So I was finally able to finish the Red Rising series. It was one of the best sci-fi books in the world building aspect but still I couldn't help but feel a little off about the two sequels after the first book. My review for the first one was generous since I had a copy but not the courage to read it, so the following reviews will be as honest as I can make them.
Golden Son by Pierce Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Summary from GoodReads
With shades of The Hunger Games, Ender’s Game, and Game of Thrones, debut author Pierce Brown’s genre-defying epic Red Rising hit the ground running and wasted no time becoming a sensation.
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.
A life-or-death tale of vengeance with an unforgettable hero at its heart, Golden Son guarantees Pierce Brown’s continuing status as one of fiction’s most exciting new voices.
BUY THE BOOKS ON AMAZON | BOOK DEPOSITORY
Following the events of "Red Rising", Darrow enters the House of his archenemy, the man who killed his wife, and so he begins his game of destroying the Gold society system from the inside.
Truthfully, I began enjoying the book close to its middle. Darrow even in a society full of enemies, still manages to outshine them, to the point of feeling...well a little too shiny. It felt as if he was the ONLY ONE who could kill the bad guys, make the plans, outsmart everything and everyone.
The supporting characters of Mustang and Sevro are still present and I loved every banter and discussion Darrow had with Sevro. I think I kind of like the guy. He is horrible in a disturbingly cute way?
LOL, someone hit me now!
The book has also non-stop action. I never felt bored with the scenes of battle and how easily it was for me, a person who prefers History to Math, to understand every related to astronomy and space fighting. All the scenes were Star Wars/ Star Trek worthy.
We also get to meet some new characters, like the giant Obsidian warrior Ragnar, and the scarred proud woman Victra. The ending of the second book, had me screaming to the pages. After a sweet scene between Darrow and Mustang, everything happened too fast and I didn't even had the chance to feel anything. Rage, sadness, horror? I don't know but I felt conflicted.
Morning Star by Pierce Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
On "Morning Star" I can tell with certainty that Pierce Brown managed to explore more his characters. He does not stay only into Darrow, who also undergoes a horrible experience and tries to resurface as the main character, but though Darrow's POV we get to see more of his allies. Kavax and his fox, Mustang, Roque and Sevro with Victra.
I would note especially the last two because I loved every mention to them. There is also a chapter that is kind of dedicated to them? Sevro has lost so much I was quite glad to see the guy smiling.
I would even hug him, if he didn't threaten me with poisonous mushrooms.
There is also a good map on the beginning of the book, showing the Solar System. Knowing something about astronomy I found it quite amazing how Pierce showed the evolution of the human colonization on the whole system. From Hermes to Pluto. (yes for me Pluto will ALWAYS BE A PLANET!)
Was I surprised about some events? Yes. I didn't expect Ragnar and his family to be so...lovey-dovey (insert irony here please). Also, I didn't like how the Golds treated Scandinavian mythology. True, the mythology is pessimistic and not so sunny, but there was no reason to alter a whole planet, terraform it into an icy hell and make them treat each other like savages. But again, with fear you can rule everything (the golden rule of dystopian novels you see).
The ending was good with a sprinkle of surprise. I like the fact the everything was left uncertain since we will get a new trilogy of the series and I would to see more of Servo. All and all it was very satisfying.
As always don't miss the amazing fanart created by @PhantomRin who posts her art on Tumblr. Here's some fine examples:
Darrow and the Color social pyramid
About the author: