Review: Golden Son by Pierce Brown

Golden Son, published by Del Ray Books in 2015, is the second book in Pierce Brown’s Red Rising trilogy. If you haven’t read Red Rising, the first book, I would recommend checking it out – or at least giving my review a skim to get a sense for the context of this sequel.

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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? (x)

My Thoughts

As I wrote on Twitter shortly after finishing this book, it’s rare for a sequel to live up to, let alone outdo its predecessor, but Brown knocked this one out of the park.

Golden Son improves upon the main strengths of Red Rising: its pacing and what many reviewers call its ‘cinematic’ quality – its prose is visual without being overly descriptive, allowing the narrative to play out like a film in your head. You won’t want to put this one down.

The two most captivating elements of the book, however, have to be its much-improved character development and its breathtaking plot twists. We learn more about the characters’ histories, and they come to surprise us – in positive and negative ways.

Given that my biggest problem with Red Rising was its strong resemblance of other dystopian/sci-fi series like The Hunger Games and Ender’s Game, I love how Golden Son forges its own path. I can’t wait to see how Brown concludes the series in Morning Star!

5/5 stars. (What does this mean?)

Have you read the Red Rising Trilogy? What did you think? 

This review has been cross-posted on Goodreads and LibraryThing.

7 thoughts on “Review: Golden Son by Pierce Brown”

    1. I agree completely! It seems a lot of books are made into series/franchises to squeeze more money out of fans, so when you read them, you can tell the sequels weren’t part of the original design. Sometimes it works, but mostly it feels off somehow. Then there are those like the Harry Potter and The Dark Tower series, or this one, which were clearly planned out meticulously and read so much better as a result. Have you read any of the books in this trilogy?


      1. I haven’t read anything in that trilogy, but it sounds interesting! I definitely agree that you can tell when a series was planned or an afterthought.


  1. I’ve read the first two novels in the series and am currently reading the third. The third, Morning Star, was the first book I ever pre-ordered. I have read a lot of science fiction and fantasy novels, but these have a consistent tone. At certain points the action is over the top to a degree of being silly, and at other points a sense of intense emotions is invoked. What makes it work is that this is all blended in a rhythmic fashion. I suppose that’s where the word “cinematic” that is being used to describe the series comes from.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I think that explains the “cinematic” thing well. I definitely found myself giddy and giggling over how crazy the plot got from time to time, and then just as quickly dropping into (figurative) nail-biting/feeling sad and afraid for the characters. It’s a wild ride. I hope you enjoy Morning Star! Is it good so far? Haven’t managed to get my hands on a copy yet, but I can’t wait to find out what happens once I do.


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