Book Review · Books · Picking Stitches

[Picking Stitches – Book Review] Morning Star by Pierce Brown

I’m going to be honest, I feel a bit like I’m losing my vigour for crafting and blogging lately. It just feels like such a slog where it hasn’t before. I know I’ll pass through it – this blog and the people I’ve met through it have enriched my life in a way that I won’t give up on! – but if you could all have patience with me and my lack of drive lately, I’d appreciate it.

I’m trying to get myself back into the blogging groove starting with something I really started to enjoy doing: book reviews.

I’m beginning with Morning Star, the third and final novel in the Red Rising trilogy by Pierce Brown.

(I’m also doing some quick and simple crafty makes this weekend, I think the ongoing lengthiness of making clothing is diminishing my enthusiasm. What I really needed was instant gratification in my makes, so I’ve been doing some hour-or-so-tops kind of makes, which has made me feel infinitely better, and I’ll be sharing one tomorrow.)

A few months ago I wrote about setting myself a Summer Reading List Challenge, with 10 books to read within three months. Though I (almost – 9/10) finished this challenge, I fell woefully behind in reviewing them, at least I have plenty of topics to blog on for a while now!

Hopefully now I’m not specifically trying to read so much, I’ll be able to get these reviews down in – digital – ink.

I’ve previously reviewed Red Rising and Golden Son and loved them both, so how did I feel about the conclusion to Darrow’s story? Spoilers inside!

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Summary/Blurb:

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 honour 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 Good:

  • I feel like I just reiterate the same good points over again with these books but Characters. Pierce Brown just writes people I love reading about. In this final instalment the story – and thus characters – gets a whole lot darker. There’s a whole side of Sevro explored that annoyed me purely because it was so difficult to unconditionally like him, as I am used to doing. Darrow and Victra (love her) are suffering with the trauma of being held by the sadistic Jackal, and Mustang is as manipulative and cunning and clever as ever.
  • Action. This book is jam-packed full of action and is so fast-paced, just when I think it’s going to calm and give you a breather, it throws you back into more battles.
  • RelationshipsIf the characters are the centre of this series, the relationships they navigate are so important. They’re complex, believable and I was invested in the way they all interacted. Darrow and Sevro in particular are total BFF goals.
  • The endingTo clarify, I don’t actually mean that final scene, which I had issues with – mentioned later – I mean the realism of the fact that the whole society is not uprooted and remade overnight. The uprising isn’t tied up with a neat little bow and now the society lived happily ever after. I enjoyed the way the story ended because I understand that it just would not be that easy. In fact, there’d be so many more battles to be had, that Pierce Brown is actually currently working on a second trilogy, to explore the transitioning society we’re left with at the end of this one. (YES!)
  • Cassius. I think even though he’s on the wrong side, it’s impossible not to like him. he’s just such a stand up, honourable guy.

 

The Bad: 

  • The last 15% of the book was difficult to read. I’m not going to say why, but something occurred and I was so angry I had to walk away for a bit and then come back to it when I’d calmed down. I guess this should go in the good section, because i was so invested in this story that when it started to go wrong, I was very upset!
  • Mustang, Mustang, Mustang. What were you thinking. The very last scene in which we discover the last of Mustang’s deceptions bothered me. It wasn’t the fact that she kept something from Darrow while he was busy with making war, it’s that she seriously considered never enlightening him. Mustang was – and remains, without that last reveal – one of my favourite characters throughout these novels, but I can’t support those actions.
  • Roque. Just because I’m still pissed at him, a book later.

 

Favourite Part:

  • Darrow and Sevro’s friendship, for sure. I love that despite pretty much everyone – including Darrow’s own family – thinking Darrow was dead at the hands of the Jackall, Sevro just knows better and believes he’s alive. That loyalty, y’all.
“It’s not your fault,” I say. “You couldn’t have known.”
“Sevro did,” she says.
“He never stopped looking for you,” Dancer explains. “I thought he was mad. He said you weren’t dead. That he could feel it. That he would know.”

 

Favourite Quote:

“A man thinks he can fly, but he is afraid to jump. A poor friend pushes him from behind.” He looks up at me. “A good friend jumps with.”
“what do you say when a seven-and-a-half-foot-tall woman walks into a room with a battle axe and tongues on a hook? Absolutely nothing.”

Out of Ten:

Nine. Because I never give a ten unless I had no criticisms. Mustang, I love ya, but you lost this book a point. Also there’s no more to read, which is also a big negative. (I’m aware I’m being facetious, this book is basically a ten).

Overall Thoughts:

This book was fantastic. I loved it. There’s not really much else to say about it. The first two books dragged me into this world of the colours and this final instalment saw that world explode in revolution. I read this book in two days, and that was only because I had to put it down twice. Once when I got to the last third of the book and realised I had to slow down or the story would be over too quickly (does anyone else get that? That urge to not finish because then it’s over? Just me?) and then I had to stop again when that thing happened and I was very angry and didn’t want a book to ruin a whole day of my holiday.

It speaks to how immersed I got in this universe that I was upset enough to walk away and come back later. When this book finished I got that lost feeling, like I wasn’t ready to be done with these characters, and that only happens when I’ve really enjoyed spending time with them in their world (hello, every time I re-read Harry Potter).

Luckily for me, Pierce Brown has announced he’s going to be writing a new trilogy set in this universe, following on from these books, so I can rest easier knowing there’s more of this world to come yet.

On the whole, if you enjoyed Red Rising and Golden Son, it’s a pretty safe bet Morning Star will be even more up your street. I’d love to know if anyone else has read this series and agrees with me (or disagrees, I’m interested to hear that take too!) so let me know your thoughts. If it’s still on your TBR list – consider moving it up a few places!

Hayley Margaret

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