Series: Red Rising #3
Published by Hodder & Stoughton on February 11th 2016
Genres: Action & Adventure, Dystopia, Science Fiction
Source: From the publisher
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.
When I read it…
I took just over a week to read this one, between February 5th and 14th 2016.
What I’d heard before I read it:
All good things! [Sidenote, anyone else incapable of hearing the phrase ‘All good things, all good things’ in a voice other than Olaf’s from Frozen? Just me?] Morning Star was by far one of my most anticipated reads for 2016 so I couldn’t wait to read it, but I’d deliberately not gone looking for reviews in fear of spoilers. I had seen a few comments on twitter though, and they were all VERY favourable!
What worked for me:
- The plot: Sometimes, a writer tries so hard to be unpredictable that it becomes predictable (Steven Moffat & Doctor Who for example), but that wasn’t at all the case with Morning Star. Given the ending of Golden Son, I didn’t think Morning Star could shock me – I was wrong. There was at least one occasion where I wanted to update my GR progress and couldn’t think of a single update that didn’t involve swearing because I was so surprised by what had just happened. Morning Star‘s plot is brilliant; full of epic drama and exciting plot twists that meant I just didn’t want to put it down.
- The characters: There are so many characters to love, and love them I certainly do! Sevro, of course, remains the favourite, but I also adored Ragnar, had a total soft spot for Kavax au Telemanus and Sophocles, and loved how kickass Victra is.
- The relationships: From Sevro and Darrow’s witty back and forths to Victra’s casual flirting to the Howler initiation, Morning Star is full of funny, teasing moments between characters that had really believable, satisfying relationships. In a book that could otherwise be so dark, the humour is surprisingly frequent, and I loved that – while the drama is still heart-pounding (and at times heart-warming and heart-breaking) the book felt epic rather than grim.
- The world-building: From the beginning of the series, Darrow’s world has fascinated me, and with each new book we get more details about the intricate, complex world that Brown has created. I particularly loved seeing the Obsidians, meeting Alia Snowsparrow and Sefi and seeing a bit more of Ragnar’s world.
What didn’t quite work for me:
- Mustang: I found Mustang a little less likeable in Morning Star than in the first two books – maybe just because we had so many other awesome female characters who were more readily accessible! I didn’t dislike her, and I certainly still wanted her to get her happy ending, I just found her a little harder to connect with than the other characters.
Something worth mentioning…
- I’m not sure why, but it took me a little longer than I expected to get truly engrossed in Morning Star. I’m not sure how much of that was because I was reluctant for the series to end or due to nerves that the book wouldn’t live up to my hopes (which it did!) or even that I was too excited to concentrate 100% (this genuinely happened on the first day I tried to read it) but I didn’t feel as instantly addicted as I did with the two earlier books. Once I did get hooked, I just didn’t want to put it down, and it was every bit as gripping as I’d expected it to be based on Red Rising and Golden Son. The question of WHY it took me longer to get hooked (whether it was the pacing of the first section, or whether it was a matter of timing/my reluctance to finish the series) is one I’ll figure out when I re-read, but I thought it was worth mentioning. If you’ve started Morning Star and aren’t instantly hooked, rest assured you will be soon!
I had to think for a while on the ending of Morning Star and whether it was satisfying, but ultimately I’m very happy with it – it wasn’t what I expected, but the more I thought about it the more I realised I couldn’t think of anything I would have found more satisfying! Now that it’s all over, I’m confident in saying Red Rising is one of the best trilogies I have ever read. I adored Red Rising and Golden Son and have been pushing the books on friends and family even more than usual since reading this truly awesome finale.
If you’re looking for something light and fluffy, this is definitely not the book for you. If you’re looking for an awesome plot, kick-ass characters and a fantastically built world then this is absolutely the book for you – just be prepared for an emotional rollercoaster too!