Book review: Golden Son by Pierce Brown

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With shades of The Hunger GamesEnder’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.

The second book of the trilogy, Golden Son, came out in January, but before I jumped into the sequel I reread Red Rising. I remembered a lot of the major developments and twists, but really needed to refresh my memory about the details. I found myself gasping as it all came back to me.

I did love Red Rising just as much as I did the first time. Reading Red Rising again was the smartest thing because while Golden Son does occasionally remind you of happened in the first book, it does not waste time with the details. It is best to read them back to back.

Like Red Rising I loved the characters ever changing developing and regressing relationships. There is so much that goes on with the alliances, plotting, and backstabbing politics. You shouldn’t read this while tired but it is also a page turner that is difficult to put down.

The pacing of the story is well done. The story never slows, but even during moments that are not action filled the scene has meaning. There is no filler. There is humor, romance, suspense, jaw dropping moments, and intense caring for the characters. Except maybe for the ones you love to hate.

I saw a reviewer call Darrow a Gary Stu, and I must disagree. He is flawed and makes some mistakes. He learns from mistakes but also is not invincible to never make another one ever again.

Very minor spoilers below.

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New York Comic Con 2014 – Friday, October 10

Friday, October 10, 2014

Like at Book Con, the Main stage was cleared after each panel. To get in they gave out bracelets each morning, starting at 10, for each panel. I liked this system so much. It prevents people from staying in a room all day for one panel in the late afternoon. I wish they had done this last year. Then I could have seen the panel for Reign.

Victoria and I got our bracelets for the Elementary panel, then roamed the exhibit hall. My sister didn’t have a ticket for Thursday so I took her to see all the things I saw the previous day. The life size E.T. doll at NECA. The Hobbit figures at WETA. The Hallmark booth. We also went to The Colorful Geek booth. I bought a couple of more t-shirts.

I also have another shirt from The Colorful Geek that I bought several years ago that says “Mischief Managed”, and I have the Marauder’s Map. Vic and I should get red wigs and go as Fred and George one year. LOL

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Elementary Panel and Exclusive Screening
Friday, October 10| 12:45 PM-1:45PM| Main stage 1-D

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Book review: Red Rising by Pierce Brown

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Pierce Brown’s relentlessly entertaining debut channels the excitement of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.

“I live for the dream that my children will be born free,” she says. “That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.”

“I live for you,” I say sadly.

Eo kisses my cheek. “Then you must live for more.”

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and lush wilds spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies . . . even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

(Note: I wrote this review on March 23, 2014. After I reread it I’ll post a new review with more thoughts.)

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