Golden Son and Morning Star Spoiler Free Reviews

“Home isn’t where you’re from, it’s where you find light when all grows dark.”

Title: Golden Son

Author: Pierce Brown

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult

Publisher: Del Rey Books

Format Read: Audiobook

Synopsis: (spoiler free)

Golden Son continues to follow the story of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom from the overlords of a brutal elitist future built on lies. Now fully embedded among the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his work to bring down Society from within. Two years have passes since Darrow survived and graduated from the cutthroat Institute. He is now a lancer for the House Augustus and captains a warship. He has not heard from the Sons of Ares, or Mustang, for over a year. However, when things go badly wrong in a battle against Karnus au Bellona, House Agustus terminates Darrow’s contract, putting it up for auction– as well as putting Darrow’s life in jeopardy. Darrow is forced to find new allies, and the stakes are at an all-time high. Will Darrow place his trust in the right hands? Or will everything he worked to achieve be destroyed? Find out in Golden Son 😉

Things I liked: (spoiler free)

i. The Setting: Like book 1, the reader has to work really hard in order to understand the setting. Brown builds up the setting more and gives the reader more insights into the lives of other colors.

ii. The Gore: This book isn’t for the feint of heart- it’s very gory!

iii: Writing Style: I adore Pierce Brown’s writing style, it’s so witty and he writes action really well. Plus I loved the narrator of the audiobook– he was perfect and the british accent made the book soooo much better. (I love the way Pierce Brown wrote Severo’s character!! My sass pot child <3)

Things I didn’t like:

i. The Ending: I feel like Pierce Brown just ended on a major cliffhanger to make people want to read Morning Star. Golden Son was not as good as Red Rising, and honestly it was very disappointing. Pierce should have made the readers want to continue to figure out how the plot concludes, not just to find out what happens after the cliffhanger.

ii. No Character Development: I loved Darrow in book 1 and I wanted to see him grow and go through trials and learn from his mistakes. But honestly he just turned out to be a Gary Sue which was so disappointing! It just seemed like Darrow did everything right and was mean to everyone just because “he was SO different from them they couldn’t possibly put down their differences and become friends!!” and it got a little old. And as much as I loved Severo and Roque, they didn’t change either. And Mustang was just ughhh I wanted to see her grow and change but they just stayed so static!

iii: Weak Female Characters: I understand that it can be difficult for male authors to write female characters and female authors to write male characters, but I was just so fed up with the way Brown portrayed his female characters. They just weren’t dynamic or compelling. Mustang was barely in this book and when she was, she was annoying and didn’t do anything.

Honestly, Golden Son was nowhere near as good as Red Rising, and I was very reluctant to continue the series. The notes I wrote as I read the book consisted of “not as good as the first one AT ALL”, “didn’t relate to the characters”, “boring”, “Darrow is a Gary Sue” and “Female Characters are boring”. BUT I did read Morning Star, so I’ll continue the review below!


Title: Morning Star

Author: Pierce Brown

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult

Publisher: Del Rey Books

Format Read: Audiobook

Synopsis: (spoiler free)

Betrayed at the end of the last book, Golden Son, Darrow begins Morning Star imprisoned. He’s been continuously beaten, and tortured in one of the Jackal’s interrogation cells. Darrow eventually is freed by the Son’s of Ares, who, under a new leader, are near collapse. Darrow resumes his campaign against the tyrannical Sovereign of the Society. Betrayed by an old friend, Darrow has witnessed the murders of his friends and suffered a year of torture and solitary confinement. Now a shadow of his former self, he rejoins the rebellion he ignited, which has faltered since his presumed death. Darrow’s secret origin as a Red is now widely known, which has emboldened the low Colors but also pitted the Golds against him. Darrow begins the slow process of getting his strength back and begins the laborious process to amass the resources and allies he needs to defeat the forces of the Sovereign.

Things I liked: (spoiler free)

i. The Torture: Ya’ll are going to think I’m a psychopath- but I love the grisly scenes! Darrow becomes completely broken at the beginning of this book and damn those scenes are pretty vivid. Honestly, he needed that. I was dying for some character development and nothing like a good year of torture and solitary confinement to speed that process along. 😉
ii. Liked the Characters: I liked the characters, I found them interesting and entertaining, (definitely more than book 2) but I still couldn’t relate to any of them.

iii: Humor: As previously said, I love Pierce’s writing style and Morning Star was no exception! I listened to the audiobook and honestly I was laughing out loud at multiple parts. People looked at me like I was crazy as I was cracking up on my way to class! Sevro kills me omg.
Things I didn’t like:

i. The Ending: I just felt like things weren’t really resolved. I don’t know if I just kind of tuned out at the end and missed some parts or what but I honestly couldn’t tell you what happens at the very end. (Well, except for that one part that was randomly thrown in involving Mustang. Honestly wtf).

ii. Boring Plot: I loved Red Rising and Darrow’s time at the Institute. I guess I’m just not that interested in space battles, but Pierce does do a really good job of writing them. I just wasn’t interested in Darrow vs. The Sovereign, I was more interested in Darrow vs. The Institute.

iii: 1st Person POV: I love 1st person when done well, and in books 1 and 2 Brown does an excellent job of writing Darrow’s perspective while keeping it interesting. However, by book 3, I was interested in other characters. I wish there would have been multiple POVs but oh well, we can’t always get what we want.

My notes for this book consisted of: “Darrow is too perfect”, “can’t relate to the characters”, “I’m crying”, and “plot is boring”. :/

SO in conclusion, if you like science fiction thrillers with epic space battles and a very perfect male lead, this series is for you! But, if you really like the first book don’t expect the rest of the series to have a similar vibe because they are very different. I think I would have enjoyed Red Rising better as a standalone.

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