Title: Golden Son (Red Rising #2)Read more
Author: Pierce Brown
Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Dystopia
Narrated By: Tim Gerard Reynolds
Length: 19 hours, 3 minutes
Publisher: Del Rey
Publish Date: January 6, 2015
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Recommend: BLOODYDAMN YES!
Trigger Warnings: Violence, Death, Dismemberment
The Earth has long been destroyed by now. Humanity has relocated across the galaxy, and this story takes place on Mars. Near the core, underground where the masses seem to habitat, is where we meet our story’s protagonist, Darrow. He is part of a caste that was created to build a new home for those that haven’t moved to Mars yet. They are made to do the dirty work, putting their lives in danger to find whatever bio-material that can be used to make living on the surface bearable. To Darrow and the rest of the Reds, they are the ones that will help save humanity, that will help make Mars into a new Earth where humans can thrive again. But what they don’t know, what they were never told in the first place, is that Mars is already thriving, and so is the rest of the galaxy.
It’s just that nobody wanted the Reds to know that they were slaves to the higher castes.
Darrow’s life completely changes when he loses the woman he loves, sentenced to die because she chose to stand up for her people and rebel in the most haunting and beautiful way. He almost throws it all away, for he would rather die and be reunited with Eo than live the rest of his days alone and in pain. But he gets a second chance, and doesn’t die like he’s supposed to. Instead, he gets drafted into a secret society that is bent on bringing down the caste system, bringing the Reds to their rightful place among the rest of the colors, and tear down the Golds that have oppressed them for so long. With this newfound reason to live, a reason besides Eo, Darrow transforms himself into a Gold, completely changing his body and mindset, infiltrating their academy where the best of their children go to become warriors, soldiers, important leaders in their world. It is here where Darrow is really tested, where The Institute teaches them about strategy, and how mercy never prevails.
This was one of the best books I ever read, and I’m so glad that I came across it. This book had an interesting take on the popular dystopian genre that seems to be the topic of discussion lately, and I would love to see how the rest of the series turns out. Darrow becomes Gold through and through, and it’s like his entire Red identity disappears the longer he’s in the Institute. He has to be Gold if he is to survive the onslaught of torture and pain that he has to go through. Not just him, but all the other Gold children that survived the initial reaping, the one that decimated the entire Institute population by half before the games really began.
It was only hard to get through this book because I really felt Darrow’s transformation. All the difficult decisions he had to make being a part of the game, helping those on his team survive and take down the enemy that threatens to wipe them out of existence. All of those who died because of him change him even more, and even though he’s Red and they are Gold, there’s a part of him that still feels guilty when he doesn’t wait to. The game is changing him, and his journey to help free his fellow Red people has only just begun.
Rated: 5/5 Stars
“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 already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks 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.