Morning Star (Red Rising Trilogy, #3)Morning Star by Pierce Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A satisfying finish to a great story. Brown creates characters that are deep, dynamic and wholly believable. The Darrow we ended the story with is not the Darrow that we started with, and that’s what makes this such a great story.

I skipped over writing a review for the second book in series mostly because I couldn’t wait to get into third book–and I wasn’t disappointed. The story moved us through the culmination of the Reaper’s story to a fitting end to the story, that leaves the reader with the impression of the end …. for now,” which is something I’m very happy about.

Much of what I said in the first review still stands – characters are dynamic and evolving. Their motivations are believable, as are their story arcs. The characters are relatable and while the stage for this story was set on a solar scale, the story kept grounded in the people of the situation. In a lot of ways, the character development reminds me a lot of James Corey and the Expanse series. The world is burning down around them, setting the stage for a story about how a group of friends grapple with what live is throwing at them.

I would love to talk about the character arcs, but I think they are far better experienced than explained. Suffice to say, it flows satisfying throughout the series from idealist to realist, and finally settling on a compromise.

Morning Star does a good job of exploring discrimination, probably better than the previous books in the series because we see a lot more of the tension and anxiety as even the different colors on the same side struggle to work together.

That being said, of the three books in this series, this one is the weakest (but still far, far above the majority of sci-fi literature available today). I felt at various points throughout the key pieces of information occurred ‘out of sync’, where I had a question of “how does this even work?” for several pages before an off-hand comment clarifies.

One of the things the Corey does really well that I felt was missing slightly from Brown’s work a sense of the scope of space. Brown somewhat glazes over the pieces that really gives a visceral feeling of the vastness of space. Jaunts from the core to the Rim, which are months long by the book, and glazed over where virtually nothing of import happens, and it seems all the character development stops until we reach the destination. It’s a minor detail, and I really only noticed because of Corey’s books and how much I felt that vastness.

The only other slight negative I had is that the book overall feels somewhat rushed. The quality of the writing is still top-notch, but there are one or two places throughout the book where Brown spends some time setting the stage for some big event, only bow out at the last second. It left me with the impression of he either didn’t have time to write it, or it was edited out. Either way, it isn’t a huge deal, and not a detriment to the story at all. It likely has most to do with me wanting to know more about this world, and get a deeper feeling.

I loved this book. So much. The few issues I pointed out are nit-picky and by and large, don’t negatively impact the story in any meaningful way.