Golden Son by Pierce Brown Review: Bloodydamn Epic

February 4, 2015 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 5 stars, Books, Reviews

Golden Son by Pierce Brown Review: Bloodydamn EpicGolden Son by Pierce Brown
Published by Hodder & Stoughton on January 8, 2015
Source: Publisher
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy
Amazon | Book Depository
Add to Goodreads

Darrow is a rebel forged by tragedy. For years he and his fellow Reds worked the mines, toiling to make the surface of Mars inhabitable. They were, they believed, mankind's last hope. Until Darrow discovered that it was all a lie, and that the Red were nothing more than unwitting slaves to an elitist ruling class, the Golds, who had been living on Mars in luxury for generations.

In RED RISING, Darrow infiltrated Gold society, to fight in secret for a better future for his people. Now fully embedded amongst the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his dangerous work to bring them down from within. It's a journey that will take him further than he's ever been before - but is Darrow truly willing to pay the price that rebellion demands?

A life-or-death tale of vengeance with an unforgettable hero at its heart,Golden Son guarantees Pierce Brown's growing status as one of fiction's most exciting new voices.

The Golden Son is amazing, transcending the brutality and the warfare in Red Rising, and making it so much more epic. It’s filled with twists, turns, deeper world building and an exhilarating game of political infiltration, and I loved every minute of it.

While Red Rising was about gaining trust of the Golds and the war games of the Institute, The Golden Son featured war, politics, revolution and Darrow executing his pivotal role infiltrating the Golds as a Son of Ares. While Darrow has proven himself as a master strategist in war, he plays a dangerous game with gaining political influence and manipulating those around him. Friends will betray him, enemies will reveal their true allegiance, new alliances will form and others will severe. Darrow has to rely on his instincts in order to survive and achieve such a dangerous and tricky objective.

I am the Reaper. Whatever doubts I had in myself fall away and I feel the stain creeping over my soul. 

Darrow is an amazing leading character, from his humbled beginnings as a Red miner on the bottom rung of society to his current rank as a top official in the Golds. He’s completely ruthless and brutal when it comes to getting what he wants, including proving his loyalty to the ArchGovernor Augustus, his loyalty for his friends, his confidence in the lower classes and most of all, his duty as a Son of Ares. He’s constantly calculating, thinking of the best course of action and achieving a dream that Eo sacrificed herself for. He’s a true leader, empowering those around him including the lower classes and putting utmost trust and confidence into his closest allies and friends. The hardship he’s experienced and his extreme determination to fight for the cause is prevalent in his thoughts, and only he could survive the complex path of manipulation, deceit and trust.

For seven hundred years, my people have been enslaved without voice, without hope. Now I am their sword. And I do not forgive. I do not forget. So let him lead me onto his shuttle. Let him think he owns me. Let him welcome me into his house, so I might burn it down.

The Golden Son is completely epic and perfectly conveys a modernised Greco-Roman setting, with modern warfare, space ships and worshipping of the elite Gold race. The sci-fi/high fantasy balance is a complicated one, and in this sequel we witness more space fights and technological war, as opposed to the insular battle in Red Rising. The Golden Son shows us the full society in action with all the colours in between, not just Reds in their hardship or Golds in opulence. From Obsidian being the hired warfare, to Blues navigating ships with their scholarly upbringing, and the Pinks in their slavery, the world building here is a lot deeper and more wholesome.

The secondary characters were all amazing and complex, and it was great seeing a large spectrum of them undergoing character development. I usually have trouble following multiple characters in high fantasy books, but I eventually got used to each of the character eccentricities and who they were aligned with. In particular, I loved Sevro and his Howlers, a loyal ‘wolf pack’ of fighters who will follow Darrow to the ends of the world, Ragnar, the hired ‘Stained’ Obsidian who becomes Darrow’s bodyguard, and the ever conniving and fiery Mustang. There is a slight romance in the book, less than I would have wanted but with so much going on, it felt natural. I only wish things would have went differently.

This race – what a beautiful monster. They carry all of humanity’s strengths, except one. Empathy. They can change. I know that. Perhaps not now, perhaps not in four generations. But it begins today, the end of their Golden Age. Shatter the Bellona, weaken the Gold. Drive the civil war to Luna itself and destroy the Sovereign. Then Ares will rise. 


The Golden Son has a fascinating, complex and compelling story that shows us the meaning of a true hero on the brink of political destruction. It brought so much more to the epic Greco-Roman world of Red Rising by exploring the sci-fi elements and the colour-based class system in the story. This is a story made to be savoured, and I loved every minute of it.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Thank you to Hachette Australia for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review! 

The following two tabs change content below.
Jeann is an Aussie YA blogger and mum who loves to read and recommend books! You can usually find me fangirling about books on my various social media channels including Twitter @happyindulgence, Instagram and Youtube.

Tags: , , , ,

40 responses to “Golden Son by Pierce Brown Review: Bloodydamn Epic

  1. Absolutely brilliant review, makes me wish I had of got into this series now. I love the ideals of a down and out character who is thrust into the spotlight and able to rise above. The hubby loved it even more than Red Rising too. Love those quotes, especially the second one. Superbly inspirational.

    Brilliant review Jeann <3
    My recent post Dead Of Winter by Kresley Cole

    • Yesss the world is totally awesome Ana! I\’m the same, but I was fine with this one. If only I read a refresher of the first book lol

  2. I was impressed by Golden Son. It managed to bee even better than Red Rising! You summed it up very well in that first paragraph. Darrow was far less annoying than thee first book, but he's still not my favorite. Fortunately I love so many of thee poor minor characters. I was so tense reading this, afraid my favorites were going to die! I loved the space battles! I want a whole book with all of the different ships. Nice review, very quotable!
    My recent post Top Ten Books I Can’t Believe I Haven’t Read Yet

    • I know right, it was so much better than Red Rising which I loved as well. Darrow\’s journey kind of reminds me of Captain America hehe. It was amazing hey! Thanks Molly.

  3. cristinasbookreviews

    I seriously just scrolled to the bottom of this post to add a comment. I just read Red Rising last week and now, I'm halfway through Golden Son. ZOMG Jeann!!! I'm obsessed. Like I can't even handle it and I think it's being made into a movie!!! GAH…I will read this review once I'm done with the book!!! ♥
    My recent post The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

    • oh my gosh, it\’s freaking amazing isn\’t it? I was SO EXCITED when I heard it would be made into a movie agghgh I can\’t handle it! And Pierce Brown will be writing the script as well!

  4. LilysBookBlog

    GAH Jeann you're making me reconsider all my life choices since I have not yet picked up Red Rising*cries* I'm terrible at these types of things. Everyone loves this series and this sequel and I just know I need to read it ASAP!So happy you had a great time with this sequel 🙂

  5. karawrites15

    I really, really tried to read the first novel. I only got a few chapters into the novel before it was due back at the novel, but I have to admit I wasn't too fussed on what I read, so I've never bothered to reborrow it since. Now, I'm seriously reconsidering that. I know at the time I was in a bit of a reading slump… so maybe it was that? Either way I think I might give Red Rising a reread. Lovely review. ^_^
    My recent post Worldbuilding: Part Eight (Religion)

    • Yeah, it's quite a detailed novel that takes a bit to get into, but totally worth it once you're there! It's reallly good!

  6. Jessica @ Rabid Reads

    This book was brutal. Servo and Ragnar were my favorite secondaries as well, and Mustang . . . layers and layers. I needed like a week to recover, and now I'm just twiddling my thumbs until next year. Okay, maybe that's a slight exaggeration, but YOU KNOW. "I only wish things would have went differently." Me TOO *wails*
    My recent post Blog Tour Stop, Review and Giveaway: Dearest by Alethea Kontis

  7. AFJDKALSD THIS MAKES ME SO EXCITED. I absolutely adored Red Rising and I was pretty sure this would live up to it. ^-^ Although, small question, do you think it's pretty needful to reread Red Rising? I read it a year ago and I'm fuzzy on details…I just can't decide whether I might be able to skid into Golden Son and remember as I go along or if I NEED to reread.

    • Yeah, I was actually really fuzzy on details and characters too, so I would have liked to have done a re-read beforehand. Maybe there's recap somewhere though, I still need to check out that recap site you posted.

  8. Awesome review, Jeann! Golden Son is the best release of 2015 so far for me. I totally agree with you, this was even more epic than Red Rising, Pierce Brown is genius and I had book hangover for weeks after finishing it. How are we going to survive wait for next book after THAT ending???