Book Review

Book Review: Morning Star (Red Rising Saga #3) by Pierce Brown

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Sci-Fi
Length: 524 pages
Author: Pierce Brown
Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: February 9th, 2016
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Red Rising thrilled readers and announced the presence of a talented new author. Golden Son changed the game and took the story of Darrow to the next level. Now comes the exhilarating conclusion to the Red Rising Trilogy: Morning Star.

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.

WHAT AN ENDING.

I never wrote a review for this when I first read it (after release), so I’m back with a quick jot down of my thoughts.

OH HOW I LOVE THIS SERIES EVEN AS IT TEARS MY HEART OUT.

There’s a plethora of amazing scenes here that I can’t even begin to name them all. And what I wouldn’t do to have Sevro’s POV in this book. THE THINGS I WOULD DO FOR THIS Y’ALL. He’s my favorite. And his love interest is perfect. Sevro still remains my favorite side character of all time.

I loved Darrow’s progression and character changes. He goes through hell and back 1,000 times and still gets up and does it again. All for the people he loves and the world he wants to see in a better place.

The audiobook is fantastic and I highly recommend that avenue.

I’d have a lot longer review but I really don’t want to spoil a thing about this because it’s better to experience it without prior knowledge.

JUST READ IT OKAY?

Overall audience notes:

  • Sci-Fi
  • Language: strong
  • Romance: closed door
  • Violence: very high
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: extremely high levels of blood and gore depiction, executions, suicide, loss of loved ones, mass murder, gun violence

Instagram || Goodreads || The StoryGraph

Book Review

Book Review: Golden Son (Red Rising Saga #2) by Pierce Brown

Rating: ★★★★★
Genre: Sci-Fi
Length: 442 pages
Author: Pierce Brown
Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: January 6th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

With shades of The Hunger Games, Ender’s Game, and Game of Thrones, debut author Pierce Brown’s genre-defying epic Red Rising hit the ground running and wasted no time becoming a sensation. Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom from the overlords of a brutal elitist future built on lies. Now fully embedded among the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his work to bring down Society from within. A life-or-death tale of vengeance with an unforgettable hero at its heart, Golden Son guarantees Pierce Brown’s continuing status as one of fiction’s most exciting new voices.

WHIPLASH.

Good heavens I forgot how much I love these books! This is a reread review as I gear up for Lightbringer and its good (and painful) to be back with this saga.

I LOVE Darrow. Don’t get me wrong, he goes on one heck of a journey, BUT THE SIDE CHARACTERS. They bring the house down. I love so many of them and how well crafted each personality and soul is. Sevro, Mustang, Victra, Ragnor, etc. The whole dang cast is wonderful and completely captivating. They MAKE this book what it is.

The plot is continually pulling you every which way in the emotions field. There’s highs, lows, and everything in between. I had remembered the main gist of the novel, but getting a chance to reread and see all of the details floored me. These books are intricate and amazing and the best sci-fi series I’ve ever read.

Overall audience notes:

  • Sci-Fi
  • Language: strong
  • Romance: closed door
  • Violence: very high
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: slavery, slut shaming, blood and gore depiction, torture mentioned

Instagram || Goodreads || The StoryGraph

Book Review

Book Review: Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce Brown

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Sci-Fi / Fantasy
Length: 382 pages
Author: Pierce Brown
Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: January 28th, 2014
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies… even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

AS ALWAYS, GOOD.

This is a reread review! I never reviewed it formally when I first read it in 2016 so what better time to write one now?

I LOVE this series. Especially the first three books. I surprised myself with how much I remembered about Red Rising and it goes to show how incredible Pierce Brown is at crafting a story that left such an impression that it is still memorable years later.

Darrow’s rise to the top contains such character depth that I can’t get enough. Anything to do with character growth is automatically a win in my book and I loved seeing his progression. Sevro is FOREVER AND EVER one of my top side characters ever and it was great seeing him at his wild beginnings.

I do remember wishing there was a touch more romance. I adore Mustang and her fierce yet kind nature. She makes the hard choices, but actually holds onto some humanity in doing so.

The villains are making themselves known and I am here for it. These are some of the most wicked and deep antagonists I’ve come across. I love the academy setting and how it really builds the rest of the series.

Can’t wait to continue this reread!

Overall audience notes:

  • Sci-Fi / Fantasy
  • Language: strong
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: very high and graphic
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: mentions of rape and sexual assault, murder, physical altercations, executions, loss of a spouse, near death experiences, weapons altercations

Instagram || Goodreads || The StoryGraph

Book Review

Book Review: Dark Age (Red Rising #5) by Pierce Brown

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Sci-fi + Fantasy
Length: 757 pages
Author: Pierce Brown
Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: July 30th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

For a decade Darrow led a revolution against the corrupt color-coded Society. Now, outlawed by the very Republic he founded, he wages a rogue war on Mercury in hopes that he can still salvage the dream of Eo. But as he leaves death and destruction in his wake, is he still the hero who broke the chains? Or will another legend rise to take his place?

Lysander au Lune, the heir in exile, has returned to the Core. Determined to bring peace back to mankind at the edge of his sword, he must overcome or unite the treacherous Gold families of the Core and face down Darrow over the skies of war-torn Mercury. 

But theirs are not the only fates hanging in the balance.

On Luna, Mustang, Sovereign of the Republic, campaigns to unite the Republic behind her husband. Beset by political and criminal enemies, can she outwit her opponents in time to save him? 

Once a Red refugee, young Lyria now stands accused of treason, and her only hope is a desperate escape with unlikely new allies.

Abducted by a new threat to the Republic, Pax and Electra, the children of Darrow and Sevro, must trust in Ephraim, a thief, for their salvation—and Ephraim must look to them for his chance at redemption.

As alliances shift, break, and re-form—and power is seized, lost, and reclaimed—every player is at risk in a game of conquest that could turn the Rising into a new Dark Age.

LIVED UP TO ITS NAME.

It’s not often that I read a book where I can clearly see that it was named appropriately. HOLY COW Y’ALL. I can’t even begin to cover the darkness, and amazingness of this book.

My notes for this book were allllll over the place. I have so many caps sections of me shouting WHAT IS HAPPENING. All of my characters were [okay, still are] strewn across planets and in various disarrays of maybe dead, definitely captured, hope they’re alive, scenarios. WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THAT? I need a dose of happiness before this is all over or I’ll cry. I want my babes to be happy. They gosh dang DESERVE IT.

This without a doubt, kept me on my toes. It took me about 100ish pages to really get into it because I was having a hard time remembering who everyone was, and some specifics of what happened in previous books. It is insane how much work clearly goes into making these sci-fi masterpieces. I am astounded at the writing (though I do wish it wasn’t so vulgar at times – you win some you lose some), and how easily captivating it is to keep flipping pages. I am deeply invested in everyone’s lives at this point. There’s barely a moment to catch your breath as the bombardment of action hits you over and over.

I want to rattle off a hundred reasons I love MY main characters (those being: Virginia, Darrow, Victra & Sevro). These original four are so flawed and so full of strength that I cheer for them at every turn. I love that they make mistakes, love deeply and care a great deal about what happens in their world. Everyone has occasions of boldness, passionate monologues and lethal how are they that good at killing moments. Even better, characters like Lysander had me questioning who’s side I was on (only for a little bit y’all, he’s a great villain).

All of this sounds great right? Well, the reason I gave it 4 1/2 stars vs. 5 is because of one scene. It was way too dark for me personally and I haven’t seen the purpose of it other than to be realllll cruel. I actually put the book down for a few when it happened. I will mention it with a spoiler warning prior in my Overall audience notes section!

Can’t get enough of this series regardless. I am in awe at the behemoth of a book this was. Absolutely amazing and I highly recommend catching up with this series! I’m not a huge sci-fi lover, but these have really become a winner.

Overall audience notes:

  • Adult sci-fi
  • Language: a lot of strong language and often crude/vulgar in nature
  • Romance: a few kisses, towards the end a few little detailed fade to black love scenes
  • Violence: okay, I have no way of conveying all of the violence that happened literally every page so a small breakdown would be: explosions, war, battle scenes, swords, poison, storms, mobs, torture [all scenes are very bloody, gory & very detailed]
  • Trigger warnings: a lot of mentions of off screen rape, now: SPOILER ALERT (from what I mentioned in my review): the scene that I thought was too much was that of Victra’s murdered NEW-BORN nailed to a tree; NAILED.

Instagram || Goodreads