“I seize him with my hands, raise him high into the air. But I hurt him no more. I will not demean the moment with cruelty like Karnus or Titus would. My condescension is my weapon. I set Pliny back in the ArchGovernor’s chair. I buff his dragonfly pin. Straighten his hair like a kindly mother. Pat him on his tear-stained cheek and extend my hand…”(Golden Son by Pierce Brown)
Take a moment to think about all of the trilogies you’ve read. The first book is strong and fascinating. You can feel the author’s excitement and hope. You wait in anticipation until the next book comes out, only to find out that it is merely a bridge between the beginning and the conclusion. Nothing happens. The author looses confidence. The characters stagnate. The plot gets bulky and clunky. <sigh> I’ve been through this far too often. So, it is with an incredible amount of respect that I say – Golden Son is even better than it’s first book, Red Rising.
Pierce Brown manages to keep the pace up every chapter, all without giving too much away. He lets his characters grow, yet forces them to remain interesting. His world gets bigger and more complicated without becoming unwieldy. He doesn’t let himself repeat the same plot and themes, though he had the opportunity. He is obviously a reader – one who took the time to learn from previous book’s mistakes. Now, I can’t wait to see how he’ll treat the third book. Will he do most genre authors before him have done, force half of the conclusion to be a huge, over-blown battle, or will he keep his focus on the characters? I have the highest hopes for the latter.
Recommended Action: Buy –
Borrow – TBR – Avoid
Ending: Main character takes a big risk, and it seems like it won’t pay off…
Incidental Learning: How it feels to trust a genre author
Further Reading: Can you think of another second book that is better than the first? I can’t. I guess we’re just left with waiting for the third book.