Dark Age by Pierce Brown **WARNING!**WITH SPOILERS**

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For a decade Darrow led a revolution against the corrupt color-coded Society. Now, outlawed by the very Republic he founded, he wages a rogue war on Mercury in hopes that he can still salvage the dream of Eo. But as he leaves death and destruction in his wake, is he still the hero who broke the chains? Or will another legend rise to take his place?

Lysander au Lune, the heir in exile, has returned to the Core. Determined to bring peace back to mankind at the edge of his sword, he must overcome or unite the treacherous Gold families of the Core and face down Darrow over the skies of war-torn Mercury.

But theirs are not the only fates hanging in the balance.

On Luna, Mustang, Sovereign of the Republic, campaigns to unite the Republic behind her husband. Beset by political and criminal enemies, can she outwit her opponents in time to save him?

Once a Red refugee, young Lyria now stands accused of treason, and her only hope is a desperate escape with unlikely new allies.

Abducted by a new threat to the Republic, Pax and Electra, the children of Darrow and Sevro, must trust in Ephraim, a thief, for their salvation—and Ephraim must look to them for his chance at redemption.

As alliances shift, break, and re-form—and power is seized, lost, and reclaimed—every player is at risk in a game of conquest that could turn the Rising into a new Dark Age.

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Morning Star returns to the Red Rising universe with the thrilling sequel to Iron Gold.

This was a rollercoaster!!! So much happens and I had so many emotions as it unfolded.
I have had a book hangover this last week, unable to move on, and have been spending lots of time on the Facebook DA discussion page while trying to come up with a non-spoiler review.

I am failing to come up with one. So buckle up, Howlers. This is going to be long and only for those who have read the book.

I’ll separate the review by the character POVs.

 You have been warned about SPOILERS!

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Pierce Brown Dark Age Discussion at Barnes and Noble August 7, 2019

I got to Barnes and Noble Union Sq at 9 am to get my bracelet. I arrived just as the store opened and I saw the queue of people waiting outside filing in. So I followed the line inside and it was very swift. People went in, picked up Dark Age at the front table and went straight back to the check out. I already had my book purchased from b&n online so I just showed them the receipt.

Then I went to work and got back to B&N around 5:15-5:30ish.

I decided to record the whole thing because I was (and still am) exhausted. I had spent the past several days reading as much and as fast as I could. About 130-150 pages a day. I was still 100 pages shy of finishing during the event.

It didn’t start until 7PM and I was reading up until it started. So yea, I recorded the whole thing because I wasn’t sure how much I would remember from being so tired and also, it makes it easier to write this if I have the video to look back on.

There are some breaks in the video. I tried to break it when people were laughing, but then Pierce would say something funny and I’d miss his one liners. But other than that I think the editing is almost seamless.

Highlights:

The beginning Pierce and Peter discuss their method of writing, how they outline and the layering of their drafts.

Pierce then discusses where Darrow and the Republic stands in the second trilogy, and was it all worth it.

17:15 – That is some Star Wars Sequel Trilogy shade right there. 😉 How the ST dishonors the sacrifices and accomplishments of the OT characters. I totally agree!

18:45 Lyria’s lack of agency but how her POV shows the disillusionment of the Rising.

21:00 Pierce talks about Roman history and Greek history.

25:00 The release date delays and how he kept going on and on with Ephraim’s POV. LOL

27:50 The order in which he wrote the POVs. Darrow, Lysander, Ephraim, Mustang then Lyria (or Lyria then Mustang.)

28:50 About the story having multiple POVs and climaxing at the same time. The innuendo is hysterical.

31:00 Audience Q&A begins.

51:00 Hysterical moment: The question about Mustang being inspired by his mother so how does he write sexual scenes about her?

53:11 The sexual innuendo about what the razors (swords) look like. The gift that keeps on giving. LOL

Around 56:00 – The TV show!

So since I was in the front row I didn’t have to wait long to have my books signed. When I got up there he remembered me (blushes) and then I asked if while writing does he find himself having to reread the pervious books to remember what he wrote.

He answered, “All the time.” That he will reread sections and use control find but would love if the fans built up the wiki pages.

I said that I wanted to do a whole reread of the saga and make an encyclopedia book. He encouraged that idea.

(Funny enough, when I finished reading the next evening I did catch a blooper! He didn’t check a name!)

We took a photo together and then he asked where my sister was. I told him she was at a class. He said to “send her my love” as he pounded his heart. How sweet is he?

So my very spoiled review is coming. I am still processing that mountain of a book. It will take a few days to write. I have no idea what to say in a non-spoiler review. It would be nothing but Servo-like profanity because it was a whirlwind!

Iron Gold by Pierce Brown book review – WITH SPOILERS

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They call him father, liberator, warlord, Reaper. But he feels a boy as he falls toward the pale blue planet, his armor red, his army vast, his heart heavy. It is the tenth year of war and the thirty-second of his life.

A decade ago, Darrow was the hero of the revolution he believed would break the chains of the Society. But the Rising has shattered everything: Instead of peace and freedom, it has brought endless war. Now he must risk everything he has fought for on one last desperate mission. Darrow still believes he can save everyone, but can he save himself?

And throughout the worlds, other destinies entwine with Darrow’s to change his fate forever:

A young Red girl flees tragedy in her refugee camp and achieves for herself a new life she could never have imagined.

An ex-soldier broken by grief is forced to steal the most valuable thing in the galaxy—or pay with his life.

And Lysander au Lune, the heir in exile to the sovereign, wanders the stars with his mentor, Cassius, haunted by the loss of the world that Darrow transformed, and dreaming of what will rise from its ashes.

Red Rising was the story of the end of one universe, and Iron Gold is the story of the creation of a new one. Witness the beginning of a stunning new saga of tragedy and triumph from masterly New York Times bestselling author Pierce Brown.

 

I actually finished reading the day before the signing in NYC, January 23. It’s taken me a while to find the time to write a review and also think of what to say without spoilers. Well, there is no way for me to say what I feel without them, so here it goes.

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Iron Gold – Pierce Brown book signing at Barnes and Noble – January 24, 2018.

My sister and I got to Barnes and Noble pretty early and we got some good seats.
She had not read Iron Gold yet, but I finished it the day before.

Pierce spoke about the different POVs in Iron Gold and how his writing had to change. He usually does not outline, but he had to for IG and the next book Dark Age, not just because there is more going on but for pacing and syncing up different POVs that have to match at the same point in time. Otherwise there would be a lot of rewriting.

Something Pierce said that I related too when I write was that sometimes when writers outline they have so much energy and momentum while doing so but then lose it when it comes time to actually write. So sometimes it is better to just go for it.

This part threw me off because I noticed that Pierce changed his answer in another interview. At this event he said Lysander was the hardest to write because he’s so smart, and Lyria was the easiest to write. He thought Lyria would be the hardest.

One thing I really liked was when Pierce said that the readers have different experiences in life and it’s not an author’s duty to tell others how to think but to ask questions.

The Q&A portion with the audience was great. These were some of my favorites:

1)Someone asked what are the other Howlers’ real names. Pierce answered that he will reveal them in due time and it wasn’t an oversight to omit them, just there is a way he wants those details to be presented. He also has to find his notes to remember them. HA!

He also spoke a little bit about the differences in his former editor, Mike Braff and his new editor, Tricia Narwani. Mike had become one of his best friends and Mike’s complements could be counted on one hand. He’d say the pacing was slow and get to the killing. So Pierce would put in an Obsidian to distract him. Mike called Obsidians “Space Vikings.”

This is a funny story: Pierce told Mike that the end of Golden Son had a wedding. When he got to the end Mike was sending him messages in all caps and called him. But he was in his cubical so he had to use his inside voice but was clearly like WTF!?

Tricia was a beta reader before, the first person after Mike to read the drafts, so there is still continuity there. She is more complimentary and helps with the pacing when his world building slows down the story.

He has pages and pages of world building and his editor(s) would tell him it’s great and none of it will be used. I think that right there is a great start for a World of Red Rising Encyclopedia.

2)Another person commented how Lyria was written beautifully and wanted to know if he would ever write a novella from Mustang’s POV – as a mother and Sovereign.

Pierce said, “No comment. Seriously.”

Now I have nothing but speculations about Dark Age!

3) This was my favorite question of the night: When Pierce began writing Morning Star he wasn’t going to write a story about the aftermath, the what happens after the Death Star explodes. Is there any series, TV or book, that Pierce would like a follow up like Iron Gold?

Pierce answered almost all of them because when you are in the Falcon or at Hogwarts you feel like you are at home. You miss your home and you miss your friends.

The problem is…would the additions ruin the initial trilogy? He said it’s his burden/responsibility not to demean actions of the first three books: the original story, personal journeys and sacrifices of the characters.

So then, and this was my favorite part of the night, Pierce used The Last Jedi as an example. Luke’s evolution demeaned him from the the Original Trilogy.

Pierce wants to add on to the same journey with Iron Gold. The story should feel like the same characters and not a restart but an evolution of them as older people.

Sometimes he thinks he wants more but maybe it’s better not to have more. Many series go past their prime. He knows this story is not past its prime because he’s exhilarated to write this trilogy and if it didn’t feel right he wouldn’t write it. He doesn’t want to dilute or make the past consequences feel insignificant so that the fans feel cheap for reading it and then have fans say “that’s not my canon” or “not my Darrow.”

By not taking a big break and going right into this new trilogy he has kept the same tone. And there are new things to explore through the different POVs. We see more of the world and culture, and the cracks in their civilization. So it feels richer, and when we reread the first trilogy we’ll know all this is going on outside Darrow’s POV.

Before the signing portion we concluded the Q&A with a collective howl. People in B&N must have been like, WTF, lol.

Photos and a major spoiler below!

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My Imaginary Book Con Itinerary.

This Saturday is Book Con, but it is in Chicago. I wish they would rotate cities throughout the year. May can be New York City’s month. I hope it’s back in NYC next year.

Also, as my luck would have it, the year I can’t attend is the same year a few of my favorite authors will be there. That just made me make a mock schedule of my imaginary day at Book Con:

8:00 AM -10:00 AM – Queue up for wristbands in the Autographing Area.
Definitely get wristbands for Pierce Brown and Nicola Yoon. After I have those try for Scott Sigler and David Levithan.

11:15 AM – 12:15 PM – Unwritten: Stories You Haven’t Read (Yet)

Authors write more stories than they ever get published… and even more remain in their heads, unwritten. How do Authors choose one idea from the many? What makes a story worth telling, and what deserves to be cut? Learn this and more from bestselling Authors Pierce Brown (The Red Rising Trilogy), Justin Cronin (The Passage Trilogy), Naomi Novik (Temeraire series, Uprooted) and Scott Sigler (The Generations Trilogy). Moderated by editor at Del Rey Books, Michael Braff.

Speakers:
Justin Cronin, Scott Sigler, Pierce Brown, Naomi Novik, Michael Braff.

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Morning Star (Red Rising #3) by Pierce Brown – non-spoiler review.

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Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society’s mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within.

Finally, the time has come.

But devotion to honor and hunger for vengeance run deep on both sides. Darrow and his comrades-in-arms face powerful enemies without scruple or mercy. Among them are some Darrow once considered friends. To win, Darrow will need to inspire those shackled in darkness to break their chains, unmake the world their cruel masters have built, and claim a destiny too long denied – and too glorious to surrender.

Morning Star is a great, fantastic end to the Red Rising Trilogy. Pierce said he wrote it for the fans and it shows. This is my favorite literary science-fiction trilogy. Hands down.

So much happens. It’s a rollercoaster ride of emotions. I laughed, was nervous, touched, and sometimes sad. I could not put it down. After having a headache on a Friday and a Saturday I wanted to catch up on those lost days. So I read 100 pages on a Sunday and another 100 pages on Monday (Presidents’s Day). By Monday night my right eye was bloodshot. I finished it on February 18 and I still have a book hangover. I am going to fall behind on my Goodreads goal.

The character development was well done and the evolution of the plot was seamless. Not just from beginning to end in Morning Star, but the whole trilogy.

The action was great and heart pounding, but some of my favorite moments were the quieter ones between Darrow and his friends. So much emotion is felt. Particularly Chapter 22 and Chapter 50.

One critique was that I would have liked to see more scenes with a few minor characters from the previous novels.

I am going to elaborate more in a different post (here). I feel it is difficult to describe my feelings without spoiling the whole book. I like giving examples and quotes.
4.5 out 5 Broken Chains