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

Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Characters I Would Love to be Best Friends With

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!

I would want to be friends with SO MANY CHARACTERS. Why aren’t any of them real!? (Not that I wouldn’t want be caught in their situations most of the time haha).

Below are a handful that came to mind when I wrote this post! I know there’s plenty more that will cross my mind before I even publish this. Lets talk in the comments about what character you’d love to be friends with!

Sevro – Red Rising Saga by Pierce Brown

Okay, who WOULDN’T want to be friends with this Howler? Especially after just finished Dark Age I am so down for being besties with Sevro, ALWAYS.


Night Court – ACOTAR Series by Sarah J. Maas

I can’t even pick one. I want to be a part of this whole dang court. Fictional characters can be made real, right?


Fenrys – Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas

Honestly, I’d love to be friends with pretty much anyone in this cast, but Fenrys has a special place in my heart. I love him so much!


Kestral – The Winner’s Curse Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski

I flippin’ love Kestral. She’s brave, kind, and amazingly smart. I love how her scheming mind.


Vhalla – Air Awakens Series by Elise Kova

AH I LOVE HER SO MUCH. I am almost finished with the last book and I can’t get enough of Vhalla. I would love to be her best friend. She’s seriously the best.


Lira – To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

Quite frankly, I just want to be best friends with a mermaid. That is all.


Elizabeth Bennett – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I think I would have an absolute ball being friends with Elizabeth. She is a kindred spirit in many ways.


Spensa – Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

Not only would I love to have Spensa watching my back, her friends M-Bot and Doomslug would be the most amazing side kicks ever. I love them all.


Annabeth Chase – Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series by Rick Riordan

I need Annabeth keeping me in line and not letting me get away with anything. We all need a friend like that.


Kazi – Dance of Thieves Duology by Mary E. Pearson

I am obsessed with Kazi as a person and would love nothing more than to be her sister. We would be as thick as thieves.

Fictional characters need to be real. I could use some friends like this in my life! What about you? Are any of these on your list? Who would you want to be friends with?

Instagram || Goodreads

Book Review

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2019

Oh y’all. I have been really behind on blogging. I feel like I’ve gotten into a bit of a rut with it all. I’m keeping up with reviews, but otherwise it’s felt like a lot to get other posts. And when that happens I think that’s a sign to back away for a bit.

BUT. I am also interested in keeping up with Top Ten Tuesday. And this one is easy and fun to do so lets get started!


In no particular order because my excitement level is through the roof for all of these…

Smaller note: this is in by no way all of them. THESE DECISIONS ARE HARD. The rest of 2019 is going to have some amazing releases.


The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air #3) by Holly Black


Dark Age (Red Rising Sage #5) by Pierce Brown


Ninth House (Ninth House Series #1) by Leigh Bardugo


Vow of Thieves (Dance of Thieves #2) by Mary E. Pearson


Rage (Stormheart #2) by Cora Carmack


The Toll (Arc of a Scythe #3) by Neal Shusterman


The Traitor’s Kingdom (The Traitor’s Circle #3) by Erin Beaty


Starsight (Skyward #2) by Brandon Sanderson


Supernova (Renegades #3) by Marissa Meyer


Wild Savage Stars (Sweet Black Waves #2) by Kristina Perez

Are any of these on your TBR? What’s one of your most anticipated 2019 releases? Lets talk in the comments!

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Book Tag

Book Tag: Beauty and the Beast

Book Tag Saturday! I saw this over on Justine’s blog (Bookish Wisps) and since Beauty and the Beast is one of my top Disney movies ever, I couldn’t resist!

Rules:

  • Thank the person who tagged you.
  • Mention the creator → Kirsty @ Kirsty and the Cat Read.
  • Match a book to each of the songs/characters below.
  • Tag as many people as you like.

“Tale As Old As Time” – A popular theme, trope or setting you’ll never get bored of reading

Enemies to Lovers. I will never not love the hate and angst that turns into crazy passion between characters. I LIVE FOR IT.

Belle – A book you brought for its beautiful cover that’s just as beautiful inside too. 

I LOVE watermelons and thought this cover was gorgeous and clever. And the book itself was the same way. It’s about a young girl struggling to understand her Mom with schizophrenia. The portrayal of mental health is poignant.

Find my review here!

Beast – Book you didn’t expect much from but pleasantly surprised you.

I just finished this book a few days ago and it definitely was a pleasant surprise. I was afraid it might be on the shallow side, but the darker portions really brought out the deeper meanings of the story.

Gaston – A book that everyone loves that you don’t

While this isn’t my biggest unpopular opinion, it is one that I know may seem crazy. I didn’t hate this series, but I never felt totally connected to the plot and characters. I think the slower pace kept me from falling in love with them.

Lefou – A loyal sidekick you can’t help but love more than their counterpart

SEVRO! I love Sevro so much. He is one of my favorite sidekicks ever. I do love Darrow, don’t get me wrong, but I love everything Sevro says and does.

Mrs. Pott, Chip & Cogsworth  – A book that helped you through a difficult time or that taught you something valuable

I think the reason I love this book so much (and the series) is that it helps me through difficult times every time I pick it up. It’s the first book I go to in a reading slump, when I am feeling really down and a hundred other reasons. Feyre’s emotions remind me often of my own dark places and how she finds her happy ending reminds me that I have one too.

“Something There” –  A book or a series that you weren’t into at first but picked up towards the end

I read the first book in the series and liked it, but didn’t think about looking for the second book.

Fast forward a year or two and I saw the second book at the library, thought, “why not?,” and LOVED it. Then I was able to snag book three, The Winter of the Witch, from Netgalley and fell even harder.

This is now one of my all time favorite series. If you’re looking for a fantasy book, seriously, pick these up. They won’t let you down.

“Be Our Guest” –  A fictional character you’d love to have over for dinner

Rhys, The Most Handsome High Lord. This needs no explanation. I know I’m not the only one that would want this.

Not tagging anyone, but feel free to do this!

Instagram || Goodreads

Book Talk

2019 Most Anticipated Releases

I am so hyped for all the new books in 2019!! This is a compilation of some of my top choices for reading this year.

The only books that don’t have an official release date are Crescent City by Sarah J. Maas (super thrilled to see what story she’ll give us next) and The Bone Season #4 by Samantha Shannon (I can NOT be the only one waiting for this!?)

  • A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer: Very fortunate to be currently reading an ARC – Thank you Netgalley and Bloomsbury YA!
  • King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo: She is one of my top insta-buy authors
  • The Wicked King by Holly Black: The hype is real with this one; hope it doesn’t disappoint!
  • The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden: Best December present was receiving an ARC of this via Netgalley and Del Ray!
  • Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller: Real obsessed with this author after her debut, Daughter of the Pirate King
  • Bloodleaf by Crystal Smith: the synopsis + the hype = an impatient reader
  • Sherwood by Meagan Spooner: I enjoyed her Beauty and the Beast re-telling (Hunted), which makes me intrigued for this gender-bend Robin Hood story!
  • Defy Me (Shatter Me #5) by Tahereh Mafi: Impatiently waiting for this cover and this book because HOLY CLIFF HANGER
  • The Boy Who Steals Houses by C.G. Drews: Her debut, A Thousand Perfect Notes, was a bitter-sweet story & I expect great things from her next novel
  • Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan: Another uber-hyped book I can’t wait for!!
  • Finale by Stephanie Garber: BE EXCITED WITH ME, THIS FINALE WILL BE EPIC
  • Rage by Cora Carmack: I HAVE BEEN WAITING TWO YEARS

  • Dark Age by Pierce Brown: I am here for all things related to Red Rising
  • Wild Savage Stars by Kristina Perez: The first book in this series left me shook. I’m so excited to see what happens next!!
  • Vow of Thieves (Dance of Thieves #2) by Mary E. Pearson: Okay, I’m still recovering from that ending.
  • The World of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas: I must have more of ToG
  • The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh: I have loved all of her duologies, so of course I’m buying her next one!
  • Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare: Did someone say MORE WILL HERONDALE!?
  • This seems to be the only month I don’t have any known releases. Is there something I need to add? Let me know!

Are any of these on your TBR for 2019? Let’s chat in the comments!