Golden Son is the sequel to Red Rising, it is an eclectic mixture of dystopian worlds, sci-fi, mythology, sociology and anthropology.
Brown has made such an excellent job of creating his main character and the fake story that Darrow lives with and in. The pretence is so convincing that I had actually forgotten he is a Red pretending to be a Gold. I am sure even Darrow forgets now and again.
Red Rising was such a refreshing , energetic and brutally dystopian book. It is hard to top a bestseller and yet that is exactly what Brown has done. Golden Son smacks you up the face with a fist of iron. Gone are the days of youth, of hope and friendship. What remains is the violent hardship of the Institute and the battle that commenced between the students. They are now spread to all corners of the galaxy, and Darrow finds his risen star starting to fall really fast and hard.
Even in this dystopian setting you can see the similarities between the structure of the colours and the class structures in our own societies. The Golds are reminiscent of our very own power players, wealthy pullers of pivotal strings and the political elite. They control every single element of each colour below Gold and everyone is taught not to rock the boat, regardless of level or colour. Don’t mess with the status quo, ever. Do not question or try to change the carefully built ladder of society.
The lower colours are to remain oblivious to the truth, the manipulations both of a physical and mental nature, applied to the lower colours to keep them from trying to rise above their stations. This means that even if a Gold were to query the validity of the structure, they would become instant outcasts to other Golds.
So Darrow travels a very thin line. No longer really belonging to his own colour and never really belonging to his fake one. The real question is whether the friendships and bonds he has made will actually be strong enough to withstand the truth when it comes out.
I am going to try really hard not to give away any spoilers about the ending, which is spectacular by the way. Betrayal and treachery seem to go hand in hand with any kind of human interaction between the Golds.
All I’m going to say is, it is time for Darrow to rise up and become not only a Son of Ares, perhaps it is time to lead them himself. In this book loyalty becomes merely a pretty word to toss around like a ball. You just never know who’s going to drop it next.
I highly recommend this fast paced, intriguing and complex dystopian tale.
I received a copy of this book via Netgalley.