Let’s be honest, I’m completely stunned that I haven’t posted this review until now. After all, Golden Son was one of my favorite books of last year. It was odd though. At first I wasn’t quite in love with the book. I had liked it, but it hadn’t stuck out as something that was going to change me. Yet, after a few weeks when I initially wrote this review I realized that I really enjoyed this book. This is my review written a few weeks after I first red this from almost a year ago. Better late than never.
Red Rising is the first story I’ve read in a while that really shook me to my core. Pierce Brown created a world of Reds, Golds, Pinks, and more. Everyone had their place and the world was a rich depiction of what society could evolve into. There the people know where they belong, they don’t hold delusions of moving from group to group. Instead one needs to find a way to make the best of the lives they are given.
Then comes Darrow. A defiant young man from the start who had only the best intentions. He wanted the best for himself and his family. He was the best diver and earned the additional rations. However, as a Red his course of life was chosen. He would never earn the rations because he was in lambda. Darrow was in a position where he could make no progress in life. He lived in an oppressive society at the bottom rungs. There was not much he could do to change his personal situation. The people around him didn’t even realize that they had been so oppressed.
Thus when Darrow is chosen to go through the process to become a Gold, to infiltrate Gold society and start a revolution from within, he is presented with his own dilemmas. Through his journey we see Darrow off fighting for top class position among Golds. It is then he learns that everywhere, even among the golds strings are pulled and things are set for them. Everyone is restricted to what is to be. A fact that Darrow and some of his other classmates wish to overturn.
Red Rising gripped me from the start to the finish. I won’t deny that the early part of the novel was a bit difficult for me to get into. However, having gone back and read that section again I realize it is largely because the new vocabulary and structure of the world that you are thrown into and forced to learn on the spot. This is an extremely vast world and time needs to be taken to understand where we are. Especially since Darrow’s world view is changing as much as our own.
Red Rising is no doubt my favorite book of the year. Pierce Brown has proved in his debut novel that he is a force to be reckoned with. I can’t wait to dive further into Darrow’s world with the release of the next novel, Golden Son.