Review: Morning Star

Title: Morning Starimgres

Third Book in the Red Rising Series

Author: Pierce Brown

Pages: 518

Method of Reading: Audiobook AND Hardback Book

Genre: Science Fiction

Thoughts: Cloud 9 Happy with this book.

Synopsis: (In Pierce Brown’s words) Braveheart in Space



So good. Just….so…. soooo good! I just can’t even….

(Necessary pause for me to soak in the awesomeness.)

As the third and final book in the Red Rising Trilogy, “Morning Star” is a satisfying conclusion to the series. I usually leave a series depressed, wanting more and missing these characters that I have grown to love. Brown wraps this story up so beautifully, and I was happy with the ending he gave.

Brown’s pacing is great. Slower parts and action-filled scenes and smart dialogue mix together very well. 500 pages is a long book, ad not one of them is wasted.

Here’s how much I loved this book:

  • I picked up the actual book to read in tandem with the audio recording (#win Tim Gerard Reynolds).
  • I had to pause the recording just to regroup – even with the happy parts.

First Reception

In the afterward, Pierce Brown says that he was afraid to write Morning Star, and I have to admit I was just as afraid to read it.

If the first two books were any indication, there’s no telling what could happen. Where do people’s loyalties lie? Who will betray whom? Who will surprise you? Will Darrow die? Will Mustang kill him? Is there a happy ending to all of this?

The odds seemed against any happy ending, given that the main character was captured and the leaders of the rising were murdered in the last few pages of “Golden Son”, part 2 of the Red Rising trilogy.

Calm down Kate. This isn’t George R.R. Martin. Pierce Brown seems to care about the people he kills (in his stories, of course).


This book is categorized YA but it doesn’t fit in the genre. Darrow, the main character might be the right age for YA at the beginning of Red Rising, but this series is more intricate, more developed than any YA book I’ve ever consumed. It’s less “Let’s save our dystopian world while struggling with this love triangle” and more “let’s forget that stuff and focus on what matters”.

  • If Darrow were to teach a seminar, it would cover topics like:
  • Who are my true friends and family? (Really, cause it’s kind of life or death here.)
  • Race – In a class-defined world, how can we all live together in harmony?
  • Why Harmony sucks.
  • Politics – they’re here. They’re real. How to I get to the top and stay there?
  • I really screwed up. How can I make amends?


Brown’s character progression is masterful. His characters are unique, strong, and refuse to blend with common tropes.

I’m very tempted to name my child Darrow. His anger, which fueled him in the first two books has molted and been replaced with a man more mature and ready to heal.

Written in Darrow’s point of view, Pierce Brown weaves deep thoughts with a character who is still figuring out who he is and his place in a world he is trying to change. (I guess you can say that’s YA, but I argue that it’s a very adult experience.)

Mustang – I just want to be her. No way around it.

Sevro is a mix of Deadpool and Jackass. He is cracked and lovable and he glues everyone together. He is the catalyst for change while being the comic relief. Because of his fierce loyalty, I’m tempted to name my next dog Sevro. Or Howler. Howler is more dog-appropriate.

Try It…You’ll Love It

I highly recommend this book, as well as this series. Start with “Red Rising” and enjoy your way through “Golden Son” to the greatness that is “Morning Star”.

I recommend this book to any anyone who likes science fiction, is seeking to “break the chains” of typical YA, or wants an invasion of epic-ness in their lives.


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