‘I’m still playing games. This is just the deadliest yet.’
Darrow is a rebel forged by tragedy. For years he and his fellow Reds worked the mines, toiling to make the surface of Mars inhabitable. They were, they believed, mankind’s last hope. Until Darrow discovered that it was all a lie, and that the Red were nothing more than unwitting slaves to an elitist ruling class, the Golds, who had been living on Mars in luxury for generations.
In Red Rising, Darrow infiltrated Gold society, to fight in secret for a better future for his people. Now fully embedded amongst the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his dangerous work to bring them down from within. It’s a journey that will take him further than he’s ever been before – but is Darrow truly willing to pay the price that rebellion demands?
I would recommend that you don’t read this review if you haven’t read the first part in the trilogy, Red Rising, yet (You can read my review of it here!). I will try my best not to spoil anything in terms of content for Golden Son, but I am going to mention characters from the previous book and that might give something away.
I guess the short version of this review is that I feel like I just got stabbed in the back and in the heart at the same time, but that’s not much of a review, is it? But where do I even begin?
I wasn’t exactly sure where the story would continue after Red Rising, but we pick up years later with Darrow almost finishing his time at the Academy and it makes sense. It doesn’t feel like the years in between are missing at all, yet you do notice that the world of the Golds has changed Darrow. After the first book, you know what kind of life he has to lead: constantly scared of betrayal, keeping everyone at arms-length while needing their support and talent … it’s a lonely life. And this change I mentioned, the decisions he has to make, are more complicated now with even more severe consequences. But this book isn’t as much about Darrow’s rise as a hero as it was in Red Rising, instead it is about politics and media, about loyalties and betrayals and finally also truth. There are so many twists and turns, basically nothing ever goes as planned and friendships are tested to their breaking point. The final betrayal stung the most to me, even though for once I saw it coming. Still not over the cliffhanger though …
In my opinion, Golden Son was sometimes a little bit more difficult to follow, because of the complex nature of the universe it is set in. There are family names and bloods feuds to be remembered and maneuvers to be planned – it gets tricky, but it pays off in every possible way! I especially enjoyed the use of media and how it can manipulate the public into believing certain things. We saw a few glimpses of that in Red Rising, but it slowly gets amplified in this sequel. I hope to see even more of it in Morning Star, a book I seriously can’t wait to get my hands on even though I am seriously scared what it has in store. (Publishing Date for Morning Star is February 9th, 2016!!!)
In the end, I just love how these books make me feel! My whole body tenses up, my heart gets broken, adrenaline rushes through my veins, I am on the verge of tears and even though I should know better I still put my silly faith in the characters I like. Darrow’s world is a complex one, a world that may seem far away from ours, yet it mirrors so many aspects of our society. The change of the hierarchy of Colors he wants to achieve demands answers to questions I don’t know how to respond to, but it gets me thinking. It makes me want to find a solution and that is what makes this book so good!
Fazit: 5/5 stars! If this series gets any better, I will suffer from a heart attack!!!
Are you a fan of the Red Rising series? Have you read Golden Son? Are your feels as crushed as mine?