Book Review

Book Review: Golden Son (Red Rising Saga #2) by Pierce Brown

Rating: ★★★★★
Genre: Sci-Fi
Length: 442 pages
Author: Pierce Brown
Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: January 6th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

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.

WHIPLASH.

Good heavens I forgot how much I love these books! This is a reread review as I gear up for Lightbringer and its good (and painful) to be back with this saga.

I LOVE Darrow. Don’t get me wrong, he goes on one heck of a journey, BUT THE SIDE CHARACTERS. They bring the house down. I love so many of them and how well crafted each personality and soul is. Sevro, Mustang, Victra, Ragnor, etc. The whole dang cast is wonderful and completely captivating. They MAKE this book what it is.

The plot is continually pulling you every which way in the emotions field. There’s highs, lows, and everything in between. I had remembered the main gist of the novel, but getting a chance to reread and see all of the details floored me. These books are intricate and amazing and the best sci-fi series I’ve ever read.

Overall audience notes:

  • Sci-Fi
  • Language: strong
  • Romance: closed door
  • Violence: very high
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: slavery, slut shaming, blood and gore depiction, torture mentioned

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Book Review

Book Review: Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce Brown

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Sci-Fi / Fantasy
Length: 382 pages
Author: Pierce Brown
Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: January 28th, 2014
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies… even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

AS ALWAYS, GOOD.

This is a reread review! I never reviewed it formally when I first read it in 2016 so what better time to write one now?

I LOVE this series. Especially the first three books. I surprised myself with how much I remembered about Red Rising and it goes to show how incredible Pierce Brown is at crafting a story that left such an impression that it is still memorable years later.

Darrow’s rise to the top contains such character depth that I can’t get enough. Anything to do with character growth is automatically a win in my book and I loved seeing his progression. Sevro is FOREVER AND EVER one of my top side characters ever and it was great seeing him at his wild beginnings.

I do remember wishing there was a touch more romance. I adore Mustang and her fierce yet kind nature. She makes the hard choices, but actually holds onto some humanity in doing so.

The villains are making themselves known and I am here for it. These are some of the most wicked and deep antagonists I’ve come across. I love the academy setting and how it really builds the rest of the series.

Can’t wait to continue this reread!

Overall audience notes:

  • Sci-Fi / Fantasy
  • Language: strong
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: very high and graphic
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: mentions of rape and sexual assault, murder, physical altercations, executions, loss of a spouse, near death experiences, weapons altercations

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Book Review

Book Review: Dark Age (Red Rising #5) by Pierce Brown

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Sci-fi + Fantasy
Length: 757 pages
Author: Pierce Brown
Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: July 30th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

For a decade Darrow led a revolution against the corrupt color-coded Society. Now, outlawed by the very Republic he founded, he wages a rogue war on Mercury in hopes that he can still salvage the dream of Eo. But as he leaves death and destruction in his wake, is he still the hero who broke the chains? Or will another legend rise to take his place?

Lysander au Lune, the heir in exile, has returned to the Core. Determined to bring peace back to mankind at the edge of his sword, he must overcome or unite the treacherous Gold families of the Core and face down Darrow over the skies of war-torn Mercury. 

But theirs are not the only fates hanging in the balance.

On Luna, Mustang, Sovereign of the Republic, campaigns to unite the Republic behind her husband. Beset by political and criminal enemies, can she outwit her opponents in time to save him? 

Once a Red refugee, young Lyria now stands accused of treason, and her only hope is a desperate escape with unlikely new allies.

Abducted by a new threat to the Republic, Pax and Electra, the children of Darrow and Sevro, must trust in Ephraim, a thief, for their salvation—and Ephraim must look to them for his chance at redemption.

As alliances shift, break, and re-form—and power is seized, lost, and reclaimed—every player is at risk in a game of conquest that could turn the Rising into a new Dark Age.

LIVED UP TO ITS NAME.

It’s not often that I read a book where I can clearly see that it was named appropriately. HOLY COW Y’ALL. I can’t even begin to cover the darkness, and amazingness of this book.

My notes for this book were allllll over the place. I have so many caps sections of me shouting WHAT IS HAPPENING. All of my characters were [okay, still are] strewn across planets and in various disarrays of maybe dead, definitely captured, hope they’re alive, scenarios. WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THAT? I need a dose of happiness before this is all over or I’ll cry. I want my babes to be happy. They gosh dang DESERVE IT.

This without a doubt, kept me on my toes. It took me about 100ish pages to really get into it because I was having a hard time remembering who everyone was, and some specifics of what happened in previous books. It is insane how much work clearly goes into making these sci-fi masterpieces. I am astounded at the writing (though I do wish it wasn’t so vulgar at times – you win some you lose some), and how easily captivating it is to keep flipping pages. I am deeply invested in everyone’s lives at this point. There’s barely a moment to catch your breath as the bombardment of action hits you over and over.

I want to rattle off a hundred reasons I love MY main characters (those being: Virginia, Darrow, Victra & Sevro). These original four are so flawed and so full of strength that I cheer for them at every turn. I love that they make mistakes, love deeply and care a great deal about what happens in their world. Everyone has occasions of boldness, passionate monologues and lethal how are they that good at killing moments. Even better, characters like Lysander had me questioning who’s side I was on (only for a little bit y’all, he’s a great villain).

All of this sounds great right? Well, the reason I gave it 4 1/2 stars vs. 5 is because of one scene. It was way too dark for me personally and I haven’t seen the purpose of it other than to be realllll cruel. I actually put the book down for a few when it happened. I will mention it with a spoiler warning prior in my Overall audience notes section!

Can’t get enough of this series regardless. I am in awe at the behemoth of a book this was. Absolutely amazing and I highly recommend catching up with this series! I’m not a huge sci-fi lover, but these have really become a winner.

Overall audience notes:

  • Adult sci-fi
  • Language: a lot of strong language and often crude/vulgar in nature
  • Romance: a few kisses, towards the end a few little detailed fade to black love scenes
  • Violence: okay, I have no way of conveying all of the violence that happened literally every page so a small breakdown would be: explosions, war, battle scenes, swords, poison, storms, mobs, torture [all scenes are very bloody, gory & very detailed]
  • Trigger warnings: a lot of mentions of off screen rape, now: SPOILER ALERT (from what I mentioned in my review): the scene that I thought was too much was that of Victra’s murdered NEW-BORN nailed to a tree; NAILED.

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Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Characters I Would Love to be Best Friends With

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!

I would want to be friends with SO MANY CHARACTERS. Why aren’t any of them real!? (Not that I wouldn’t want be caught in their situations most of the time haha).

Below are a handful that came to mind when I wrote this post! I know there’s plenty more that will cross my mind before I even publish this. Lets talk in the comments about what character you’d love to be friends with!

Sevro – Red Rising Saga by Pierce Brown

Okay, who WOULDN’T want to be friends with this Howler? Especially after just finished Dark Age I am so down for being besties with Sevro, ALWAYS.


Night Court – ACOTAR Series by Sarah J. Maas

I can’t even pick one. I want to be a part of this whole dang court. Fictional characters can be made real, right?


Fenrys – Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas

Honestly, I’d love to be friends with pretty much anyone in this cast, but Fenrys has a special place in my heart. I love him so much!


Kestral – The Winner’s Curse Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski

I flippin’ love Kestral. She’s brave, kind, and amazingly smart. I love how her scheming mind.


Vhalla – Air Awakens Series by Elise Kova

AH I LOVE HER SO MUCH. I am almost finished with the last book and I can’t get enough of Vhalla. I would love to be her best friend. She’s seriously the best.


Lira – To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

Quite frankly, I just want to be best friends with a mermaid. That is all.


Elizabeth Bennett – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I think I would have an absolute ball being friends with Elizabeth. She is a kindred spirit in many ways.


Spensa – Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

Not only would I love to have Spensa watching my back, her friends M-Bot and Doomslug would be the most amazing side kicks ever. I love them all.


Annabeth Chase – Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series by Rick Riordan

I need Annabeth keeping me in line and not letting me get away with anything. We all need a friend like that.


Kazi – Dance of Thieves Duology by Mary E. Pearson

I am obsessed with Kazi as a person and would love nothing more than to be her sister. We would be as thick as thieves.

Fictional characters need to be real. I could use some friends like this in my life! What about you? Are any of these on your list? Who would you want to be friends with?

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