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.1
Darrow has risen from the depths of the red soil of Mars and traversed the galaxies as a god among men. Fracturing the Society that the Golds have worked so hard to maintain, Darrow struggles to bring the secrets of the Society out in the open. There are many loyal to the cause, but just as many loyal to their colors and to the golden gods they have served for so long. There comes a time when one must reap what they sow and that time for Darrow has come. Those Darrow believed to be friends, along side his enemies, have crushed the progression of the Sons of Ares. The Jackal has taken control of Mars after killing his father and the Rising is scrambling to hold what momentum they had when their leader, the Reaper is no more. Trapped within a stone hole, Darrow has spent months in solitude after being tortured by the sick and twisted Jackal. Will his friends be able rescue him in time? and will they recognize the husk of man that remains while the unrecognizable war continues to rage on around Darrow?
Brown has a gift of harnessing positive elements from his interests and his influences within his novels. Even when things are not familiar to me you can tell when he has taken a positive from another outlet and shone a light to enhance it, expanding it to its true potential. So many authors do not gather enough of these positive influences and end up reflying on far too few and many times on the hope that their main character will be enough. While Darrow is our main character for the Red Rising series, Brown has recognized that one of his best elements in the series is the vast array of characters from different backgrounds and planets in his arsenal. Darrow still remains in the forefront, but Brown also knows that many of the other characters need their time to shine, and shine they do.
For those of you following my progression through the Red Rising series, you know that I have been waiting for that fan girl moment where I completely fall head over heels with the series. I regret to inform you that this moment still remains incomplete. While I do really enjoy the series and love the characters, there is an element that still remains elusive in Red Rising. I believe that element is cheesy romance and love triangles which Brown does not dally is such hokum. It is a negative that has kept me from becoming a full and true fan, but it is also the lack of dalliances that have kept me fully entertained from start to finish. Before you begin to believe that I did not actually enjoy this book or series, there are elements within Morning Star that Brown has executed perfectly all within one book. We are taken on a crazy adventure over vast amounts of space, we are taken to our knees and sunk to our lowest lowes. The ones we love have been cruelly taken from us. We have found hope, we have found love and we have found hate. Morning Star is the best book in the series thus far for its ability to capture all these things without any complaints. There is a moment where an author or film maker will put the audience in an impossible situation where we are trapped, we feel vulnerable, and can do nothing as everything we have come to know and love is taken from us. It is these moments that I whole heartedly applaude any creator, and it is also the moment when you know you have totally won me over.
It excites me knowing that the series continues beyond the trilogy that Red Rising states that it belongs to. With Iron Gold already out and Dark Ages in the making I look forward to see what else the series brings us. If the series had ended with Morning Star, I have to say I would have been extremely sad to be leaving the world, but I was completely at peace and rather thrilled with how Morning Star wrapped up.
The concept of life in space and in space ships may be more familiar to many of you, but there was something that was nagging at me in the back of my mind during the entire series. Aside from how these mega structures are created, weaponry is so prevalent throughout the entire series, and not to say it is easy to destroy one of these ships, but it’s kinda easy to destroy some of these ships. Countless lives are lost during the battles, as well as countless dollars of machinary. While these questions plagued me, Brown unknowingly came to my rescue in Morning Star on page 350 where he notes the following:
“Metal shreds metal. Ships vomit oxygen and men. But ships are made to take a beating. Huge hulks of metal subdivided into thousands of interlocking honeycombed compartments designed to isolate breaches and prevent ships from venting with one railgun shot.”
And just like that…interlocking honeycombs… mystery solved and my mind put to rest.
Morning Star ended on quite a high for me personally, though I cannot explain for it would ruin the experience entirely, and even after the story ended the book continues with positive acknowledgements. Most acknowledgements are full of endless lists of names that mean nothing to the average reader, and while Brown does include these mentions, I found his experience and his advice to be inspirational and I really connected with them while already experiencing the high of the ending of the book.
As I’ve mentioned I am not a true fan girl of the series, but perhaps the reason for that is that is not a series to fan girl over, but a series to truly enjoy, completely immerse yourself in, and an inspirational source of how a series should be written from beginning to end (or not so end).
- Book summary courtesy of Pierce Brown book page.