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Morning Star: Book 3 of the Red Rising Saga (Red Rising Series) Paperback – September 27, 2016
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
“You could call [Pierce] Brown science fiction’s best-kept secret. In Morning Star, the trilogy’s devastating and inspiring final chapter, . . . he flirts with volume, oscillating between thundering space escapes and hushed, tense parleys between rivals, where the cinematic dialogue oozes such specificity and suspense you could almost hear a pin drop between pages. His achievement is in creating an uncomfortably familiar world of flaw, fear, and promise.”—Entertainment Weekly
“There is no one writing today who does shameless, Michael Bay–style action set pieces the way Brown does. The battle scenes are kinetic, bloody, breathless, crazy. Everything is on fire all the time.”—NPR
“Morning Star is this trilogy’s Return of the Jedi. . . . The impactful battles that make up most of Morning Star are damn near operatic. . . . It absolutely satisfies.”—Tordotcom
“Excellent . . . Brown’s vivid, first-person prose puts the reader right at the forefront of impassioned speeches, broken families, and engaging battle scenes . . . as this interstellar civil war comes to a most satisfying conclusion.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A page-turning epic filled with twists and turns . . . The conclusion to Brown’s saga is simply stellar.”—Booklist (starred review)
“Multilayered and seething with characters who exist in a shadow world between history and myth, much as in Frank Herbert’s Dune . . . an ambitious and satisfying conclusion to a monumental saga.”—Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Pierce Brown is the New York Times bestselling author of Red Rising, Golden Son, and Morning Star. While trying to make it as a writer, Brown worked as a manager of social media at a startup tech company, toiled as a peon on the Disney lot at ABC Studios, did his time as an NBC page, and gave sleep deprivation a new meaning during his stint as an aide on a U.S. Senate campaign. He lives in Los Angeles, where he is at work on his next novel.
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The novel picks up 9-12 months after the events of "Golden Son."
While the previous two novels centered on Darrow's leadership and individual challenges, this novel picks up on the notion of the disadvantaged members of the Society banding together.
** Beware Good Readers for Spoilers Follow **
Darrow was taken prisoner at the end of "Golden Son."
He was tortured and broken by the Jackal.
There is no doubt of that. Darrow's secrets are known. He has told the bad guys everything that he knows, and Darrow has begged for death.
The whole tone of this novel is different than the previous two.
If you are looking for Darrow to "clever his way out" of the situation then you will be disappointed.
What happens instead though is rather remarkable and paves the way for a satisfying ending to the trilogy.
Instead, Darrow is rescued by a pair of Grays from Earth! The rebellion has captured the imagination of billions.
While the rebellion continues, it needs Darrow as the soul of the movement.
Darrow takes on the role of the spirit and visible leader of the rebellion, but now there are other players (more capable players) actually running the show.
We also find out that Mustang is carrying Darrow's child!
The final scene in the "Golden Son" where Mustang leaves is not because she is betraying Darrow. It is because she spoke to Darrow's mum who convinces Mustang not to tell Darrow for fear it will make her son leave his role as the leader of the rebellion.
I won't give away all the twists and turns, but I found this to be a much quicker read than the previous two books.
If the truth be told, I read it cover to cover on a plane ride overseas.
I highly recommend this book!
I don't remember why I bought Red Rising, but I did so on a whim, and because it was cheap. On sale for $1.99 I believe. I'm so glad that I did. It is a fun thing following along with a series you love, anticipating its releases, pondering each new installment. And as the last piece of the trilogy, Morning Star did not disappoint. I tell everyone that I recommend these to that Pierce Brown has a gift for plot. And he does! These books grip you at some point during Red Rising and they just do not let you go until the very last page here. Readers new to the series have the advantage of being able to read the story in its entirety back to back to back. I envy you.
If you are looking for an action-packed, fast-paced, emotional rollercoaster of a sci-fi series then look no further. Here it is.
I feel the need to voice a minor quibble with the book. I stand by my 5-star rating wholeheartedly. However I found myself a little bothered by the editing of this one. I'm not sure if this was an issue specifically with the Kindle version or the print as well, but I noticed too many mistakes. A word missing here or a word added there, grammatical errors that made no sense, etc. Typically you might see two or three of these in a novel, and I felt like I noticed at least ten here. Maybe I'm being anal but it bothered me. With that being said, a minor editing quibble is nothing compared to the time I had reading this trilogy. It was a ride I'm sad to get off of. And if you've yet to ride it yourself well, what are you waiting for?
This book was the best conclusion I could have hoped for in regards to this series. My heart broke over and over (as per the norm for Pierce Brown), and then at the end it was put back together again. I am so in love with this series, I’ve been recommending it to everyone.
I’m not sure if I mentioned it before or not, but I started this series on a couple of my friends’ recommendations. They told me just enough to keep me hooked, but also just enough to make me terrified to finish the book. I’m so glad they got me started on it, though. This review, as much as I would like for it to be only about Morning Star, is probably going to focus more on the series as whole. I can’t write a full review without spoiling everything.
Brown’s world is one of the most complex I’ve ever seen; from the caste system down to each relationship that Darrow has with the other characters. Every one of the characters is so dynamic, you can’t help but love every single one of them, even when a few betray Darrow.
Let’s talk about Darrow for a second. He is flawed, but his flaws are what make him such a good character. He tries to be noble and honorable, but he is selfish and cocky and he has a bad habit of betraying his friends. Darrow is not really a character that we fall in love with, despite everyone around him falling in love with him. We do, however, fall in love with his story and his world. It’s full of awful, terrible things, but it’s world where humans have pioneered into space. It’s a world with crazy technological advancements and the ability to create in ways that we cannot yet create. But, it’s broken, so we want to see it fixed.
I loved seeing Darrow’s transformation. I especially enjoy how his view of Eo changes over the course of the books. In the beginning, she’s perfection in his eyes. He spends the whole of Red Rising mourning her, but by the time we hit Golden Son Darrow starts to realize that his life with Eo wasn’t everything he thought it was. By the end of Morning Star, it’s plain to Darrow that he’s fighting for Eo’s dream, but not really for Eo anymore. Of course he still mourns her death, as he likely always will, but he realizes there’s more to his fight.
Though Darrow is our MC, Sevro is my favorite character. He’s obnoxious, brilliant, and disgusting. He’s comic relief to the extreme, Darrow’s foil, and an overall fantastic character. He’s described as short and ugly, callsign Goblin. He hates it, but in the end he finds love. He’s still a sarcastic, foul-mouthed, little creature, but he’s one of the best characters in the entire series.
Virginia au Augustus (Mustang) is also very brilliant, beautiful of course, but I also enjoy how much of a BOSS she is. She had me a little scared at the end of Golden Son, but she worked her way back into my good graces as Morning Star progressed.
Victra au Julii’s overt sexuality was at first irritating (I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to like her character), but ended up being charming. She flirts unabashedly with just about everything that moves. But, she is also awesome, and things take an unexpected turn for her in the love department. It was great.
Then there’s Ragnar. Sweet, giant, warrior Ragnar. Scary to look at. Scary to watch in battle. Loves kids. And I love him.
The Telemanuses are loveable as well. Also giant. Also scary to watch in battle. Kevax has a fox that he loves as much as his own children. It really doesn’t get any better than that.
Cassius au Bellona. Oh, Cassius.
Roque au Fabii. I can’t even. I loved him even through everything.
Those are just the characters I like. The villains, are all terrifying. Octavia, the Sovereign, is cunning. She has ruled the Society for 60 years, beheading her own father to take his throne. She has captured Darrow multiple times, and even though he’s escaped her, she’s not keen to let him go again.
Aja, The Protean Knight and one of three Furies that protect the Sovereign. She’s fierce, a fighter with no rival, the best student of her teacher, Lorn au Arcos (the best Olympic Knight there ever was). She is truly fearsome. I wouldn’t want to be her prey.
Adrius (The Jackal), Mustang’s twin, absolutely scares me. A sociopath with fighting skill, he manipulates his way around the politics of the Society, building a following of Golds and lowColors to use as he pleases. He is always a step ahead of Darrow. Speaking of, I want to share a thought that my friend Mary brought to my attention; a thought that I believe is brilliant. She had suggested one change for this series, one change I never would have thought of, but would have been great. She thinks the Jackal should have been a woman. Sit with that for a moment, and think. It’s common for the most vile of villains to be a man, but imagine if Adrius was a woman; how completely terrifying would she have been? Imagine, the face of the woman Darrow loves on his most formidable enemy; all of the horrors from Darrow forcing her to cut off her own hand, to the destruction at the end of Morning Star. Adrius’ withdrawal from Mustang after their mother left, ordering the death of her older brother. Imagine. She would have been more dreadful than any other person in this series. Mary’s right, it would have made the book that much better.
These books overall were just phenomenal. I’m sad that it’s over, but I hear there’s going to be a spinoff novel, and that makes me happy again. Literally everyone needs to read these.
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