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.
©2016 Pierce Brown (P)2016 Recorded Books
The story of Darrow and his compatriots has been one of the purest pleasures of my recent memory. It is at once literary on the grandest of scales, comparable to Tolkien or Herbert, yet manages to encapsulate pulsating and driving action. There is an inaudible, but extremely present, heart thumping beat throughout this series and this finale.
I have long been a fan of the third act in a trilogy- for example I am more of a Jedi fan than Empire, even though I know Empire is objectively the better movie. I feel similarly about this book. Golden Son was, I feel, a better book. But, I love Morning Star the most because we have, in its words, the conclusion and driving point of the sword. It has hit its mark, deep in our souls. I, for one, am a better person for having heard this story. The message contained within is not one of violence for violence's sake, but rather one obsessed with the perils of humanity. What drives us. What makes our souls weep in joy and sadness. This is not to say that vengeance isn't part of the story- some of the most important moments in history and humanity have been fueled by vengeance. As it is with violence. But also love, forgiveness, and the capacity to change. Honor. Loyalty.
Brown takes us on a journey that tries, and succeeds, to balance these ideas masterfully. We are plunged into sadness and taken to the heights of victory, only to have the two become one in the end. Death begets death, begets death.
I was afraid, ever so slightly, that Brown would lose the momentum in this third book, that he would fall into some trap of writing or storyline inconsistency. This was, thankfully, a deeply unfounded fear. The storylines merged seamlessly in the end, to a truly satisfying conclusion. Please notice that this does not spoil anything- only that I thought the ending fit. There were many options and I am content with the one Brown chose.
At the beginning of this review I spoke of Tolkien and Herbert. I am going to say something which many may find offensive or wrong- I believe Brown has beaten them both, as well as many others. This series is, in my most humble opinion, the pinnacle of science fiction or fantasy. It does not matter in this listener's opinion if others agree since I have had the absolute joy of experiencing this story; for this I am quite thankful.
My highest marks possible, the book (and series) against which all others are judged. Magnificent.
I usually have 2 audiobooks going at once since I listen to one book while commuting and another while running. For the most part, the two books stay in their assigned places but occasionally one of the two books will grab my attention and cause me to listen to it continuously across both activities. Morning Star was such a book.
As this series has gone on I have found myself more and more invested in it. Red Rising was good but I felt that it contained a few standard YA tropes that forced me to keep my distance. Golden Son was better but as the middle story of the trilogy it was a bridge that went nowhere ending with a cliffhanger. That left Morning Star with a built in obligation to build upon the unfinished foundation laid before it and it does not fail to deliver. For me it was the best book of the series.
Darrow's exploits in this one contain highs and lows alike and he finds that he must make a final determination of the trustworthiness of almost every person in his life. From the dead who helped shape him to the living who still try to manipulate him, Darrow melds all of their influences together with his own opinions to finally become himself. He no longer fights for Eo's vision or Ares' cause but rather for his own reasons. He has all sigils removed from his hands and transforms himself into a simple human that is neither red nor gold. He has no color at all and represents the future that he desires to create for all of humanity.
Pierce Brown takes you a non-stop wild adventure ride in this one and he keeps you guessing. Sometimes you are in on the plans, and sometimes you are not, but you never lose interest in the outcome. The events build to a final showdown with the Sovereign and every character is eventually forced to pick a side to stand on. Loyalties are up in the air until the very end but this one is no cliffhanger.
Tim Gerard Reynolds is brilliant once again and without a doubt enhances the written word with his narration. Is this book perfect? No it isn't but I am not going to dwell on any negatives as they are easy to overlook. It grabbed my attention from the start and didn't let go until it was over which makes this the best book of the series.
Break the chains!
I was uplifted, crushed and occasionally succumbed to a few belly laughs while listening to this concluding book of the Red Rising trilogy. This series can be compared to the Hunger Games series. Both were very entertaining.. but this one had a lot more depth.
I actually had to restrain myself from writing a review before the book was finished. In chapters 40 - 50, Darrow (the reaper) seemed to be in an unwinnable situation between forces that were hostile to each other, but more hostile to him. He made a huge sacrifice to get the outer planets temporarily on his side. In the epic battle that ensued, he reacted to a fluid situation and his improvised action solved all those problems. I did not see it coming... and it was so good, Pierce Brown could have ended the book there and had me salivating for book four. I certainly have spent a lot of credits on 8-10 hour books and been happy. One credit for a 21 hour book was really delivering.
Who knew that there was a crushing blow coming up in the story-line after my euphoria. It hurt so much, I actually had to turn off the book on my commute home and debate with myself on the merits of continuing. The next day I did. Those of us who have read a lot are able to imagine every kind of scenario as these exceptional authors toy with us and I did have something in the back of my mind based on a hint that was dropped.
The return of Darrow to Luna was tough to experience. If you have already read books 1 and 2, I will let you find out on your own how everything turns out in this final book. I loved it and all those stars above attest to my affection for this final book. I took one star off for the story because I think Peirce Brown cheated a bit. But, in the final analysis, I am okay with that.
If you think this is a cryptic review, there are good reasons. I hate knowing major plot points before getting there. If you are like me and have read book 1 and 2 - don't read anymore reviews - get started on this book. If you haven't read the first two books .... what are you waiting for!
Morning Star, Pierce Brown's thrilling conclusion to the Red Rising trilogy more than lives up to expectations based on the the first two volumes. What begins from the low point with Darrow's capture at the end of volume 2, proceeds through a series of two steps forward and one step back as Darrow must constantly second guess both his friends and enemies while he continues to excel at doing the unexpected. The core of the resolution of the multiple eight balls Darrow finds himself behind is to methodically pick apart the societal hold by exploiting the weaknesses and animosities among the outer worlds, Mars (meaning the jackal) and the core. Rather than a systematic, well executed take-down, the denouement morphs into one potential catastrophe after another until even in the face of eventual victory Brown still manages to surprise with left field turn of events.
The sci-fi elements are muted with no new elements relative to earlier installments and stay well in the background as a supporting role. Beyond the thriller aspects of the storytelling, Brown explores relationships along with differing attitudes and beliefs that drive the main characters around Darrow. Each supporting character, Mustang, Cassius, Sevro, Victra, Roque, Quicksilver, etc. have different, but equally valid perspectives on their drives and ambitions. The intimacy of their various interactions is poignant and moving and is a compelling component of the appeal of the tale. At the same time, Darrow is continually making tough, less than ideal choices that completely satisfy few and leave many worse off than before. In this way, the tale is closer to "real life" than expected, especially in utilizing the "fog of war". Finally, while Darrow succeeds in achieving his overarching goal, Brown leaves the reluctant revolutionist with the unenviable task of remolding society while bracketed by potential enemies and the disillusioned,leaving plenty of fodder for future installments. One glaring omission was the noticeable absence of Harmony.
The narration is simply outstanding with sheer mastery of the range of voices of both genders. Tone, pace, and mood are expertly handled to render a nonstop can't put down attraction that dovetails nicely with the author's "seat of the pants" writing pace.
I had been looking forward to the third installment to Brown's trilogy since finishing Golden Son. I was not disappointed. It was a bit slow starting, but as time passed, the story line became much tighter and focused. Brown did an outstanding job keeping the plot plausible, edgy, suspenseful, emotional, dark (but not too dark). There are some very humorous and even touching moments in the story that are very endearing. The characters are flawed, but what depth in terms of their development. They deal with difficult choices, horrific events, and real loss. Tim Gerard Reynolds pulls out all the stops with this story and treats the listener to another wonderful performance. It is the relationships that have been forged in the first book that make this trilogy so special. The end is wonderfully done, very satisfying. Kudos to the team of Pierce Brown and Tim Gerard Reynolds that have given us a story for the ages.
How to begin? I was captivated from the moment I started Red Rising and the ride didn't end until completing this 3rd novel. I can't say enough about how amazing Reynolds is at narrating; I've listened to many books narrated by him, all of which were done exquisitely. The charactors and plot twists were complex and entertaining. Must Read.
human being in progress
I thoroughly enjoyed the series, but this last book in the trilogy surpassed my every expectation. I can't remember the last time I was so satisfied as a reader.
The Fallacy of many trilogies is believing that they can finish as strong as they start. Morning Star and the Red Rising Trilogy as a whole not only believes this about themselves, but actually succeeds where so many fail. This journey has taken me from the Mines of Lycos beneath the surface of Mars, to the Moons of Jupiter, the Moon and everywhere in between and it will be a long time before I ever come back down to Earth. There are not enough words in the English language to express how highly I reconmend this series. Darrow's journey is one truly made hand in hand with the reader.
In the beginning of Red Rising I saw him as a character that I would have difficulty liking and sticking with, but I was entranced by the brilliant narration of Tim Gerard Renolds and the prose of Pierce Brown. As the books continued I grew with Darrow and came to view him as exactly what this series and the world within needed. He surrounds himself with a cast of characters that at oftentimes outshine him in their life and vigor, overflowing with personality.
The story ebs and flows and has its fair share of moments that rip out your heart or make your breathe catch in your throat, but the common core beneath it all is the human condition and the struggle that all must wrestle with within their own minds and the world around them, what is humanity and who has a right to define it? Listen to this audiobook, immediately, and if you have not listened to the rest of the series, what are you waiting for? Mars and the stars beyond await. Break the chains.
What an outstanding ride! The entire trilogy is so much fun you'll have a hard time putting it down. The performance is one of the best I've ever heard!
"An epic saga"
A satisfying finale to the trilogy, gripped me throughout.
Steady downbeat narration kept an often bloody storyline on track.
Enough plot twists & reveals to sustain the story length.
An excellent conclusion to a fantastic epic tale. Great narration. Altogether a wonderful work of art
Best audio book I have listened to.. I cried. Laughed.. And got excited
But without the skills of the narrator it would not have been half as good....
Well done to both
"Great end to a great book"
this was my first time listening to an audio book and once I started I couldn't stop. The characters were amazing and always seemed to leave me wanting more, even now I've finished it I want more.
I'm left feeling bereft after going on the often heartbreaking, action packed, twisting, messy yet beautiful journey with Darrow through this trilogy. A new favourite and more mature and vast in its scope than many dystopian novels. Gritty yet touching with moments of humour that made me laugh out loud (something I seldom do when reading). The audiobook narration is great and adds rather than detracts from the telling although frustrating when I was literally gripping the edge of my seat wishing I could speed through to find out what's next.
if all that isn't enough to tempt you to read then know I rarely leave reviews but these three truly deserve all the accolade and I'm just sad it's over.
Oh my. What a ride that was! This book trilogy was gory damn fantastic! I'll definitely be listening again in the future!!
"not the ending I hoped for."
The story seems to run out of puff a bit. the trilogy ends well enough.... but things are left a bit open and bit to twee.
But it's still worth the listen, the narration is as excellent as in the previous 2 books.
"best trilogy I've read/listened to in years."
Best trilogy I've read/listened to in years and that is saying something. This is a classic to be and the performance was phenomenal too.
Tim Gerard Reynolds did a bloody damn brilliant job with this!
Sevro. I loved his sense of humour and gave me some great laughs.
It was everything i was looking for and much more!
By far the best audio book i have listened too, i thoroughly enjoyed this trilogy. Such brilliant twists and turns it keeps you guessing throughout. It was nice to see Darrow grow as a character throughout the books and he turned out to be a great leader. The ending really got me and i even had a tear in my eye, damn onions! I can't wait to see what Pierce Brown will come up with next, truly a fantastic trilogy. I hope to see a film made about this one day. Live for more!
"Bloody damned brilliant!"
It was a roller coaster of emotional story telling.
Something by Harlan Coben with all those plot twists
Darrow, all the way
As mentioned earlier, this book gets the emotions working as the story progresses
This is a trilogy I will be recommending to anyone who will listen.
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