Golden Son by Pierce Brown
Publisher/date: Del Rey (2015)
Genre: Dystopian Sci-Fi
Series: Red Rising
Rating: T with violence, and language because Sevro lol
"Some men have threads of life so strong that they fray and snap those around them. Enough friends have payed for my war. This one's on me."
This book skips the next 4 years (I think?) of Institute schooling Darrow attends, introducing new characters he's met during that schooling into the mix of characters we know and love.
Viktra is thorny and beautiful like a poisonous rose. She wears her beauty as a weapon and uses her words as her sword. Not to discount her fighting skills - don't underestimate Viktra, that would be a mistake you'd only realize in the Vale. Will she be a new romance for Darrow?
"I cannot find escape from the grief...I pull back from my friends. None of this matters, not to me. Life fades in the presence of pain."
Darrow is, of course, caught between the bigotry of both the Reds and the Golds, being the only one who is both (and who didn't see that coming?) He finds himself on an unexpectedly unsophisticated mission that doesn't seem to line up with the Rising he signed up for. His morality in question, and the war effort in seemingly incapable hands, he will either have to decide to be a soldier and follow orders he knows are wrong, or become a leader Ares may never have intended.
"I'm first, I feel them behind me. My howlers."
This book strikes the perfect balance between hope and despair to keep you interested but not wallowing in despair. Often when reading or watching a show, we get bogged down with no hope, or lose interest with no risk. It's a careful balance to keep the reader entertained enough to keep reading, but not too hopeless to just give up (The Walking Dead anyone?) Pierce Brown walks that line amazingly.
Ok, so now my feelings.
I frickin ADORE Viktra. I'm shipping on her and Darrow hard. Screw Mustang and her wavering loyalty. Darrow needs a badass mother fucking lioness who will smack him with her lance when he's being an idiot. Viktra is my girl.
I will say that the skip in years surprised me. I think Pierce Brown could write a whole series of Harry Potter-esque books on just The Institute, and I'd read the hell out of them. Who knows, maybe he will? I'd downgrade the book a star because that time gap was really confusing, but who am I kidding, this book was fuckin amazing even with that gap. So...
5 Stars again, I love and adore this series and thank you to everyone who recommended it to me! It IS like a sci-fi Hunger Games!