Review: Morning Star (Pierce Brown)

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.




The final installment in the Red Rising series delivered a satisfying finish to a beloved story line.  

A good portion of Morning Star takes place in space (hello epic battle sequences), which didn't really appeal to me much. I'm not a fan of sci-fi books, and spaceships and/or aliens is a sure fire way to lose my interest. But I stayed with it! Even though I felt this book started to drag on a bit (it's 524 pages) and got way too technical in the battle scenes for my tastes. 

One thing I do love about this series is the characters. The third book, Morning Star, introduces more new characters. Yes, more characters that you will appreciate too. Of course, there is also more loss of previous characters that you will be sad over. The idea of honor even into death is powerful.
It's hard to capture how much growth these characters undergo throughout this series. It's spectacular. The Darrow and Cassius from Red Rising are not the same Darrow and Cassius you see in Morning Star.  But I think it's Sevro that steals the show in the end. He has really changed in spectacular ways. His crude nature is still there (and often brings humor to tense situations), but the little goblin develops a heart. I really enjoyed his story. 

Morning Star also takes a pretty strong political stance. There are lots of hints at themes dealing with honor and class systems. I should probably reread this one just to make note of those from beginning to end.   

Also, as to be expected, there are twists and turns galore. Sometimes it was hard to keep up! I usually can spot plot twists a good bit before they occur, but the jaw dropper of Morning Star caught be off guard. I didn't know what was happening until it was happening, and I swear it left me misty eyed. I don't think I've ever experienced a more satisfying ending for a character. Wow. Just wow.

I heard a rumor that there will be a spin off series, and I really hope that's true. As much as I liked the ending, I don't want it to be the end of these characters. 

 


Minute review: The Leaving (Tara Altebrando)


The Leaving
Six were taken. Eleven years later, five come back--with no idea of where they've been.

Eleven years ago, six kindergarteners went missing without a trace. After all that time, the people left behind moved on, or tried to.

Until today. Today five of those kids return. They're sixteen, and they are . . . fine. Scarlett comes home and finds a mom she barely recognizes, and doesn't really recognize the person she's supposed to be, either. But she thinks she remembers Lucas. Lucas remembers Scarlett, too, except they're entirely unable to recall where they've been or what happened to them. Neither of them remember the sixth victim, Max. He doesn't come back. Everyone wants answers. Most of all Max's sister Avery, who needs to find her brother--dead or alive--and isn't buying this whole memory-loss story.



This one starts off spookily enough. I was captivated by the idea that these kids returned with no memory of the previous 11 years. All kinds of theories are thrown out there and sorted through, but the one that remains was a bit surprising and disappointing. But, as disappointing as it was, it was also the ending that made the most sense. I think if anything else would have occurred, I would have rolled my eyes. 

The characters are just meh. Nothing earth shattering or really worth remembering long after the book is finished. I know that sounds harsh, but that's just how most books are. The Leaving isn't revolutionary, but it is a quick and mostly satisfying read. Overall, The Leaving wasn't as suspenseful as I had hoped for, but it was a solid read.


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