Thursday, January 8, 2015

Joint Review: Golden Son by Pierce Brown (Spoilers)

Okay, if you haven't read Red Rising, you may want to skip this discussion/review. If you haven't read Golden Son yet, you may want to be careful while reading this review. If you have read Golden Son, we totally need to have a party and discuss All The Things.

Proceed carefully.

Title: Golden Son (Red Rising Trilogy #2)
Pierce Brown
Publisher: Del Rey (Random House)
Release Date: January 6, 2015
Acquired Via:

With shades of The Hunger Games, Ender’s Game, and Game of Thrones, debut author Pierce Brown’s genre-defying epic Red Rising hit the ground running and wasted no time becoming a sensation. Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom.

As a Red, Darrow grew up working the mines deep beneath the surface of Mars, enduring backbreaking labor while dreaming of the better future he was building for his descendants. But the Society he faithfully served was built on lies. Darrow’s kind have been betrayed and denied by their elitist masters, the Golds—and their only path to liberation is revolution. And so Darrow sacrifices himself in the name of the greater good for which Eo, his true love and inspiration, laid down her own life. He becomes a Gold, infiltrating their privileged realm so that he can destroy it from within.

A lamb among wolves in a cruel world, Darrow finds friendship, respect, and even love—but also the wrath of powerful rivals. To wage and win the war that will change humankind’s destiny, Darrow must confront the treachery arrayed against him, overcome his all-too-human desire for retribution—and strive not for violent revolt but a hopeful rebirth. Though the road ahead is fraught with danger and deceit, Darrow must choose to follow Eo’s principles of love and justice to free his people.

He must live for more.

Our Review

You can read Kayla's review of Red Rising, the first book in the trilogy, HERE.


Amber: So I decided to play hooky the last few minutes of work and finish.....

My first thoughts at the end were "Well, fuck."

At least Sevro and Mustang are free somewhere. They'll get Darrow out somehow.

Kayla: So did you see any of that coming? I knew what's-his-face would end up betraying him, but I didn't think Finchner would be killed. But then again, I didn't see a lot of things coming. Every time I thought I had it figured out, something would spin it on its head.

Amber: I'm pretty sure that every 10 pages there was some betrayal that had me rethinking everything. I figured that his "friend" would betray him, but I completely did not see that Finchner would die. I also didn't see him as Ares. I think that Sevro will end up taking over that.

I have no idea where the third book is going to go, but I'm sure it's going to be just as crazy.

So I listened to the first one and liked it. But this one was sooooooo much better. I liked the writing a lot more this time around. Could you tell if the writing changed, or was it just better for me in print?

Kayla: The only way I could even describe the book to anyone as I was reading it was that it was like a kaleidoscope. Every time you moved it, the characters and situations would be put in a completely different pattern.

I couldn't see Finchner as Ares, and I definitely didn't see Sevro as being half-Red. I could see Sevro taking over, but honestly, I refuse to even try to guess where Brown is going with this series.

I'm going to listen to this one when it comes out because I love the dude who is narrating. He really brings a depth to Darrow that isn't in the books. And I think that Golden Son had better writing than Red Rising, so I can't really say. I, personally, kept telling myself throughout the entire book how good it would be in audio format.

Amber: Almost every note I took is, so I didn't see so and so coming (and I have 5 pages of notes). It was non-stop action and betrayal and spoiled plans. This book is really hard to talk about without spoiling every single chapter.

Victra was probably the character I liked the most. She just cracked me up, especially when she told Darrow to stop being a little bitch. He did have some whiney bitch moments. I want​ed​ to shake him sometimes, and just scream TELL YOUR FRIENDS THAT YOU'RE A RED ALREADY! Who was your favorite out of the bunch?

I will be seriously pissed if Mustang betrays Darrow, although I don't know how I feel about their love relationship. What do you think?

Kayla: I know! I have a friend that wanted to know how it was because she loved Red Rising, and I'm like, "I'm sorry, I really can't tell you anything at all except that there are a few explosions." I mean, every chapter was a new change and a cliffhanger at the end of it.

I don't know if I even had enough time to have a favorite character. I was too busy trying to keep up with everything going on! I did like Pax's father and brother a lot, and I think Sevro is one of my all-time favorites for the series. Victra cracked me up, too, but I never really trusted her. (Off the record - wasn't she one that died? I have to go back and look at the end again.)

Darrow betrayed Mustang, in a sense, time and time and time again. I like their love relationship because it's a lot healthier than his with Eo. I think she wants to love him for him, if only he would let her. I think his stupid ass will figure it out too late, right before he dies at the end.

So, am I the only one that cried when Darrow went back among the Reds on Mars? The scene with his mother choked me up for some reason.

Amber: I think that Victra made it through (please, let her have made it through!), but you're right Sevro is one of the best. He's cracked me up since the first book. And, he's a good solid friend to Darrow.

You're right, Darrow probably is going to die at the end, and I'm going to hate it. There were times where I thought the book was a little too backstabby and harsh. Like when Darrow was trying to be a good guy and forgive someone who betrayed him, someone else removed the choice. I get the sentiment that Brown is trying to make regarding the human condition and human choices, but sometimes it just seems that Darrow is least horrible person rather than a good person.

I think that the scene with Darrow's mother was touching, but I didn't tear up. I think because I was so worried about Mustang's choice that I couldn't really focus on what was happening.

Kayla: Oh, it's no problem. I forgot about it, too.

We'll cross our fingers for Victra. I think I'll be done with the series if something happens to Sevro. I really think that he should be the hero of these books. (He kinda is already, if you think about it.)

I don't think Darrow is a good person at all, but I think the book is about him trying to do the right thing as he tries to figure out what the fuck it is. That's part of what makes him seem so realistic. I don't know about you, but it's not easy at all being a good person. I've seen the dark side, and they indeed have cookies.

I had a hard time getting into it all because I was waiting on something else to come along and bite Darrow in the ass, but his mom just got me. I guess because maybe I'm a sentimental sap? *shrugs*

Anywho, can we get the third book already? Please and thank you.

Amber: 4.5/5 Stars
Kayla: 5/5 Stars

Buy Links
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | Fishpond

To satisfy FTC guidelines, we are disclosing that we each received an advance digital copy of the novel from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review. It has in no way affected the outcome. All expressed opinions are awesome, honest, and courtesy of us.


  1. So I'm a bit obsessed with the book and ended up here after a Google search. It's great you read the book together, because I feel like I'm stalking the few friends I have who've already read it... I don't know how to blackout my comments, so I'll just say that I agree with a lot of what you say, especially about Sevro being the breakout star of these books, from the moment he was on the transport on the way to the Institute. I love him best. I will add, though, that I'm really invested in the love story, because I think now that she is aware of the truth, it has the potential of being a true relationship/partnership. Why would Brown bother to show how awesome they are together/finishing each other's sentences/thoughts/plans, if they don't end up a united force. It's like a mirroring of the other Gold-Red relationship mentioned in the book --- think Muggleborn/Pureblood in Harry Potter world. It needs to happen!

  2. I'd like to think that Mustang and Darrow end up together as a united Red and Gold force in the revolution/war/whatever Brown has planned for the 3rd book. I just have this feeling that Brown is going to pull a George R.R. Martin and kill a beloved character just for the plot or have Mustang betray Darrow just for the plot. But every other idea I have had about what is going to happen next has been turned on its head, so I could be completely wrong. :) Thanks for joining our conversation!

    1. SPOILERS ahead (don't want to offend lurkers): I do think more beloved characters will die, but I just can't fathom Brown killing Darrow, and even less so Mustang. Who makes a guy essentially a widower twice? It's bad enough that he's down to basically one friend... He can't do this alone, and as I told my friend Lauren @Love Is Not a Triangle -- Sevro and Mustang are like his Ron and Hermione (minus the sexual tension). He needs both of them, and then he needs to live, just like Harry. If this turns into Allegiant, I will chuck the book into the rubbish bin (OK, not really, because I read the audiobook!).

    2. I never really considered the Harry Potter parallels but there are a whole lot of them. And there is sexual tension! It's just between Mustang and Darrow. :)

      I don't think Brown would kill Mustang, but I wouldn't be surprised if he killed Darrow. Sevro better make it through the end relatively unscathed though!

    3. I'm so convinced that Darrow is going to die. Brown is brutal, and I can't see anyone in this series possibly getting a HEA.

    4. I see this series as absolutely fantastic, mostly because of his character development. I am not convinced he will kill Darrow or Mustang, and I expect him to "do the right thing" and have them together at the end. Authors can pull our heart strings and kill off many characters (GRRM are you reading?), but the reality is that why would you take that much time to create a FICTIONAL world and characters to have it end badly? When I say badly, I mean if you were to poll the readers, would they say they felt relief/joy/satisfaction after completion, or just bittersweet disappointment? There are great movies you want to watch again and again, and then there are those that tear you up and make you never want to go back (Braveheart, Last of the Mohicans). We know he has created a very special series here, but what path will he take with our emotions at the end?

  3. I really don't understand why everyone dislikes Darrow. And quite honestly its stupid. Please someone explain to me. Because I really like his struggle and the lines he crosses as a means to justify an end\the transition into learning the truth of what actions must actually be taken to realize Eo's and his Dream. Seriously, he was 16 when everything started and by the end of this book I think he's 20? I think he's done the best he's could and just because he doesn't crack jokes like sevro, he's not the emotional focus? . I am attached to the character that carries the burden, that is borderline Byronic hero in many ways, that falls and rises back up again. Sure, the others do to but we see this through his eyes and not that of his followers. That being said I love Mustang and Sevro all the same but I would never say they take the show. If he had not met them he would not have made it to where he is, granted I still love the other characters. But Darrow is still the boy who had to pull at the feet of his own wife. The man who had tried himself at every moment to fight for the dream Eo wished for...bloodydamn forget it. I guess I enjoy the abstracts and not everyone likes the anti hero, Byronic hero type but I think less credit is given to him and maybe even just a little..people like him more than they give him credit for. Oh by the way he definitely won't die...its a trilogy through his eyes. But at the end of the Third? Maybe he will die a 'poetic death the way one should. Here's my guess.SPOILERS He will Allie with mustang, not sevro because sevro won't forgive him for his fathers death. Or since thats highly unlikely sevro will just betray him later in the third installment, but since Pierce Brown loves the Hobbit and LOTR...he might make sevro Darrows Sam as Frodo and Sam are an unbreakable bond....which I hope. As for mustang, I think she will come to her senses, she sort of has to ally with him now even if she doesn't want to. But I guess I'll find out tommorow.


You are going to put words in my box?! *squeezes you* Now I shall stalk YOUR blog!