Which one of the following statements are true...
1 - Piece Brown is a literary magician.
2 - Golden Son is a step above the incredible Red Rising.
3 - All sane people who read Golden Son experience heart palpitations, bouts of existential horror, and a pulse that races like a screaming Ferrari doing its top speed down a freeway.
Answer... ALL OF THEM!
Wow... just wow... where do I begin? Golden Son takes the reader a few years past the events of Red Rising, and Darrow now faces a whole new swathe of challenges and threats. If I thought Brown couldn't improve on the stakes from Red Rising I was wrong. There is a whole new cast of characters, and players from Red Rising reappear in absolutely thrilling ways. There is evolution on every level, and the universe is more treacherous and wondrous than ever before. Like in Red Rising, the world building in Golden Son is brilliant and the themes that are explored are intelligent yet also visceral.
Amidst all of this we have Darrow, who is still attempting to bring about Eo's vision of love and justice for their people. Darrow is arguably one of the best protagonists I have ever read, and I absolutely was enthralled by his evolution throughout Golden Son as he weaved his way through astronomical levels of treachery, politicking and betrayal. What takes him to that next level however is his humanity amidst the Golds. He forms relationships and loves, and invests emotion in so much of his decision making that at times he fails and picks the wrong ally, friend, or enemy. The stakes are so high that every decision has massive ramifications. I can't recall a book that was so emotionally draining that I had to stop at times to hold my head in my hands. His rise has been so been so fast paced that I spent a fair amount Golden Son literally dreading and waiting on his fall.
The action and battle sequences are again, like in Red Rising, top notch and charged with emotion, hate, and skill. One of the things I adored about Red Rising was its juxtapositon of advanced technology alongside human depravity and barbarity, and this continues wonderfully in Golden Son. I also have to mention Brown's writing style. Simply put, it is magical. Brown has a unique turn of phrase and use of language that laces his words with powder kegs of emotion and lyricism that make it a pure joy to behold.
And christ almighty... that ending... THAT ENDING... Brown just ripped out my heart... played kickball with it... and then shoved it back in when he tired of the game. I literally loved and hated him at the same time after reading that ending. Pure... fucking... genius.
Golden Son is amazing and Brown is a once in a generation writer. I can't really say any more than that. If you have a beating heart and lucid mind then you will love this book.
5 out of 5 stars.
A review copy was provided.