Author: Pierce Brown
Published: January 6th, 2016 by Del Rey
Genres: young adult // science-fiction > dystopian // slight romance
Holy shit, that was awesome. Awesome in the politics & war & Darrow being a badass department. Not as heavily in the character development department. Darrow is thrown into the deep waters of civil war and political battles, betrayals and death in this second installment. He is such an intelligent, adaptive person. You can’t see plots until they are happening in front of you, even Darrow’s. I’ve been hearing amazing things about the next book and its ending, so I can’t wait to get there after the ending to this one! Ugh, that ending. WHAT A CLIFFHANGER. My poor Darrow just needs a break!
As a Red, Darrow grew up working the mines deep beneath the surface of Mars, enduring backbreaking labor while dreaming of the better future he was building for his descendants. But the Society he faithfully served was built on lies. Darrow’s kind have been betrayed and denied by their elitist masters, the Golds—and their only path to liberation is revolution. And so Darrow sacrifices himself in the name of the greater good for which Eo, his true love and inspiration, laid down her own life. He becomes a Gold, infiltrating their privileged realm so that he can destroy it from within.
A lamb among wolves in a cruel world, Darrow finds friendship, respect, and even love—but also the wrath of powerful rivals. To wage and win the war that will change humankind’s destiny, Darrow must confront the treachery arrayed against him, overcome his all-too-human desire for retribution—and strive not for violent revolt but a hopeful rebirth. Though the road ahead is fraught with danger and deceit, Darrow must choose to follow Eo’s principles of love and justice to free his people.
He must live for more.
The writing style has definitely grown on me since Red Rising, the viciousness of it. Leaves no room for niceties and sunshine, oh no. Cuts right to the core. I will admit that at times, it does detract from possible impacts of emotional turmoil because it just spits it out as fact. But that’s just how Darrow and his crew roll with the punches, I guess. So by that I just mean that when Darrow cries from sadness, I can’t feel it as heavily as he does. Or the more tender interactions between him and Mustang (even in the first book when the relationship started building), I can’t feel it. But the style suits the vicious story.
Brown does so well with his world building. I was worried about the lingo for sci-fi stuff and there’s already slang not used in real life that I had to adjust to, but I did just fine. Brown may use terms that are extremely unfamiliar, but he explains them quick and easy, so you at least have an idea and can create the image in your head, even if the items won’t look the same as others’ imaginings. (Which is the fun of reading, anyway.) His story takes place in the freakin’ solar system with super high-tech shit, so it’s really good that I’m not having trouble, heh. Plus, this book just introduces more to the world-building, which is always nice!
Pacing: fast-paced, action and wondering who you can trust. Even fast-paced for non-action moments with planning and talking. Fighting was ramped up to spaceships and high-tech weaponry. Darrow’s good at producing action.
“I will die. You will die. We will all die and the universe will carry on without care. All that we have is that shout into the wind – how we live. How we go. And how we stand before we fall.”
Darrow just grows to be an even better man as the story progresses. A bunch of shit is thrown onto his shoulders, he has to wade through everyone’s plans and grudges and hate to just allow his own people to be free. But he takes everything in stride and releases the buildup when he has some peace before the next shit. He adapts, he keeps his mind flowing to try staying one step ahead of everyone, not just his enemies. And he must deal with such heartache as people close to him die or people betray him. Dude. His life. He better have a damn happy ending after all this. Not to mention a huge revelation near the beginning of this installment that had me panicking because I didn’t want him to be irrational in rage! *sighs heavily* [spoiler (highlight)] When Harmony showed him the holo and he heard about the baby….I was SO WORRIED. The series continues, so I knew he wouldn’t, but I was still fearful… [/spoiler] But, hey, he was also freaking awesome at that gala – just sayin’. And my heart when he saw his mum again… *sniffs*
“Now I am their sword. And I do not forgive. I do not forget. So let him lead me onto his shuttle. Let him think he owns me. Let him welcome me into his house, so I might burn it down.”
We come to know other characters a little better here, too. Mustang and Darrow don’t have as many interactions this time, though, and you don’t really see her much until a decent number of pages into it. But I like her! She’s very smart, philosophical and strong. I feel like she really keeps Darrow grounded now that he doesn’t have Eo. She can be rather manipulative, but I feel a lot is warranted because of the mess that is this society? With the ending of this book, she better be there for Darrow a lot in Morning Star!
Also, Fitchner is back! I had quite a love/hate relationship with him for a while. And I will never not like Sevro, oh my goodness. He’s fantastic. A vicious wolf in a small package. Very loyal to Darrow, a wonderful friend, no matter what is thrown at him. Funny, too.
“You’re a sinister little shit, aren’t you?” Victra asks.
“I’m Gold, bitch. What’d you expect? Warm milk and cookies just because I’m pocket-sized?”
Oh! I think I’m gonna really like Ragnar. He seems so cool and loyal and SO STRONG, OMG. The way he fights… (0_0) One scary mo-fo. His grins, his looks, his roaring voice.
I will say that there is more a of a political and war vibe to this with a little less character development. I enjoyed the action and political intrigue, but maybe a little more character stuff’d be nice. Thus, It’s not the best for people who prefer characters a lot more than an action-y plot. Maybe the 3rd book will have more! I NEED IT AFTER THE GUT-PUNCH ENDING TO GOLDEN SON.
Ta-ta for now, worms (of books)!
Did you read this book? What did you think about the action, the characters? Comment below! (Careful of spoilers, though)
~Photo from Goodreads~