Wednesday 14 January 2015

Golden Son - Pierce Brown

Anyone who has read my earlier post about Red Rising will know just how much of a fan of this series I am, the first book blew me away with it's intricate plotting, great characters and with the fabulous combination of SciFi, Fantasy and the Roman pantheon. Needless to say I was uber-excited about the second instalment coming out, as well as very pleased that there was only a year in between the two. A year is a reasonable and acceptable wait, just long enough for the excitement to build and for me to spend a sane amount of my time raving about the series to people on the shop floor.
As soon as book two started to loom on the horizon I got requesting copies from anyone who I thought might be nice enough to send me one; when it did arrive then wow isn't it just so pretty!! Book one came with a map of the training area that would feature so prominently in the story, book two has a visual breakdown of the strata of society. Understanding this caste system is integral to the whole concept after all. So I settled down to read... only slightly feverishly ;).

All I can say is.......

Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God!!!

Having just finished this second instalment of the Red Rising trilogy, I am now jumping up and down with excitement..... At least a year to wait before Morning Star is released.... How can authors do this to us? Write incredible, game changing stories and leave us hanging for the final part?? As Brown is apparently involved in the Red Rising film, we just have to hope he doesn't go down the GRRM route of making us wait..... and wait..... and wait some more before Morning Star comes out.

Right so the book; as you may have gathered I absolutely loved this book, just as much as I loved the first one. Where book one saw Darrow undergo the changes that made it possible to infiltrate The Institute, here we watch him as he is firmly embedded in Gold society. Formulating a civil war that will rip that society to shreds. The scheming, twists and turns from his various allies, enemies and friends again rival anything found in Graves's 'Claudius' books, and provide plenty of excitement. Some of the new characters introduced here are really something special, loads of potential for growth and further expansion all around, just so long as they avoid being murdered! Brown's ability to murder key characters major and minor rivals that of GRRM;  I advise you not to form any strong attachments to anyone, except maybe Darrow himself. I suspect that killing off the main character and POV of the series may prove tricky even for Mr Brown, so hopefully Darrow is safe.... ish.
Unlike the first books, where most of the action took place in a semi medieval/dark age setting with the students of 'the Institute' rushing around playing a live action version of Conqueror, this book involves lots of political scheming, as well as some pretty epic space battles, and attacks on citadels. While plenty of detail is included in each of these, you never get bogged down in the minutiae of the 'science' of anything, which keeps the action flowing nicely. 

The writing rips though you, urging you to skip ahead to find out who will survive. Any temptation to do this though is dangerous as Brown can turn the whole tale around in a single line. Every single word is precious here. Without giving too much away There isn't much I can say about the innumerable plot twists that tear through the story leaving hopes, plans and people in shreds on the floor left, right and centre; what I will say is that the ending will floor you. As in, absolutely, totally and utterly floor you. Jeez, how much more can anyone involved take? This is one of those books where the ending simply leaves you gasping for more, it's also one where not only have I had a wonderful time suggesting the series to customers, but where I have literally had a jumping up and down with excitement discussion about the book with a fellow fan.

I really don't think I can fault this series in any way, except for the wait I now have for part 3, and if you are only ever going to read one sci-fi series in your life time I urge you to make it this one, as it blows pretty much everything else out of the water. Forget Hunger Games, this is the real deal. Incredible!

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