So, Ryan has already reviewed Pierce Brown’s Morning Star. Now, while Gabbing Geek Enterprises, a division of a much larger entertainment conglomerate (not really) would prefer not to have repetitive content…here’s some repetitive content in the form of my review of the self-same book.
SPOILERS after the cut.
Look, we here at Gabbing Geek love Ryan. He’s like the big brother Jenny never wanted. But the one thing anyone needs to know is Ryan either loves stuff or he hates stuff. It’s a one or a ten. When he dislikes something…he really dislikes it. When he loves something? Man oh man, best let him get a room.
And he really, really, really loves Red Rising and the related series. Just ask the lawyer who got Pierce Brown’s restraining order in place!
OK, in all seriousness, or not, I just finished the book myself, and while I did enjoy it, I think it is fair to say I did not enjoy it as much as Ryan. Let’s hit some pros and cons…
- Darrow is still a complex, morally complicated man who makes for a compelling narrator and protagonist.
- Brown can write an excellent action sequence, and there are (usually) twists and turns the audience can appreciate.
- Almost anyone can die in this series, and often in unexpected but appropriate for the character ways.
- That moral complexity that defines Darrow is often present in other characters, making even Darrow’s enemies more human, or even sympathetic.
- The large supporting cast is generally diverse and interesting in one way or another, which also ties into the moral complexity angle, something I truly appreciate in fiction.
But hey, there are some cons too.
- A few of the late chapters struck me as filler in this book, like they were added for the sake of giving the book length as opposed to having any real meaning. I’m thinking of Sefi putting the Golds on trial. I am not sure where that came from, or why Sevro’s actions stopped it. I am also thinking of Roque’s death scene, which seemed to go on way too long.
- Conversely, despite having a lot of book filler in the end, I also felt that Brown has a habit of tying up loose ends rather quickly. Yes, I know that this second bullet point seems to contradict the first, but the issue for me is that problems often seem to be solved quickly. Arguably, things like Dancer’s problems with Golds in general are never really solved so much as conveniently forgotten. If Brown had devoted more space to these interpersonal issues between characters and less to what felt like page filler, it would have made for a much better book.
- I kinda saw Darrow, Mustang, Cassius, and Sevro’s big ploy at the end of the book coming. I predict book endings as I read all the time, and I’m not always right, but Brown has been pretty good about doing stuff I don’t see coming, so having the final gambit occur to me before it happened made for a minor let down.
Like I said, I did enjoy the book, but not as much as the previous two. And while Ryan was happy to report Brown has another trilogy on the way, I for one wonder what other worlds he has in him. Yeah, there are obvious loose ends here with the Ash Lord and the Moon Lords, and probably some other Lords, but for an author of Brown’s obvious talent, I am wondering what else he could do if he could step away from this color schemed society he’s done so much work on already.
So, anyway, let’s say seven and a half Martian drills out of ten.