Book Review: Morning Star

Since the complete series had been published, I figured I’d read Pierce Brown’s Red Rising Trilogy straight through. I don’t know if I was losing steam toward the end or the story slipped, but Morning Star is likely my least favorite of the books. Let me explain…

Red Rising had a very clear structure. Brown established the world, set the stage for the revolution, and plopped Darrow in the Academy that put him in contact with the characters for the rest of the series and trained him for the intense combat he would be participating in the rest of the series. He won at the Academy and got to choose who his mentor was and the stage was set for him to begin the revolution.

A complete story in itself while still leading readers into the next part of the trilogy.

Golden Son was different. I was always waiting for some sort of structure to loosely define a proper beginning and ending point would be for the book like the Academy was for Red Rising. That never came. The story seemed to be a mis-match of events that were constantly back and forth with enemies and allies that I was confused throughout who was who and what team they were fighting for.

Still, the book had its share of secrets to reveal that were entertaining to read.

With Morning Star, things were different. The chaos of Golden Son continued and it was hard to follow. Sometimes I was asking myself why Darrow and his friends were doing what they were doing (or rather, why people were betraying him or suddenly following him blindly). Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like Brown gave Darrow an easy path. There were struggles. But some of the other “stunts” seemed unlikely.

To me, a trilogy should have an overall arc for the whole series with each book having its own beginning, middle, and end. Depending on the series, the final book can be solely dedicated to closing up the loose ends of the series. It’s the finale, after all.

That wasn’t the case with Red Rising. The first book started out that way but the final two seemed to be all over the place.

Maybe this is just a case of this not being my genre, but I really did enjoy the story. It just confused me more often than it should. Not only that, throughout the series nothing was really pushing me to the next chapter. I never had to force myself to put down the book to do other things. If I wasn’t able to read for one day, I didn’t care.

I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads. Overall, I’d give the whole series anywhere from 3.5-4 stars. The story is there and very rich, but the delivery of the story could use work. Again, I can’t wait to see the movies because these books are a lot more vivid than can really be portrayed in a book.

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