“This is always how the story would end,” he says to me. “Not with your screams. Not with your rage. But with your silence.”
Oh, I am silent. This book left me in a bad place. If any of you caught my rambling, emotion driven review of Golden Son you’ll know that I was over the moon about getting my hands on this book. I needed it like I need air. I thought my world was going to crash down around me if I didn’t get my weirdly small adult hands on this book. I had to have it.
Well, I got it and it has left me in a deep, dark place.
I hate to say it, but I have issues with this book. I wanted to adore it the way I adored Golden Son. I wanted to have that same connection with Morning Star as I had with Golden Son that gave me the burning desire to read more. I just wanted to love it. Is that so wrong?
- Sevro – For the first two books Brown has given us a very clear impression of Sevro. Things we know we can expect from him and how he behaves. In Morning Star that seems to have been thrown out the window. I have adored Sevro and rooted for him for two books only to be annoyingly frustrated with him in this one. He wouldn’t shut up, made very poor choices without thinking anything through, and generally just got on my nerves to the point I wanted to skim the scenes with his dialogue.
- Jackal – Those of you who have read the books know how Golden Son ended. The Jackal was the end of that book. The entire plot revolved around him at the end. In Morning Star, despite the fact that large parts of the plot still depended on him, we hardly saw him. All we got were mentions of him and, I’m sorry, but that just wasn’t enough for me.
- Deaths – Brown did not shy away from killing off characters for two books. If it worked for the plot, they got the ax. Period. No remorse. With this conclusion that wasn’t the case. Characters whose deaths I felt could greatly further the plot line were left alive and useless while the one who I thought deserved to live was killed. I don’t understand. I just don’t.
- Mustang – I still don’t like her. In Golden Son I got the impression that she was just trying to figure things out and hadn’t quite found her place in the world. I was greatly looking forward to watching her claim her place, whatever that happened to be. However, I don’t think she actually grew as a character in the slightest. Sure, things happened to her but they didn’t change her. The Mustang we ended with is the same one we started with. How could Sevro change so much and Mustang so little? Irksome.
- Loose end – Did I miss something? I admit, I skimmed a page or two, but I don’t recall Harmony being given an ending. I think for the story to have truly closed, she needs one. Her story line needed to be distinctly wrapped up and instead she is in the wind.
“If you’re watching, Eo, it’s time to close your eyes. The Reaper has come. And he’s brought hell with him.”
- Battles – Of course we have the epic space battles in this book. I simply cannot fault Brown for how he puts these scenes together. You can feel the urgency, hear the singing of a slashing blade, and see the dance of battle unfolding. It is masterful.
- Darrow – Through Red Rising and Golden Son we came to know Darrow as an overconfident yet lovable, militaristic, single minded, pain in the butt. I say that fondly. In Morning Star, he becomes something more. He has been completely broken apart and rose from the ashes a better man.
- Roque – Even though I’m probably the last person to read this book, I’m going to try to leave out anything spoilery about Roque. I will just say that his end felt right and was well done.
As you can obviously see, my con list is longer than my pro list. For some reason, though, I still find myself giving it 4 stars on Goodreads. While I didn’t particularly like how the third book went, it still felt true to the story that Pierce had already set up.
We’ve all read those trilogies or series that, after a couple of books, they stop feeling true to themselves. The rules within their universe change and the characters change without reason but simply to move a story line along. At no point in Morning Star did that feel like it was the case.
Except the very end. The last scene felt incredibly forced and awkward, but besides that…
In a nutshell, did I love this book as much as I did the first two in the the trilogy? No. Was it still a good book? Yes. Do I think Brown could have done better? Absolutely.
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