Three books into the series and I’ve become pretty cognizant of the formula that Pierce Brown uses with Red Rising. While reading Morning Star I was all too wary of the stretches of positive events that occurred throughout the book because I knew that somewhere around the corner my good mood was about to be shattered. As I immersed deeper into the reality of the story, I empathized more with Darrow’s situation. Given all of the betrayals and disasters of the past, it made sense that I, as the reader, would have zero trust in everyone who crossed paths with Darrow. Thanks to Brown’s vivid and fluid writing, I was completely in tune with the cynical tone of Darrow’s thoughts, and the sense of dread I constantly felt almost made me want to stop reading the book entirely for fear that I wasn’t going to like what would happen next. And of course, I almost never did.
I gave this one 4 stars because, as mentioned before, my cognizance of Brown’s formula for this series almost made things predictable. It wasn’t until the last quarter of the book that my jaw dropped at a few particular developments that took me by complete surprise. Another thing affecting my score was how the super fast pacing made me lose track of the flow of events and details of the setting.
The Red Rising series is borderline exhausting in how it takes me on such an emotional rollercoaster, which I guess is a good thing. I know I’m still two books behind, but Morning Star actually would’ve been the perfect end to an incredible trilogy. I can’t even imagine what more Pierce Brown has to deliver in the next installment, but I will know soon enough!