Baby Bookmoon Read #5: Luke and I expecting our first baby in May 2021! I’ve decided to embark on a baby bookmoon where until our baby girl arrives I’ll be rereading my favorite books in audiobook format so she can listen along. My first two series up are Red Rising and A Song of Ice and Fire, with the plan is to yo-yo back and forth between the series. I’m excited for this literary journey!
What would you pick for your baby bookmoon reads?
Current Baby Bookmoon TBR/Read List:
- Red Rising by Pierce Brown
- A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
- Golden Son by Pierce Brown
- A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin
- Morning Star by Pierce Brown
- A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin
- Iron Gold by Pierce Brown
- A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin
- Dark Age by Pierce Brown
- A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin
Overview (No Spoilers):
I can’t fan girl enough over this series. My old review, below, was fun to read as you can practically hear my excitement oozing out of the text. While my reactions were much more tempered in this reread, the Red Rising series will definitely always hold a special spot on my bookshelf. As I knew the big twists and turns that were awaiting me through Brown’s delightful conclusion, I didn’t have the wide swings in emotions that gripped me the first time around. So no, I did not throw my book this time and stomp off in a pout at one particularly heartbreaking scene. However, I could appreciate more the breadcrumbs meticulously scattered by Brown for the next trilogy he must have already been plotting, from giving Ephraim’s backstory to setting up Holiday as a major player. Interestingly, the scenes that stood out to me during this read were ones that I hadn’t even remembered from my first dive into this text, especially ones with Cassius or when Sevro made his forgiveness speech. Needless to say, going on five plus years later, I still can’t stop talking about this series and will continue to recommend it to anyone who wants to talk books with me.
The Red Rising trilogy has skyrocketed to my top 3 book series of all time! I’ve made my book club read the Red Rising and the Golden Son, as well as given copies of the books away as parts of birthday or Christmas presents. In general, I’m stop talking about Darrow! However, when it came to Morning Star I was terrified that the novel would be utterly underwhelming, thus falling far below the high expectations I had built up for it, not only for myself but also for the number of people I’ve made to read the series. I have been known to build up a series and work myself into an excited frenzy over a release date, e.g., Divergent, Hunger Games, only to be disappointed and feel as though the author’s final work was rushed. Having read that Pierce Brown was going to do a book signing for Powell’s Book in Portland, which so happens to be down the street from where my brother works, As a result, I was beyond excited to have the opportunity own a signed copy of Morning Star.
Wow! I feel like I’m still reeling in shock regarding the ending. The middle of the book seemed a bit long and had the feel of pawns positioning themselves for an ultimate grand finale, which in typical Brownian fashion you won’t see coming. The bulk of the book is Darrow coming to terms with gaining the humility he had lost in his arrogance and pride before his fall at the Triumph. A consequence of his hard earned humility, is learning how to lead again, a challenge that pits himself against many of his loyalist supporters. Brown is a master at creating complex, ingenious twists that are nigh impossible for the reader to predict. Please, take my advice and read this series now before it become the next pop culture trend! I’ve been saying since reading the first Red Rising that it will be bigger than Hunger Games!
Additional Insight (May contain spoilers):
- Can we please talk more about Darrow and Mustang! Their relationship pulls on the heart strings. Darrow has one of the most romantic, self reflecting internal dialogue during an intimate interaction with Mustang:“Why? I have everything I need right here.” I look down at the crown of her golden head and see the darkness of her roots. I breathe in the full scent of her. If it ends tomorrow or in eighty years I could breathe her the rest of my life. But I want more. I need more. I tilt her slender jaw up with my hand so that she’s looking at me. I was going to say something important. Something memorable. But I’ve forgotten it in her eyes. That gulf that divided us is still there, filled with questions and recrimination and guilt, but that’s only part of love, part of being human. Everything is cracked, everything is stained except the fragile moments that hang crystalline in time and make life worth living.
- I loved Darrow’s rescue scene, however it was hard to hear everything he and Victra has endured at the hands of the Jackal. And Darrow risking everything to go back as save Victra in her cell resulted in a raging complex of emotions because you wanted him to save her but as what point does he need to just save himself!
- While the power struggle between Sevro and Darrow was tedious I understood the necessity of it. Darrow couldn’t just jump back into his old leadership role. Over a year had passed since he was captured and so many events had occurred in the background.
- Did anyone else see Quicksilver being on the good guys side? I was absolutely blindsided by his true allegiance. However, the initial scene where Sevro was leading the Howlers on a mission to kill Quicksilver lead me to be overly annoyed with Darrow blindly following Sevro into a dangerous situation.
- Darrow losing his hand was a bit much but it did result in a rather poetic connection to other great fictional characters such as Luke Skywalker, Jamie Lannister. However, the loss of his hand didn’t seem that crippling, long term, because he could just be carved again, similar to Cassius, to replace the hand.
- During final scene where Mustang is talking with Darrow, I had guessed that she was going to tell him she was pregnant, alas, Brown pulls one last twist from his bag of trick. She had hid a toddler from Darrow! He had pined for the child that he and Eo would have had several times in Morning Star but he had actually fathered a son! I had been expecting someone to be pregnant to signify the birth of a new age but I was expecting Sevro and Victra to carry that torch. However, Mustang and Darrow’s union is more appropriate due to the mixing of the colors.
- A thought another one of my friends, Cory, brought to my attention was the fact that Sevro’s mother (a red) had to have surgery to be able to give birth to him. Did Mustang have to have surgery to have Darrow’s baby? I can’t remember the reason for Sevro’s mother’s surgery and will need to go look up the details.
- Sevro’s death was crushing! I had to stop reading I was so upset by his seemingly senseless death. Especially right after he and Victra had been married! I couldn’t believe how cavalier the three of them (Mustang, Darrow, and Sevro) were being around Cassius when they were releasing him to the moon. However, I was equally surprised when he was indeed living and helped save the day against Aja. Equally, astonishing and relieving was Cassius change of heart and betrayal of the Sovereign. While I didn’t see this coming, I couldn’t believe he when back on his word/honor when he had swore on Julian. Kari couldn’t have said it better when she commented on how much hate she had felt toward him during that scene.
- One of the rare loose ends that wasn’t wrapped up is Harmony. How did Darrow and the new government handle the radicalized Sons of Ares and Harmony.