Golden Son: Red Rising - Volume II
Written by: Pierce Brown
Reviewed by: Brad Williamson
Genre: Soft Science-Fiction / Action
If you’ve read Red Rising, then you have a pretty good idea what you’re getting into; if you haven’t read Red Rising, then stop reading this right now and go read it.
A direct sequel in theme, story, and style, Golden Son does everything its predecessor did. It has a fast pace, violence and action, mystery and suspense, shocks and surprises, and lots of death. It’s an improvement upon Red in many aspects, too, but it’s not perfect.
It lacks the slow build into violent climax of the first because the whole book is one giant climax, one shocker after another. While this is exciting, it does result in some confusing scenes. At moments it feels like clarity and precision have been sacrificed in favor of a brutal, unrelenting pace. This works because the reader can’t even process the missing details before the next scene attacks them. Still, despite never losing focus of the big picture, these little details build and bug at times.
But these are just small issues. Gone is some of the exactness of the first, but make no doubt, Golden Son manages a much larger scope. Small details for enormous grandeur is a fair trade, and it’s one this book makes with no questions or regrets. You either love it or you won’t, but my bet is that you will.