Dark Age

Series: Red Rising, Book 5
Length: 33 hrs and 58 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (7,465 ratings)

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Publisher's 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.

©2019 Pierce Brown (P)2019 Recorded Books
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Sound volume

I sure wish the sound engineers had put all the narrators at the same volume

47 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Changed Narrators!?! Trash Move Amazon/Audible.

WTF. Lysander had the best voice and this new guy obviously didn't even listen to the other books because he didn't even attempt to pronounce the names of people or places correctly. The recast ed two characters in fact. Just pay them what they want. We sure pay enough for these books!!!!! I am very disappointed in Audible. Very disappointed indeed. It is very hard to listen to. Save your money and read the book. This was just pathetic.

37 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Least favorite so far.

As much as I looked forward to this book I was a little bit disappointed by time the end came. It felt too....disjointed. As if side quests kept popping up to interrupt the main story.
Even if they were overall connected to the main plot, it still felt like way too much time was spent focused on them. Like a side story could have been written instead.
Alot of the ruminations from the characters felt like filler to pad out the dialogue. I hope the next book is more tightly focused.

22 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

More bloodshed and a new PoV character

The war has spread and it now consumes the entire solar system. Blood and violence are pervasive as the fledgling Republic tries to hang against those who oppose it. Many want to return to the old color based society and others view this conflict as an opportunity to rise to power, so there is no shortage of combatants available.  Like the last book, Iron Gold, this story is told from the perspectives of the same PoV characters (plus Mustang this time) and each of them experiences this conflict from a different location within the solar system. With such a complicated set of battles it will take you some time to get your bearings, especially if it has been a while since you read the last book, but once you get everything sorted out this is another wild ride in a series that remains surprisingly compelling.

The body count rises as humanity tries to find some sort of equilibrium in the aftermath of Darrow's rebellion, and it is his storyline that remains the most compelling of the bunch. The other PoV characters all play key roles in the conflict and some new characters also rise to prominence, including Darrow's son Pax who grows into an interesting character in his own right. Despite a number of big moments that have unalterable impact to some of the main characters, this book is not without some Deus Ex Machina which can be a little unsatisfying. However, if you are a fan of the series then you should definitely pick this one up but don't expect much to be resolved in the big picture. The individual battles are tense and exciting, but they do not bring an end to the overall war, so this series will be moving on to book 6. 

Once again it is an ensemble cast of narrators with each PoV character being voiced by a different person. I found them all to be excellent with Tim Gerard Reynolds remaining the best of the bunch.

7 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Quiet Audio

The book is a good continuation from Iron Gold but the performance is so quiet at times I have to blast it to hear what the characters are saying.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Why??

Should've had Tim Gerard Reynolds narrate the entire book. He is amazing the others are lame.

72 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Nails on a chalk board

I have always loved the books, I have listen to them times over because I love the flow, the narrators it was always like music to me, I actually almost giggle when the first chapter of Lysander was to begin then I cringed at the sound of the new narrators voice, its really hard to listen to, its like listening to Count Chocula and Carrie Grant.I just want to know Piece Brown why? I would also like to know why the new pronouncing of Cassia, really sad to see something so perfect broken.

50 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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The hope inspired by the series is gone

Too many characters and overwhelmingly sadistic . No one to like or champion. Uncertain if I want to read the next book. The series should have ended with book 3.

12 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

This series has gone full blown Grim Dark.

As my title says, the story has turned really dark, so much so its incredulous how everything that could go wrong does. So much so it takes me out of the story several times. The beautiful prose of the author in this book feels laborious to work through as you start to realize it's going to lead to tragedy.

The performance is flawless and the addition of other narrators gives more life to the story, I'm happy with the change.

The plot suffers from timing, luck, nativity and stupidity of certain characters that its truly unbelievable. I rate it a 3 out of 5 out of respect of the audio performers and the first trilogy. how beautifully the first trilogy was done and the obvious talent of the author gives me enough hope he will drag this story out of the hole it's in. This is part of the whole which is still not finished. I will reserve full judgment of this trilogy or story until it is finished but this book left me feeling very unsatisfied.

30 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Don’t listen to this

I’ve been with this series since the beginning, and have recommended that others read it. I no longer recommend this series. It took a year to write publish and record this garbage. I couldn’t wait for it to end, and now that it has, I feel cheated. What made the series great was thrown out and replaced by Game of Thrones style over the top garbage. Goodbye!

10 people found this helpful

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  • Bjarte
  • 08-09-19

Fantastic book, but!

I asked pierce brown over twitter why they changed two of the narrators and he responded that it was because of fan comments.
I don't think this was a good choice as both new narrators are in my eyes not as good as those they replaced.
That being said, this is a brutal master piece that is better than Iron Gold.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Julian Bowdidge
  • 11-14-19

Everyone now comes from Essex apparently.<br />

The problem with audio books is that you don't see the names of characters written down, so at times you can be a little lost as to who this knight is or that tyrant.
With a character sheet that had grown quite long over the previous 4 books, it's time for a bit of a cull.

Delivered with the usual gusto and a grand sweep Mr Brown thins out the herd, game of thrones style, with as much gore as he can muster.

However, there is a slight nagging feeling that half way through the book, he had a cracking new idea for the direction the narrative should be heading in. A random new character out of the blue is dropped into the narrative and any conflict with past plot points is hand waved away.

Which sets up the final book nicely.

I await which regional accent Lyria will get next with interest.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Dave
  • 10-12-19

Death and more death

Nope I didn’t enjoy this. Yep there are characters that you want to hear their path but there was no tea plot no real engaging story. I ended up running this in 1.5 speed and even then still skipped ahead on the last 4 hours. Such a shame I loved the first 3 enjoyed the 4th but this nope I’m done. Some of those scenes were just too much.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Gadget
  • 09-06-19

Gripping; but minor audio and performance issues

I found this absolutely gripping. While a little clichéd in places, it made my drive to and from speed by, and sets the scene for the final book of this trilogy.

Regarding the quality of the audiobook:

The main issue I had with the audio was that it was too quiet. Much of my commute is on the motorway, so I expect to have to turn the volume up a bit. However, for this book, I had to turn it up a lot; and for Ephraim in particular, even with the volume at maximum, there were still times when I couldn't hear everything he said.

Regarding the narrators: Ephraim and Darrow were as solid as ever. I preferred the accent of the previous Lyria, but the new one did a good job, and the voice she used for Victra was just right. Where the previous Lysander sounded like he was bored of the whole thing (and not in a good way), the new one did a good job in combining casual arrogance and a general feeling of superiority and destiny. Virginia I felt was the weakest of the bunch; while she was fine when voicing Virgina herself, she made no changes for other characters, which was occasionally confusing; and she made a number of mispronunciations.

Finally, the producers didn't do a great job of ensuring consistency between all the narrators. It meant that some names and places were pronounced differently by different people; and the same character could end up with a different accent depending on who was voicing them (for example, when Ephraim was quoting Lyria, he used the accent of the narrator from the previous book.)

But despite all that, this was still a good listen.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • dave poole
  • 08-23-19

Shame about the new readers and new accents...

Loved all of them, but to many new readers and accents for the same charictors

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • T
  • 06-04-20

Brown back to his best after 4th book dip

I was sceptical after the 4th book, which I found laboursome at times, but the 5th book is back to brilliant best of the trilogy.

Some of the narrating is confusing, as voices change from 1st four books due to perspective of first person changing, but thoroughly enjoyed it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-16-20

another good book

loved this book, twist and turns, continues the story well, cant wait for the next one

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • TEFLETCHERR
  • 04-16-20

Amazing book

The story is soo good, I can’t wait for the next book to come out. However, the one problem
I had with the recording Is that some of the voice actors were different. At first this was really distracting, as the book went on I got used to it. The voice actors fit the character much better in Iron Gold.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Katie
  • 04-10-20

Lack of Continuity infuriating!!!

How intensely annoying that not only have two of the characters voices changed due to changing voice actors. But these new actors don’t seem to have listened to the previous readings and do totally incorrect accents not only for their own but other people’s characters. I found it totally infuriating to find Lyria is no longer sporting an Irish accent but sounds like she’s from the east end. And the actor reading Lysander really should have been made to listen to the voices of other characters before attempting to voice them! Suddenly Alexander is an old croaky man who sounds more in keeping with a Grey than a Gold. A bad performance can ruin your story in audiobooks. If someone has come this far listening, at least give them some credit and respect when replacing actors!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ginge
  • 03-15-20

Incredible story

I definitely think this is the best book in the series, the plot keeps you guessing the whole way through and the characters are just so rich.

The only let down I think are a couple of the readers performances

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-31-19

CASHUS

Goryhell, get this slow mumbling awful Lysander narrator off this book. Hard to believe that they could find a more unconvincing narrator than the one who read Lyria in Iron Gold. But damn, RecordedBooks has underachieved wonderfully, done it again.

7 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Ben Persson
  • 08-01-19

WTF IS GOING ON WITH VOICES

different actors, pronunciations and tones consistency is the name of the game. Don't buy past book 3 if you want your happy bubble in tact.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • peastri
  • 08-04-19

Relentless

I can never say enough about this series and no matter how much praise I heap on it I will never do it the justice it deserves. 

Dark Age hits the ground sprinting offering a level of anxiety riddled intensity that makes Golden Son look like a picnic.

It's not for the faint hearted it's relentless and keeps you moving for fear you'll be caught in the crossfire. You'll rage, cry, fatigue, despair, endure and hope… hope? lol.

Never am I as immersed in a world and its characters as I am when I'm with the Rising. I'm not looking forward to it ending, I don't know how I'll cope - per aspera ad astra, hail Pierce! you bloodydamn marvelous pixie.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • justarb
  • 12-25-19

Not up to the usual standard

I have really enjoyed this series, but this book was quite the disappointment. The narration was jarring - while I could understand having a different narrator for each character’s chapter, the narrators used wildly different accents for the same character. Even the pronunciation of names was inconsistent between narrators which made following the story a bit of a pain.

Narration aside, the actual story was not up to the standard of the rest of this series. Main characters were killed off, sometimes in pointless or meaningless ways, and to be honest, I just couldn’t care about them any more. For some reason, the writing felt different and I just couldn’t empathize with the characters or the story. Some of the hyperbolic descriptions were too over the top and outrageous and it felt too forced.

I will probably still get the next book, but I won’t be looking forward to it with the same sense of anticipation that I waited for each of the previous installments.

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • John
  • 09-06-19

One book too many

Enjoyed earlier books however I am now struggling to sustain interest. All the best Darrow.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • K E naysmith
  • 08-29-19

Too many plots running simultaneously

It was a really messy book. Because it has been a while since the last book the characters had faded in my mind but then they introduce heaps more and run lots of simultaneous plots the result is confusion and a lack of identity with any one character. It also has a very dire vibe with very little to get excited about, I came away vaguely depressed. Looks like it's trying to be a game of thrones copy, but I think it should revert back to why these books have always been great; more hunger games and less game of thrones.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tenma13
  • 06-09-20

Best in the series

Enjoyed moving beyond where most books end. Contrary to many reviews, I found the group of narrators excellent.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-07-20

Messy

The first 3 books are so greatand focused, the 4th book started to get messy suddenly introducing different character perspectives. Now we continue having new different perspectives, with all character meeting plenty of new characters that aren't given time to make an impact before cutting to something else.

It's become really unfocused, I only just managed to get through the 4th book, but this one really didn't hold my interest at all.

Also inconsistent pronunciation by voice actors really takes you out of the story.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ricky
  • 02-28-20

One of my favourite series

This series is incredible and I cant wait for the next one. A unqie setting, great characters, action packed story.

I have to join fellow readers who hate the new narration arrangement though. TGR did such a great job on his own, why are your overcomplicating it now? Some of the other narrators are ok (Mustang for example) but some of the others are terrible. I can't remember specifically which narrator it was, but there was a scene where someone other than TGR did a quick voice-over for Darrow. Please, dont EVER do that again.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dot
  • 01-04-20

Darkening age

Dark Age was much longer than previous books and very intense. I loved it! I’ve loved all of the Red Rising books but there was extra world building and relationship building and fantastic writing in this one. Like the author is taking it all to the next level.

This was all aided by the five awesome narrators. In the previous book I agreed with reviews that Lyria was too dramatic and Lysander too monotone, both these narrators had developed well in this book.

I’ve read the first five books in sequence and it’s frustrating to reach the end of Dark Age and have no idea if and when there will be another book. Author would be nuts to leave it here (I hope) but how long will it take to write another book and when will it be published? I’ve put myself on his mailing list so I get updates.

As epic sci fi / space opera goes this is pretty much as good as it gets.