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Golden Son

Book II of the Red Rising Trilogy
Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
Length: 19 hrs and 3 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (874 ratings)
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Summary

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

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    5 out of 5 stars

Dune on amphetamines

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Getting better and better 

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful follow up from the 1st book

The plot twists are sublime, superb, memorising. Makes you cannot and will not want to stop the story. I listened the first book in two days and this one in another two days. Now straight onto the third book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Remarkable

i started with Red Rising on a recommendation. Complex, engaging and enormous fun. Brown, you have a reader for life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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As gripping as the first book

Having found Red Rising a wonderfully written and totally gripping read, I couldn’t wait to dive straight in to the sequel and second book in the trilogy. I was not disappointed... Pierce Brown really knows how to create a character and tell a story. Brilliant storytelling. Bring on the third book

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good

I loved the first book, but just feel like this was a bit rushed/less immersive

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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long but pulls you in

At times this seems too long with a few too many highs and lows but at the end it is a good story well told.

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incredible book

even better than the first. Story just gets stronger and stronger. Went straight in and bought the third book straight after

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Not as good as the first one

I really enjoyed 1st book in this series, sadly this book I found a bit hard to follow and dull.

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Incredible

Just finished this 2nd part of the trilogy. Blown away once again. Absolutely loved this book. What a greatly executed story.

Narration was brilliant again, made me feel as though it was all being played out in front of my eyes. The delivery really got my imagination fired up as i clung to every word.

Among the very best audiobook listens I've experienced thus far.

About to listen to the final book, already worried about how I'm going to find anyrhing as enjoyable once its finished.

Highly recommended trilogy.

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  • HMW
  • 09-01-15

A Modern Classic Which Will Endure

Where does Golden Son rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

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.

Who was your favorite character and why?

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.

Which character – as performed by Tim Gerard Reynolds – was your favorite?

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.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The ending. All I will say.

Any additional comments?

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.

58 of 66 people found this review helpful

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  • Keri
  • 16-05-15

Extraordinary work

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!

21 of 24 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Dirk
  • 01-02-18

I felt like the first book was a great Epic story

I felt like the first book was a great epic story and this second book was really just a filler. it didn't quite grab my attention like the first book did. still loved it but not quite as good as the first.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kelly
  • 13-10-17

I can't believe there isn't more hype about this series!!

I never ever write reviews, but this book truly merited one. I can't believe all the other YA tripe has been made into movies and not this series- this is so much better. The plot takes you for an awesome roller coaster ride- one you'll want to ride again and again. It's the perfect blend of love, loss, sadness, joy, humor and hope. It doesn't even have improbable "saved in the nick of time" situations that you can't suspend reality for. The narrator does and excellent job as well. No wonder this book has a 5 star rating!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Gus
  • 28-05-17

i love this story

I love the way this book flows and ends. My heart aches, my blood pumps, and the hair on my arms stands tall.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 24-03-16

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.


HORIZONTAL DIPLOMACY
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.

133 of 163 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • M. B. Jones
  • 03-02-18

never trust anyone

The theme of this book is "betrayal." Everyone is backstabbing everyone else. After the 3rd time, you'd think that it'd be over, but no. It just continues on the entire book. It becomes a game of "Who is going to backstab Darrow now?" You start to get numb to it by the end. Ulg. I don't want to go on to the next book because it's all so depressing.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Cathy S.
  • 22-01-17

Story is very entertaining.

Books 1 and 2 are cliff hangers, you have to get 3. I'm just now starting book 3. But after the first two I'm wondering; first, how many times can this guy die and miraculously come back to life? Not very credible. Secondly, are there ANY good guys besides our hero? And last, will this end well - or even end at all?

This story is entertaining, even if it is a bit tedious. My only real critique for the reader is that they should have started with a younger reader. It was a bit awkward for me to imagine teenage boy Darrow with the voice of an older man. It did get easier as Darrow aged and matured but still in book 2 he's only in his early 20's and our reader sounds in his 50's.

Still, I don't regret this series purchase. Thanks Audible!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Joshua Kring
  • 10-07-15

The least helpful review of Golden Son.

Pierce Browns story is epic. I think it could be one of my favorite series. The characters are complex and riviting. There is tension and suspense and mind blowing action scenes. There are twists that you never see coming yet you don't feel cheated when they happen. It has some far fetched science that I had little trouble overlooking.

So, why do I give this book such a low rating?

I can not stand Tim Gerard Reynolds' narration. I realize I'm practically alone in my aggravation as most people love him, but I have my reasons. I listed them in my review of Red Rising, but I am so irritated by how such a great book is ruined that I will list them again.

Firstly, he reads incredibly slowly in an attempt to be more dramatic even though it's entirely unnecessary because the writing is extremely dramatic on its own.

Secondly, he has very little range in his voice acting and very little consistantcy when he does create original voices. This makes it very difficult to know who's speaking, and conversations get confusing. There are exceptions, such as my favorite character, Ragnar... That's really the only exception I can think of off hand.

Finally, his accent drives me crazy. I get that the main character is of Scottish descent, but it's ancient history and his heritage bares little impact on the story. So, such a heavy Scottish accent is unnecessary... To me, at least.

Remember that I might be the only one that feels this way. Chances are you'll be one of the thousands of people who give Mr. Reynolds five stars. Plus, the books are magnificent. I'd say they rival the first three Game of Thrones books in their scope and scale, and I'm certainly not alone in saying that. (Yes, I know that George R R Martin's epic fantasy series is called 'A Song of Ice and Fire', but that name is so generic that I reject it on principles. I also know there are currently five books in that series, but only the first three are great. Books four and five are disappointing.)

I purchased Golden Son right after I listened to Red Rising, and it sat in my library for four months because I dreaded siting through 19 more hours of Mr. Reynolds. If I had time I would have just read the book myself, but I don't have time. I want to know how this amazing story ends, but I'm kind of glad book 3 isn't out yet. I'll have no trouble waiting on it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Em
  • 24-06-15

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.

33 of 42 people found this review helpful