Published: February 9, 2016
Publisher: Del Rey
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 518 (Hardcover)
My Rating: 5.0/5.0
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.
Reaper, Reaper, Reaper… All deeds that last are painted in blood.
For book lovers everywhere February has been kind of a big deal when it comes to book releases. I know Morning Star has been one of my most anticipated reads for 2016 and it was everything I could have dreamed of and then some. Pierce Brown is a master of the sci-fi stage and each book in the Red Rising Trilogy has shown that his talent as a writer continues to burgeon. I was on the edge of my seat, knuckles white, just waiting to see what could possibly go wrong, because Darrow couldn’t possibly be a happy hero at the end, could he?
During the first two chapters or so I was concerned at the tone of the story- it was so different from the first two books where Darrow displays the confidence and even arrogance of an Iron Gold. Darrow is a broken, crumbling man and he’s slowly being driven mad, no matter how he tries to convince himself he’s going to be okay and Pierce made this absolutely terrifying. I thought to myself that he couldn’t possibly recover, that this would be the end of the rebellion and we’d end up seeing the rest of the story from a different characters perspective. How wrong I was to have doubted… Darrow is back in action, decisive and commanding, but more humble than he was before.
What I loved about Morning Star (well one thing) was how characters that were previously less involved and fleshed out have grown to be their own individuals, stepping out from the shadow cast by Darrow in his absence. In the year that Darrow was absent, the worlds kept turning and events occurred that had nothing to do with his choices and actions. Talk about something that makes you feel insignificant. Sevro has taken up the mantle of Ares and continues to nip and tear at the hide of the Golden beast, causing chaos and upheaval. Mustang, still departed from Mars, is staging a campaign against the Sword Armada in the Rim planets. The Society is being fought on many fronts, but the rebellions lack a personality strong enough to be a binding factor that will unite them into a single, unstoppable force. Obviously this is where Darrow finds his place again. His unpredictable nature allows him to “change the paradigm”.
The scope of the story continues to expand, from Earth all the way to the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. While we don’t get TONS of worldbuilding for ever locale visited, we get enough to whet our appetites and create a framework for the imagination. Pierce Brown has lured his readers in and hooked them with exotic names, environs, and subcultures. I can only hope that he will write further stories in the same story world- perhaps stories of the first Iron Golds that rained down vengeance against the lesser humans of Earth? I also wouldn’t mind a novella dedicated to describing what happens in the aftermath of Morning Star. A girl can dream, right?
I am just so incredibly thrilled with the ending of Morning Star! Pierce gave me the ending I didn’t know I even wanted, but it was so right. If you haven’t read this series yet, I insist that you pick up Red Rising and join the fun! I’ve got to find some Howler merch and display my love. One of the most thrilling aspects of this series is how Darrow, who’s narrating the tale, always knows more than he lets on to the reader. There were so many instances where I was dreading the next page because it couldn’t possibly turn out well, but Darrow just keeps pulling these aces out of his sleeves and surprising everyone. There are some of the best plot twists I’ve ever encountered in my entire book history. Did I mention the empowering monologues given in each and every book? The speeches in Morning Star are particularly inspiring, making me want to jump up and join the Sons of Ares and change the world. I could go on and on about the positive aspects about this book, because honestly, I can’t think of a single negative! Omnis vir lupis, Howlers!