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 from the overlords of a brutal elitist future built on lies. Now fully embedded among the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his work to bring down Society from within.
A life-or-death tale of vengeance with an unforgettable hero at its heart, Golden Son guarantees Pierce Brown's continuing status as one of fiction's most exciting new voices.
©2015 Pierce Brown (P)2015 Recorded Books
It's a sci-fi super blockbuster. More grown up than the Hunger Games but with the same pace and Jack Reacher as the principal character instead of a teenage girl. Don't read this until you have read Red Rising as it's quite a complicated scenario already and Golden Son moves at such a pace, you'll never catch up.
The plot picks up with Darrow a couple of years after the events of Red Rising. He's doing pretty well for himself but it turns out he should have heeded the old adage about keeping your friends close and your enemies closer, so before too long, he is right back in the action which does not let up for a full 19 hours!
Yes, some of the plot twists are a bit predictable and the characters are ludicrous but I can honestly say I've found this story absolutely irresistible, listening at almost any opportunity. It's good, clean fun and I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys an all-action sci-fi fantasy story. Possibly some who don't too.
Much less derivative than the first in the series and so a more interesting story. There's a lot of signposting of the way characters are going to develop but there are one or nice surprises. Being critical, there's a lot of a) plan for a fight, b) fight doesn't go to plan, c) miraculous event happens d) rinse and repeat which began to test my patience by the end. That said, I did marathon listen to this book and I will definitely get the third in the instalment.
The narrator has eased off on the anti-British with bad guys having slightly less pronounced English accents in contrast to the humble underdogs' Irish brogue. Sadly, there's some butchering of some new accents here: the Scandinavian is painful to listen to.
As I've probably listened to thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands of audiobooks in my life, that's a hard question. I was expecting a lot from this book. I ranked Red Rising as one of the best books I've read in a very very long time. Having to put all the ingredients in the pot again, stir them and make the same kind of cake, or even better, is a hard ask. I do think Pierce Brown pulls it off, but there are some reasons, which are purely a matter of taste, which meant I couldn't give it a 5.
The story is as well written, but very much darker. I think for me if I'm going to read a lot of dark I have to have light strokes, either from humour or more happy, hopeful or at least slightly lighter notes. Maybe I'm a wimp but unalloyed bleakness just makes me shut down. The story, particularly in the second half, became difficult for me to read.
If there's one thing I really do object to it's following a character for hours and hours and hours of book only to find a sad, shocking, gruesome end. It just makes the whole exercise feel pointless. Having said all this, Pierce Brown makes you care right from the get go, or he makes me care. This book is beautifully written, wonderfully narrated and is a great sequel which leaves you wanting more.
Daro has to be my favourite character. He is everything a real, true hero needs to be. He is a great leader, clever and resourceful with the ability to make people follow him through thick and thin, but he is flawed. He is vulnerable. He doesn't get it right all the time, but neither does he do anything petty or cruel.
A hard one to answer without giving a spoiler. Let's just say there's one place in the book where I thought: "Oh finally! Finally!" When you read it you'll know where I mean. It's beautifully written and nicely understated.
Oh that's a cynch! Break The Chains!
Just one. I want more! When can I have more?
what ho my good man, terrible show what, gory dam jackel stole all the tuck money the rotter.
fantastic stuff, love the character and story arc.
Reynolds continues to breath fire into the exploits of the Helldiver, driving the story forwards in the same compelling way he did for the first book. Gripping stuff.
Read the 1st book which I really enjoyed and this is a great next book, lots of ups and downs not saying anymore as don't want to do a spoiler. Can't wait for the concluding book morning star out June 2015 😊
I've listened to many books on audible and given five star ratings before. I'm going to have to adjust my grading scale after listening to this book. If this is the level of story a modern book can achieve... my god.
The best thing I can equate it to, without giving plot spoilers as others are, is Empire Strikes Back. Not in plot or delivery, but in that atmospheric brilliant success that is the example of the second episode not always falling short of the opener. This is such a sweeping and dark installment in a trilogy. While already set in a dystopian or I guess utopian (depending on your personal twisted perspective) world, Brown manages to hit an even more discordant note than Red Rising. Much more. In fact I'm still recovering from this listen.
The characters from Red Rising return, with some notable additions. The themes and concepts delineated in the first book are explored much, MUCH more deeply. Anyone who compares this to the Hunger Games or any of the scores of YA dystopia would likely compare their child's finger paintings to da Vinci. I weep for your soul.
Brown plumbs the depths of some of the most fundamental aspects of our humanity. What makes us... us? Is it our choices, our outward form? Is it our origins? Can we truly overcome our pasts or, more importantly, can we decide our futures? More troubling are the ruminations on the nature of evil; is it a static, constant thing, or does a slight switch in perspective change its visage? Each of the characters and the plot as a whole, reflects these questions. Unfortunately an answer is not readily available and we are left, intentionally I am sure, a quivering mass of raw emotion in Brown's wake.
While it may sound dramatic or grandiose, and is certainly personal opinion, I view this as the best book I have read in a decade. This book is worth a credit and 20 hours of your life. It will change you, carve you, in some measure. Whether for good or bad is to be seen.
"A Modern Classic Which Will Endure"
Golden Son is among the finest audiobooks I have ever read. My reading habits tend somewhat towards classics, and I am frequently disappointed by modern fare. I took a chance on Red RIsing, and couldn't get the characters out of my head when I finished. Golden Son is a greater achievement in every way when compared to its predecessor. The plot pulls the reader frantically from set piece to set piece as Darrow struggles with failure, guilt, disillusionment, and hope. The characters, introduced well in the first novel, become organic in this novel in a way I have not experienced in a novel since reading The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.While I was reading, I briefly forgot about the world outside as I was so invested.
Roque, the warrior poet of the first novel, returns to this world in grand fashion. His continually deepening alienation with Darrow makes the reader compulsively question the state of that friendship even when reading about other characters. While the love story between Virginia and Darrow was compelling, it was practically an obligatory aspect of the novel. Roque's growth as a character was highly original. I had no idea what he would do until he acted. At the same time, I fully empathized with his situation and understood his motivations for his actions once he acted. He is a masterfully executed character.
Ragnar was voiced wonderfully. While the character was essentially a replacement for Pax, the voice acting imbued his journey with dignity, grace, and magnificent resonance. However, each character was read well. I could not imagine simply reading a book like this. It must be experienced through audio.
The ending. All I will say.
This is my first review on audible.com, as this is the first time I have felt so strongly about a book that I needed to share my opinion. It is a work that takes the best of current trends from novels like The Hunger Games and adds the power and philosophical complexity more commonly found in classical literature. Pierce Brown, if you are reading this, please take your time in completing the third book. This trilogy has the potential to truly endure once it comes to the public at large's attention, but a slapped together finale could easily destroy the world you have so carefully built.
"The Second Book Is Better than the First"
Don’t get me wrong. I am RAVING about Red Rising to everyone I possibly can around the office. And if you haven’t picked up this series yet, you need to start at the beginning. But Golden Son is even better than the first book – which is such an unheard of rarity and a delightful surprise that I had to review this book first. I don’t want to give away any spoilers here, and it’s hard to say much without doing so, but I can say that this series is a total genre-bender: I’d call this “Post-apocalyptic-dystopian-YA-crossover-military-sci-fi-with-history-and-general-awesome-geniusness”. All these elements shimmer here and meld together into one whip-smart saga that stays with you for months after finishing it. Needless to say January (when the third and final book in Brown’s trilogy releases) can’t get here soon enough.
"IS THIS A JOKE? DO YOU SEE US LAUGHING?"
PRIDE IS JUST A SHOUT IN THE WIND
At times I thought of The Gladiator, Outlander, Dune, Game of Thrones, and several fantasy epics. The book has a lot of good sparks to it and Brown is a very smart guy. The book has about everything, space battles, sword fights and lots of politics.
EVERYTHING IS POLITICS
The first two hours are excellent and did remind me of The Gladiator. Brown humiliates his main character, in what seems beyond repair. That was followed by two hours of inner strife. Than there is a really good sword fight. The next seven hours was mostly politics and conversations. Like most fantasy epics, there is a lot of talk about this family, that family, the histories of these families and the violence they did to each other and why they hate each other. I don't mind a little inner strife or even the history on certain houses, but not seven hours of it. If you stick with this occasionally something exciting will happen, you just might have to wait several hours. The politics got confusing and I had trouble figuring out who I was suppose to be for and who were the bad guys or why I should care. After twelve hours I lost patience and moved on to another book.
The narrator is very good, he does a great Scottish accent. He did not have a huge range of voices and at times I was confused on who was speaking.
"You liked the first one? You'll like this one."
gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, action
Ragnar. His monologue near the end.
Reynolds is well-known, his reading is gripping and his voice exceptional.
"BRING SOME TISSUES"
It's worth the bloody damn credit.
I keep listening and listening and listening waiting for things to pickup, but chapter after chapter, the conversation just goes on and on and on. I expected more; I am not impressed. I need more action.
Exceeds the first in its brilliance--well worth the credit. It is books like this that create a void in their wake as I try to find something half as good (an experience that I love as I'm listening and hate as the book ends and i scrabble around for something else). I can count on one hand out of hundreds of series the times I have felt this way--and this is one of them. Other fingers listed below.
Four other audible series I've had the same reaction to:
The Kingkiller Chronicles by Rothfuss: the Name of the Wind and the Wise Man's Fear
The Stormlight Archives by Sanderson: The way of Kings and words of radiance
Raven's Shadow novels by Anthony Ryan: Blood song/tower lord
The Outlander Series, some better than others but in the end an amazing 300 hours of listening bliss
I'm glad to add another series to my "I really can't stand the wait" list. Now if only someone could give me a list--like this--of books I've never read and they'd work for me as well as these!
"Amazing 2nd Book"
The notion that this series remains unknown is a travesty. These are some of the best books, the best story, of any genre. The young adult classification simply means these are books for anyone. I recommend them to everyone.
Seriously one of the best series' I have listened to in a long time. Fantastic book I highly recommend it!
"A worthy follow on to Red Rising."
if you haven't read book one then stop now and start there (Red Rising.) This is not a standalone tale and it is not worth your time without the context from book 1. The rest of the review will contain book 1 spoilers...
As a member of house Augustus, Darrow finds that life among the Peerless Scarred is not as straight forward as he hoped. It is often hard to tell the difference between his allies and his enemies which leaves Darrow pretty confused as to the best way to move forward with his hidden agenda. As Darrow continues to sort out how Gold society works his also learns more about his past as the history and composition of the Sons of Ares is revealed in more detail.
Lorn au Arcos, a former rage Knight, and Ragnar Volarus, a stained obsidian, are two interesting new characters that join the main cast returning from Red Rising. The blood feud with Cassius is still front and center but alliances around them both are quite fluid as the houses of Augustus and Bellona ready for war. There are many twists and turns throughout the book and then the final chapters come along and throw you face down into the mud. Not only are there shocking events that happen but you also start to question who is right and who is wrong as more is revealed about the ArchGoverner's long term vision.
Book 3, Morning Star, can't come soon enough as you are totally left hanging when this one ends. Tim Gerard Reynolds delivers another excellent narration and hopefully it won't be long before we hear him as the voice of Darrow once again.
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