Golden Son by Pierce Brown…and you thought it couldnt get better.

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Publication Date: 1st January 2015 from Hodder and Staughton UK/Random House Del Ray US.

Source: Netgalley

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.

Oh well what to say about this one. When I read “Red Rising” back in 2013, it ended up being my book of the year, it was a gloriously rich and deeply layered adventure with some of the best characters I’ve seen in fiction ever, let alone within this genre.

So moving onto Golden Son, the very LAST thing I expected was that it could get any better. As good perhaps, even the possiblity that it might suffer “middle book syndrome” had crossed my mind, but nothing NOTHING could have prepared me for what I actually faced when I started reading this novel.

All readers know that books are highly subjective and that which speaks to one does not to another – but I challenge anyone, ANYONE, whether their favourite fiction is Tolstoy or King, commercial or literary (gosh don’t you hate tags!) to pick up this book and not marvel at it. Red Rising first though – Darrow, after all, was born in that story and you have to be with him from the start.

And here it is. The sequel to Red Rising, the middle book of the trilogy, and so far ahead of Red Rising in story, plot, pure adrenalin and absolute reading joy that in actual fact Red Rising seems almost  tame – and we all know THAT ain’t so. In this instalment, Darrow is attempting to solidify his place within the Gold ruling classes but is thrown into turmoil at every step. As friends become enemies and enemies become friends, Darrow is thrown into a heart stopping thrill ride that will grip you utterly and throw you out the other side of it battered and bruised but oh boy the pleasure is in the pain here that is for sure. When I read the last few pages I’m not sure what I was feeling but whatever it was it hasnt let go yet.

From the deeply imagined and absolutely fascinating mythology, to the totally heart stopping characters all of which you love even as you hate some of them, this is an absolute marvel of a read, a true tour de force of fiction and a masterful lesson in how to create pure emotion in the reader, making this world as real as the one we live in. I couldnt put it down, yet couldnt bear to pick it up – every single chapter throws something new into the mix, every time you think you have a handle on things something else turns round and hits you right in the soul. Darrow is extraordinary, a hero to root for the like of which you’ve never seen, a true Daniel in the Lions den and it is not hard at all to feel every moment of his struggle.

It is quite hard to describe the pure genius of the writing – Pierce Brown is a magical weaver of words, setting scenes straight into your brain almost as if you were in some kind of immersive virtual reality experience, you feel every knock, cheer at every victory, groan at every defeat. I spent half the reading time peering at the story through my fingers, unable to bear the tension, but unable to tear myself away, like a child watching Dr Who from behind the sofa. By the time I got to the end of it I’d bitten two nails clean off although I didnt actually notice until later – so caught up was I in the sheer glory of the story unfolding. And oh that ending – what a marvellous, unimaginable, unpredictable finish to one of the best books I have read in my entire life up until now. Step aside Stephen King, my favourite author spot is wavering towards Mr Brown, words are almost certainly HIS power. How on earth I’m going to wait for the conclusion is currently unknoweable, but of course wait we must. If the ante is upped anymore its going to be on Mars with the Reds.

I am not surprised that there was a bidding war for the movie rights – one can only hope that when it inevitably becomes a film trilogy that they remain true to the heart of this. There is not one single reason I can see for changing even a tiny part of it to bring it to visual medium. One of those novels that is already a movie and so much more, an experience that offers so much beyond a couple of hours entertainment – one that sits in your soul and lurks there, the very best I can say about it is BloodyDAMN its good!


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My original Red Rising Review.

Happy HAPPY reading folks!






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