Tuesday, 9 February 2016

'Golden Son' (Red Rising #2) by Pierce Brown - SPOILER FREE REVIEW

'Perhaps I was born to be of two Colors. 
Slag that. Man wasn't born to be any Color. Our rulers decided to relegate us to Colors. And they were wrong.' 
(If you haven't already, check out my original review of 'Red Rising', my re-read review and fancast, and my opinions about the first part of 'Golden Son').

I love 'Red Rising'.
In fact, it's one of my favourite books of all time. Slag that, my favourite book of all time.
So when the sequel released last January, did I run out and purchase it? Yes. Did I read it instantly? Of course not, because I knew there was going to be a huge cliffhanger and it was going to give me heart palpitations and anxiety that I couldn't deal with for an entire year.
But now it's two days until 'Morning Star' publishes, and I have my ARC of it sat by my side, and I have finally finished 'Golden Son'.
This is not going to be a regular review, because there's literally no way that I can put my feelings into coherent sentences. I also don't want to give any (specific) spoilers, because NUH-UH, you have to read this one for yourself to find out what the heck has been going on.
So, how am I feeling about this sequel? I can sum it up in one simple, concise sentence.
Normally I would leave this review until tomorrow, let my rollercoaster of emotions come to a steady stop and then type something insightful and deep, but that isn't happening today.
The thing is: I normally struggle with sci-fi. There's too much going on, the names are too weird, the worlds are difficult... I just can't understand it, and when I do understand it I don't emotionally connect with the characters, so I still feel that level of apathy and disinterest.
Pierce Brown is a god amongst men, because I don't feel any of that with his writing. Of course, I already cared about the characters because of the first book, but when they're taken out of the context of Mars (a lot of this second installment is set on Luna, our moon, which is - quite obviously - a very different world) I still cared about what happened to them. Even if the setting was vastly different and some of the descriptions went right over my head, I still bloodydamn cared. I wanted to know what was going on, I wanted to be able to get into the story and I really wanted to be a part of it (except that would have been very dangerous, because PEOPLE DIE. PEOPLE DIE SO HARD. Do not get attached to any characters, because they'll all hurt you in the end) because it was so beautifully described and utterly feasible - the science side of things is as fleshed out as it is fictional, but it's realistic and not a complete fairytale to imagine that people could live on the moon eventually.
And while I really wanted to be a part of the story, it also sped past! Sometimes if I'm focusing too much, trying to hard to get into something and to really absorb the world, the book drags and it feels more like a chore than like a fun read. That didn't happen either! So much was going on, but I didn't feel overwhelmed (okay, the pacing is a bit off at times, but NO MATTER! It's not a major problem, it just means the peaks can get a little too frequent and it detracts from the overall effect of the action sequences) and I still sped through this book which is a first for a book that I should normally find difficult.
I will admit, this was probably closer to a four star book and I'm definitely reviewing based off of the adrenaline poured into the last ten pages. It's one of those books that necessitates its sequel, which normally annoys me, but with the amount of action and plot that happens in 'Golden Son' it's not an easy way out to use a bit of the time to set up the third book - it's already the longest installment of the series, so setup = necessary.
I'm just so damn excited to see where it goes, and I think it's the potential and the promise of the next book that might be making me so over-enthusiastic about this one (I'll do a re-read at some point so I know for sure), but I definitely recommend this series. If you haven't started it yet, where the bloodydamn hell have you been? I mean, space? Good. Uprising of a slave race using an undercover agent? Good. Banter with a group of the most amazingly well-rounded and individual characters I've ever read? SUPER GOOD.
I could continue, but I want to go and start 'Morning Star' before morning (haha... Book title puns!) so I'm going to leave you with this message: READ THE RED RISING TRILOGY.
If you don't, you'll seriously come to regret it.

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