

The ending was what absolutely killed me. I was so shocked I was left speechless by the sudden turn of events. One minute Darrow was being celebrated as a hero at the Triumph, the next it the place was like a freakin' slaughterhouse. I mean Adrius's betrayal was inevitable, but Roque? He and Darrow may have been on thin ice together, but I didn't think he would stab him in the back. I did not see that coming. Basically, this was how I looked for the hour or so following my finishing the book (except while Sam and Dean's faces are comical, mine was more of a look of complete and utter devastation):

I'd always imagined that when Nero died, it would be by Darrow's hand, but no, that's not how it happened. You might think me insane for what I'm about to say, but it's true: I sympathized with Nero's character. The man truly believed he was doing the right thing. He knew his means of keeping order and preventing chaos were immoral and that's what I liked about him. He didn't bullshit, he didn't try to convince anyone he was good. I guess that's where Mustang's indifference of external input comes from.

After reading that, I'm a little hesitant to see what's in store for me in Morning Star, but I'm excited nonetheless.

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