Review: Iron Gold ( Red Rising #4) by Pierce Brown

Title: Iron Gold
Author: Pierce Brown
Publisher/Year:  Random House Publishing 1/16/18
Length:   617 Pages
Series:  Red Rising #4


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In the epic next chapter of the Red Rising Saga, the #1 bestselling author of Morning Star pushes the boundaries of one of the boldest series in fiction.

They call him father, liberator, warlord, Slave King, Reaper. But he feels a boy as he falls toward the war-torn planet, his armor red, his army vast, his heart heavy. It is the tenth year of war and the thirty-third 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 all 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. 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.

My Thoughts 

I was the biggest fan of the original Trilogy – i couldn’t get enough of the tales of Darrow and the Howlers, the twist with Virginia and the life that they all lived once being selected for training and then trying to save civilization from  a war that no one really knew who was behind it nor the breadth or depth of it.

So when we learned that Mr Brown, our author wrote a 4th book for the story – 10+ years in the future, i was beyond excited.  I couldnt wait to see what the story would be now that we would get to see who’s still alive, what alliances are in place, and who would be fighting for which side.  What we get is that, but we also get a really weird story with so many new characters that i’m not sure that we ever learn how they are intertwined.  I”m confused.  that’s about all i can say.

We all know that it never takes me this long to read a book, even one that’s 600+ pages, so that should give you a sense of what i think.  i’m on the fence.  We come back into a world where Darrow is the still the Reaper, respected  by some, hated by many.  We see that his wife  Virginia has assumed the position of Sovereign which should be a good thing since we saw a lot of maturation from her in the original series.  But being married to Darrow puts her in a rough position where she’s either destined to be doomed, or destined to  be revered or a bit of both. then there’s Sevro and Victra in the mix as well as many others, so we are grounded in the familiar and introduced to the new.

we are given a series of alternating chapters here, many new characters that are of an age where they were too young to truly know what was going on during the other war, but have strong opinions now that they have grown up in what the world has become.

We have Ephraim and Volga who are mains in a sense, they drive the progress of one of the story lines – Ephraim being an art broker by trade, but a thief for all intents and purposes.  and where his story takes us is on a path first to earn a lot of money, and then being recruited  by the Syndicate to steal back something very  valuable, which turns out to be someone(s).  Volga is his ‘friend’ – a term i use looslely since Ephraim is a tough friend to have, yet as an Obsidian, she ties herself tight to those that she’s close to, and it proves to be a good and bad thing for him.

The other story line that we focus a lot on is that of Lysander, the grandson of Aja, the prior Sovereign who was murdered and Cassius – one of the most important mains of the first 3 books.  They are comarades of sorts but not quite friends.  They have a bond that we can only hope ultimately takes them to fight for the proper side, but in this series it’s impossible to know what’s good or not .

So you can see, there’s a bit of historical and heritage in the series that keeps us familiar with what we read all those years ago, but there’s so much new, so much that’s not truly grounded to give us a sound foundation that takes the story on a new and confusing path.

I’m still scratching my head here, but i’m glad that i read it and we all know that i’m going to read the next installment whenever it comes out because i don’t let books beat me, and i have faith that we’ll get closure to this series that’s deserved.  so enjoy – and let me know what you all think.  i wonder if you guys think differently than i do.

Review: Morning Star (Red Rising #3) by Pierce Brown


Title:  Morning Star
Author: Pierce Brown
Publisher/Year:  Random House Publishing 2/9/16
Length:   550 pages
Series:  Red Rising #3


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.

My Thoughts

I’m actually quite a bit sad right now that this series is over and it’s been a while since i’ve truly been able to say that.  We had been on this complex journey of a group of 20 somethings who were living in a world and time that we can’t even begin to imagine since life was forced onto every other planet and moon in our solar system.

Where we were left off after Golden Son, we saw Darrow’s rise back into a position of power, however after their Iron Rain, and their attempt at taking over control of Mars along with trying to capture the Sovereign and The Jackal and any number of other folks, Darrow finds himself captured and watches some of his best allies die.

So we pick up in Morning Star at a point where we’re uncertain who’s still alive, who’s going to be able to help Darrow if anyone, and what that means for the Rising.  We see the true colors of the Golds come out – by Jackal’s capture and torture of Darrow for the better part of a year, of Victra being paralyzed and really no hope in saving not just themselves but the future for everyone in the system.  It’s only through the smarts of some friends who wouldn’t ever give up, that we see the saving of Darrow and Victra, and a chance to really take back what’s theirs.

Throughout this story, similar to the other installments, we see a series of lies, fake alliances and people turning on one another in unexpected places.  We also see that there’s a fair share of ‘acting’ going on which works to the betterment of Darrow’s plight.

Darrow and Mustang take to the polar caps with Ragnar to overthrow his mother’s reign and we see much more death there than ever expected.  Along with the capture of Cassius, the escape of Aja, we see death come to the Obsidians, and i for one had to take pause because a great friend was lost, but a partnership was formed from that.  We meet Sefi, who becomes the new Queen of the Obsidian, and we see that while she’s not sure she’s going to trust Darrow and crew, she’s going to unite her color in the hopes that something better can come.

They prepare again for a great battle, one that they can’t truly anticipate the outcome since they are continuously being out numbered, out planned, out schemed, and there is always a friend who turns sides that makes things all that more complicated.  Sevro is caught in the middle of what’s supposed to be a friendship being reuinited, and well,  we see that it has horrible outcome, which is even more painful as he’s just married someone unexpected.

Yes, there’s even been a fair share of romance, and to be honest, something that’s happened and revealed in the epilogue that i knew was bound to happen.  To me, there had been the question throughout the first 2 books on whether Darrow would ever let go enough of Eo to love Mustang again, and when he chose to reveal himself as a Red to her, i had truly hoped, but we spend much of this final book wondering if love can bring them back from all that they’ve gone through.  We also see Sevro take a chance and see it pay off.  We also see that the love of family takes an even bigger role, both in real birth family and the family that they built together among friends – and it’s a truly sweet thing to see flourish.

The world that is left at the end of this trilogy is one that no one knows what it will become.  While there were lofty goals that the system of society would be completely changed, only those that remain at the end of all the warring and fighting know that it’s not something that they can change overnight, and that those that passed during the fighting were perhaps some o the people that had the best chance to make an impact.  I’d love to see what this environment would look like decades in the future and i think that our lovely author should write us a novella that takes the jump.  but…i doubt that will happen so i’ll just have to be content with how everything resolved.

have a great weekend everyone!

Review: Red Rising (Red Rising Series #1) by Pierce Brown


Title:  Red Rising
Author: Pierce Brown
Publisher/Year:  Random House Publishing 7/15/14
Length:   401 pages
Series:  Red Rising #1


“I live for the dream that my children will be born free,” she says. “That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.”

“I live for you,” I say sadly.

Eo kisses my cheek. “Then you must live for more.”

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and lush wilds spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power.  He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies . . . even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

My Thoughts

I love this first installment to the series.  There’s a lot of complexity of what we can really call it since it’s clearly a mix of dystopia, sci-fi and YA, but all in all, it’s one of my favorite blends of a series.   The description tells us that it’s a bit Hunger Games and a bit Enders Game and i’d have to say that it’s not a bad description.

We are introduced to our main character Darrow who’s a Red – the lowest of the low in caste on Mars, and he’s trying to show that his ‘neighborhood’ in the underground which is the least fortunate can actually accomplish things.  It’s when his drilling team actually collects more valuables than the Gammas which are the highest of the Reds, that he thinks the tides are turning, yet his clan still doesn’t get the rewards of that.  His wife Eo tries to get him to see that there is something worth fighting for here, and of course that leads to her death and his (in a sense).

That’s kind of where the meat of our story begins.  It’s after Darrow is killed that we see that maybe what he knew isn’t quite accurate.  He’s brought back to life since he wasn’t fully dead, and he’s transformed into a Gold – the highest of the highs in caste on Mars, to help further the objectives of a rebellion of sorts.  It’s also at this point in time when he realizes that Mars is much more established and colonized than anyone knew – the life above is actually something quite extravagant, yet there are all these awful motives to doing things – and it’s his job as a pawn to try to insert himself into society and beat the system.

This is kind of where the Hunger Games bit comes through, and there’s another series that i liken this to – The Testing, where you’re seeing ‘survival of the fittest’ and whatever else you want to call it.

The bulk of the story from this point on is where Darrow has gone through his transformation to look the part of a Gold, gets into the Institute with the goal of getting an apprenticeship and then a position in the high government of sorts so that the rebellion party (Ares) can overthrow things.

What’s nice about this story is that we see that while Darrow is a Red at heart, he adapts to be a Gold, yet never loses the best parts of who he was – his bond to Eo his deceased wife, and the goal that he’s been put here to deliver on.  He does however fight his own internal battles time and time again because he sees that he’s becoming a monster of sorts – when he’s put into positions to be a leader, yet may have to kill to maintain that role.  It’s only when he looks back at his lineage, as a Red, to really find the best justice and lead by example.

Where this first installment goes is not surprising at all, but the journey is one that really sets us up to understand how the different relationships that he makes are going to help continue the story.  There’s lore of The Jackal that he’s trying to understand, there’s Mustang who can’t be all that she seems, there’s Sevro who’s parentage is an interesting twist in the story and there’s Cassius who we want to see come to terms with things and switch sides, but don’t know if it’s possible.

The ending  – that’s something that i can’t wait to see how it plays out.  There’s a lot of choices put in front of Darrow to further his goals in this game, and i think that he surprises a lot of folks in what he does and the speed in which he makes his decisions, but i think that there are going to be so many ramifications that will really take this story in an interesting and complex direction.  So on that note, i’m super pleased that the 2nd and 3rd books are out already so i can just dive right in and continue the story.  Have a great day all!