This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life
I am completely in awe of Pierce Brown after reading this book. Seriously, where did this guy come from? I was blown away by his debut novel, Red Rising, and had hoped that this book would be just as good. I think that this book was actually a little bit better than the first book in the trilogy if that is even possible. It is so refreshing to read a follow up novel that exceeds all of my expectations.
This is the kind of book that hooks you right away and never lets go. Even after turning the final page, I found that I want the rest of this story. This book picks up not too long after the events in Red Rising. Hardly any time is spent rehashing the events of the first book which could be problematic for readers who read the first book nearly a year ago since there is so much going on in this series. Since I had just recently finished the previous book, I jumped into this story quite easily. This is not a series that you can jump in just anywhere and not feel lost so please be sure to read the first book before starting this novel.
There were a lot of politics in this book and I found that I really enjoyed all of the complex political maneuvering. Politics are a large part of any change in society. Darrow navigates his way through all of the plotting and plans of others in ways that nobody expects. The things that he does often seem risky and foolish but he is almost always able to pull his plans off.
The characters in this book are amazing. Many of the favorites from the first book are back in the second. We also are introduced to many new characters. I really liked Servo in the first book but I fell completely in love with him in this installment. He is rude, funny, loyal, and most importantly a true friend to Darrow. I also really liked Lorn's character in this book. He has seen and done it all and his wisdom and experience really aided Darrow. I like that Lorn respected Darrow but was never afraid to tell him when he was unhappy with him.
Darrow finds himself at some very high points during this book but he also finds himself in some of the most dire situations. There were so many jaw dropping moments in this story that I lost count. I never knew which way things were going to go and how the power would shift. I must say that the ending of the book really left me wanting for more. I wouldn't call it a cliffhanger ending exactly but I would say that there are a lot of unresolved issues as this installment came to a close. I received a copy of this book from Random House Publishing Group - Del Ray Spectra via NetGalley for the purpose of providing an honest review.