(Review) Morning Star
Morning Star by Pierce Brown
Publication Date: February 9, 2016
Pages: 518 (hardcover)
Genre: Young Adult/Science Fiction
My Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars
Red Rising Recap: Darrow, a lowly Red, is Carved by the Sons of Ares to become a Gold. He is sent to train at the Institute and take down Society from the inside.
Golden Son Recap: Darrow begins a civil war, Gold against Gold. But in the end, it's him who suffers.
Morning Star Synopsis: Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society's mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within.
Finally, the time has come.
But devotion to honor and hunger for vengeance run deep on both sides. Darrow and his comrades-in-arms face powerful enemies without scruple or mercy. Among them are some Darrow once considered friends. To win, Darrow will need to inspire those shackled in darkness to break their chains, unmake the world their cruel masters have built, and claim a destiny too long denied - and too glorious to surrender.
I finished this book last night and I'm still trying to process it all, so forgive me for this review.
I fell in love (I know, that's such a girly thing to say) with these characters from the very beginning of Red Rising. Part of me doesn't think that this is supposed to be a book that gives you those kind of feels, but it definitely does. Darrow has the heart of a Red, no, the heart of a human and it shows in all of the books. That's what I loved so much about this series.
The first few chapters of Morning Star are difficult. When we left Darrow at the end of Golden Son there was really nowhere for him to run, and that's obvious at the beginning of this book. There are few characters I've hated more than the Jackal. Like, he can DIAF. Please. I'll bring the matches. What happens to Darrow is disturbing and sad. My heart hurt for him, even though I knew that I still had, oh, five-hundred pages for him to do something about it.
After Darrow is rescued, this book becomes a whirlwind of different things. There are so many characters and terms to remember that it sometimes got a bit overwhelming. (I also have a terrible memory and should have reread the whole series, to be honest.) But none of that takes away from the story. None of that takes away from the fact that Darrow and the Sons want something better. A few times there are conversations between Darrow and others and you see the humanity in them and you just wish for something more for them.
One thing I appreciate about this series in a world full of dystopian teenage romances is that, while that is part of the story, it isn't the story. There is so much more to Morning Star than Darrow and Mustang or Sevro and Victra, but Brown manages to make it work into the story in just the right places.
I love the growth of all of these characters from the beginning of the series, to the very last pages of this book. They have all changed and matured in the "six years" since meeting at the Institute. It's refreshing and enjoyable to read.
All of the fighting and sacrifice in this book is sad, but necessary. These people are at war, and war is terrible. There were times reading when I couldn't believe what was happening. Brown doesn't sugarcoat anything, and that's what I love about this series. It's dark and gory, but it's also a story full of Eo's hope and Darrow's heart.
Morning Star was also a book that was delivered to my house the day after my father died, so I am grateful for the distraction from every day life. It wasn't an easy, fluffy read. It was real and raw and beautiful.
Thank you for your words, sir.