• Morning Star

  • Book III of the Red Rising Trilogy
  • By: Pierce Brown
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 21 hrs and 50 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (41,622 ratings)

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Morning Star

By: Pierce Brown
Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2016 Pierce Brown (P)2016 Recorded Books

Featured Article: Our Editors Recommend—Further Listening for Star Wars Fans


With more than 150 books in the Star Wars audioverse alone, there's certainly no shortage of adventures in our favorite galaxy far, far away. But let's say you've absorbed the very best of both Canon and Legends, watched the films and television shows time and again, and have exhaustively played through extended universe games (video and tabletop alike). If you're looking for something new, our Audicted to Sci-Fi editorial team has you covered.

What listeners say about Morning Star

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

It doesn't get much better than this!

This series broke my heart a million times. It made me forget what I was doing and tune out the world. It made me hold my breath and laugh out loud. This is some seriously good writing. I'm normally not a Sci Fi girl but I'm so glad I tried this out. The world is expertly crafted and I fell in love with the characters. I feel like they are my friends and I'm sad that it's over.

I highly recommend this to anyone who loves an excellent story with believable characters who are flawed and imperfect but make you love them, forgive them, cheer for them and cry for them.

Tim Gerard Reynolds is also one of my favorite readers (why I got this book in the first place actually, along with a good review from someone I follow) and he did an amazing job, as always.

56 people found this helpful

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Gory damn magnificent!

Morning Star, Pierce Brown's thrilling conclusion to the Red Rising trilogy more than lives up to expectations based on the the first two volumes. What begins from the low point with Darrow's capture at the end of volume 2, proceeds through a series of two steps forward and one step back as Darrow must constantly second guess both his friends and enemies while he continues to excel at doing the unexpected. The core of the resolution of the multiple eight balls Darrow finds himself behind is to methodically pick apart the societal hold by exploiting the weaknesses and animosities among the outer worlds, Mars (meaning the jackal) and the core. Rather than a systematic, well executed take-down, the denouement morphs into one potential catastrophe after another until even in the face of eventual victory Brown still manages to surprise with left field turn of events.

The sci-fi elements are muted with no new elements relative to earlier installments and stay well in the background as a supporting role. Beyond the thriller aspects of the storytelling, Brown explores relationships along with differing attitudes and beliefs that drive the main characters around Darrow. Each supporting character, Mustang, Cassius, Sevro, Victra, Roque, Quicksilver, etc. have different, but equally valid perspectives on their drives and ambitions. The intimacy of their various interactions is poignant and moving and is a compelling component of the appeal of the tale. At the same time, Darrow is continually making tough, less than ideal choices that completely satisfy few and leave many worse off than before. In this way, the tale is closer to "real life" than expected, especially in utilizing the "fog of war". Finally, while Darrow succeeds in achieving his overarching goal, Brown leaves the reluctant revolutionist with the unenviable task of remolding society while bracketed by potential enemies and the disillusioned,leaving plenty of fodder for future installments. One glaring omission was the noticeable absence of Harmony.

The narration is simply outstanding with sheer mastery of the range of voices of both genders. Tone, pace, and mood are expertly handled to render a nonstop can't put down attraction that dovetails nicely with the author's "seat of the pants" writing pace.

36 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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SciFi bread and circuses

Split the atom's heart, and lo!
Within it thou wilt find a sun.
-Persian Mystic Poem

Not great, but good enough. Finished the series. It was popcorn with butter. And, sometimes, what you want is popcorn with butter. This isn't Isaac Asimov or Philip K Dick. Pierce Brown isn't aiming for great SciFi lit. He's aiming for movie rights, readers, and finds an unplowed row between Harry Potter, the Hunger Games, Divergent, Star Wars, and Game of Thrones. It is a steroid Space Opera with the subtlety of a freight train filled with frat boys.

I think the strength of Brown is his characters and his occasionally artful phrase. His weaknesses is he sometimes runs into SciFi cliche, his plots are fairly predictable, and the whole set-up is far too clean. It was written to be a large-budget movie more than a novel. It was written to sell, too option, and yes read, but not to feed or inspire.

When I remember they are written more for my teenage kids, I am more forgiving. Not everyone can write with the messy heart of Philip K Dick or the control of Dan Simmons. Brown can write about death and suffering and still make it feel warm and sunny. His prose lacks the gravitas to REALLY pull off suffering. When Brown writes about death, it feels like a teenager writing about sex or a white man writing about racism. I know I'm probably taking this review and the whole series way more serious than I need too. I don't think it breaks any new ground. I don't think the stakes are huge. It is entertainment for the masses. It is SciFi bread and circuses, and I guess that is fine for a couple days. Watching gladiators battle in space is always good for a bit of blood and even made me forget Trump for a couple minutes every day. And that IS a good thing.

35 people found this helpful

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The narration and content = outstanding

If I would have known how great a series I was about to get into, I would have waited for a weekend where I was not so busy. I blew through these books in 4 days. The feeling of satisfaction I had after reading the last page was sublime. Anyone who has a great imagination pick this book up.

32 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Inside an insecure hero's head

The first 2 books were very good, that made Morning Star a sore disappointment. The story is no longer appealing to a mature audience, as if takes a sharp turn to YA at its worst. The story starts in the crazed head of the main protagonist being tortured and in delirium, and it seems like it never gets out of it!
You have to bear listening to the constant mood swings and insecurities twirling in his head. This moment's cunningly clever hero, is just an adolescent boy 20 seconds later. Also, there are constant reflections about the past events and characters long gone and forgotten "after academy".
The performance is good but slow, I had to speed Audible's speed to 1.25x to avoid the boring storyline.

24 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A trilogy that ends on a high note

I usually have 2 audiobooks going at once since I listen to one book while commuting and another while running. For the most part, the two books stay in their assigned places but occasionally one of the two books will grab my attention and cause me to listen to it continuously across both activities. Morning Star was such a book.

As this series has gone on I have found myself more and more invested in it. Red Rising was good but I felt that it contained a few standard YA tropes that forced me to keep my distance. Golden Son was better but as the middle story of the trilogy it was a bridge that went nowhere ending with a cliffhanger. That left Morning Star with a built in obligation to build upon the unfinished foundation laid before it and it does not fail to deliver. For me it was the best book of the series.

Darrow's exploits in this one contain highs and lows alike and he finds that he must make a final determination of the trustworthiness of almost every person in his life. From the dead who helped shape him to the living who still try to manipulate him, Darrow melds all of their influences together with his own opinions to finally become himself. He no longer fights for Eo's vision or Ares' cause but rather for his own reasons. He has all sigils removed from his hands and transforms himself into a simple human that is neither red nor gold. He has no color at all and represents the future that he desires to create for all of humanity.

Pierce Brown takes you a non-stop wild adventure ride in this one and he keeps you guessing. Sometimes you are in on the plans, and sometimes you are not, but you never lose interest in the outcome. The events build to a final showdown with the Sovereign and every character is eventually forced to pick a side to stand on. Loyalties are up in the air until the very end but this one is no cliffhanger.

Tim Gerard Reynolds is brilliant once again and without a doubt enhances the written word with his narration. Is this book perfect? No it isn't but I am not going to dwell on any negatives as they are easy to overlook. It grabbed my attention from the start and didn't let go until it was over which makes this the best book of the series.

Break the chains!




24 people found this helpful

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I wanted to love it....but

I really wanted to like this series...... but oh my I just wanted to slap them, so predictable , lower class people find hero, he rises in the ranks to become top Hero, he makes friends, lose his friends, always has a positive attitude always thinks the best of everyone gets stabbed in the back over and over and over again all three books same situation , he gets one step forward and he get knocked back two steps , it was everything I could do to get through book 3 .

I do believe the narration was one of the best I've heard lately but the story I can only give two stars, just wasn't my cup of tea .

19 people found this helpful

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Nobody left to root for

I loved the first book. I liked the second book. Will not finish the third book. I’m done at the end of chapter 57. Brown’s propensity to kill off main characters bothered me but I kept slogging through. Not anymore. Reality in this world is too depressing to want to escape to this one where every once of compassion and friendship is met with a knife in the back. When you kill off all the lovable sidekicks you destroy the story. On a positive note, Tim Gerard Reynolds is great as usual and the reason I stumbled upon this series.

18 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Suspenseful, Powerful, Perfect ending!

I had been looking forward to the third installment to Brown's trilogy since finishing Golden Son. I was not disappointed. It was a bit slow starting, but as time passed, the story line became much tighter and focused. Brown did an outstanding job keeping the plot plausible, edgy, suspenseful, emotional, dark (but not too dark). There are some very humorous and even touching moments in the story that are very endearing. The characters are flawed, but what depth in terms of their development. They deal with difficult choices, horrific events, and real loss. Tim Gerard Reynolds pulls out all the stops with this story and treats the listener to another wonderful performance. It is the relationships that have been forged in the first book that make this trilogy so special. The end is wonderfully done, very satisfying. Kudos to the team of Pierce Brown and Tim Gerard Reynolds that have given us a story for the ages.

18 people found this helpful

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A series of idiotic decisions.

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I think the author just ran out of ideas at the end. I wanted to like this book. But when the protagonist keeps falling into the same idiotic traps making the same wrong decisions with SOMETIMES THE SAME F******** people.

Which character – as performed by Tim Gerard Reynolds – was your favorite?

the narrator was flawless!

What character would you cut from Morning Star?

All the stupid decisions. Make bad hard to overcome circumstances. And make it hard to overcome. Not seemingly hard to overcome situations that are somehow easily done. Then a huge debacle of juvenile decisions

17 people found this helpful

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  • Tree Frog
  • 04-28-18

RED RISING TRILOGY

What a book! loved the twists and turns. Some you could see coming but others were out of nowhere. highly recommend the all three books. TGR is a brilliant narrator, he took a great story and breathed life into the characters, so consistent, convincing and nuanced.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Sue Dobbing
  • 01-26-17

An epic saga

A satisfying finale to the trilogy, gripped me throughout.
Steady downbeat narration kept an often bloody storyline on track.
Enough plot twists & reveals to sustain the story length.

4 people found this helpful

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  • purple paladin
  • 01-10-17

just brilliant!

I'm left feeling bereft after going on the often heartbreaking, action packed, twisting, messy yet beautiful journey with Darrow through this trilogy. A new favourite and more mature and vast in its scope than many dystopian novels. Gritty yet touching with moments of humour that made me laugh out loud (something I seldom do when reading). The audiobook narration is great and adds rather than detracts from the telling although frustrating when I was literally gripping the edge of my seat wishing I could speed through to find out what's next.
if all that isn't enough to tempt you to read then know I rarely leave reviews but these three truly deserve all the accolade and I'm just sad it's over.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Johnny
  • 02-17-16

Great stuff

Best audio book I have listened to.. I cried. Laughed.. And got excited

But without the skills of the narrator it would not have been half as good....

Well done to both

3 people found this helpful

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  • Giffy B
  • 02-06-18

Captivating!

I've loved this trilogy, listened to all 3 in one week. The story is captivating and fast paced, but I never got lost. The narrator does an excellent job. highly recommend, this (I believe) transcends across genres, well worth a go even if you don't traditional enjoy sci fi fantasy, there is far more here!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Axl Crawford
  • 01-07-17

Gory damn

Oh my. What a ride that was! This book trilogy was gory damn fantastic! I'll definitely be listening again in the future!!

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Danielle
  • 06-16-16

A rare treasure!

What a magnificent trilogy! I was completely enthralled from beginning to end and felt every single emotion imaginable inbetween. I was initially discouraged with the 'space/sci-fi' concept but they are genuinely one of the most gripping stories that I have ever known; an identifiable concept despite the alien backdrop. Truly engaging characters, wonderful narration and non-stop excitement - I cannot recommend the entire trilogy highly enough. Tremendous!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Franklyn
  • 02-20-16

Bravo

An excellent conclusion to a fantastic epic tale. Great narration. Altogether a wonderful work of art

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-25-21

Not the most polished....

Near the end the main characters make a stupid move that backfires(releasing prisoner they shouldn't ever trust) so I feel like they should really reap what they sown for their utter stupidity... Then an hour or so later the dead comes back to life, and I'm rolling my eyes, cause it's just stupid and I don't care any more whether they live or die... But then at the very end quality comes back and it has a nice ending.
This one also has some elements I personally don't like, but can't really say here...
As for performance: the audio quality is sometimes inconsistent. Not bad, but I've seen better...

1 person found this helpful

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  • Angela
  • 08-15-21

Morning Star

Pierce Brown is an engaging writer; Tim Gerard Reynolds is a brilliant narrator. I recommend this trilogy to any dystopian science fiction fans. It had me gripped from the very first word. I'm looking forward to the final two books and then I can't Imagine what I will listen to. Thanks to Pierce and Tim for filling my leisure hours with such intrigue.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Matt
  • 02-14-16

Arguably the best trilogy I have ever read.

Awesome characters with genuine depth, as a narrator Tim is spine tingling. as a writer, Pierce is a Jedi Master. As for the upcoming movie, I feel like I felt when I read that an eccentric director called Peter Jackson had aquired the rights to LOTR. As the source material was so good and so special to me I was petrified it would be slagged up. Thankfully I couldnt have been more wrong. Bloodydamn read it and break the Chains!!!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Linda
  • 06-24-18

Loved the series

Loved it but needed Tissues.... driving to work with tears streaming down my eyes.

Outstanding Narration, had me holding my breath, brilliant.

There is one more book but can't listen yet, the ending to the third book could have finished the series beautifully, i was so invested in the characters i can't cope with anyone else dying so will maybe lusten to the fourth once i have recovered

1 person found this helpful

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  • Martin
  • 12-07-17

Emotional rollercoaster

A phenominal story that definately has its share of twists and turns. Made me so paniced at times i needed to stop listening and calm myself

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • richard
  • 08-17-17

Too long

i did struggle to complete the last of the trilogy. Too much fluff. This book was just ok but trilogy overall was very good.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Connor
  • 04-04-17

Heartbreakingly beautiful.

Honestly, i'm so upset that this book series is over.
I've bonded to every single one of these characters, I laughed and cried with them, and felt true sorrow at certain points in this book.
The Author writes life into these people.
Pierce, you bastard how dare you make me love this book so much.
I'm going to go back and listen to the whole series again, and when i get the money, i'm going to get hard copies.

If any of you have doubt's about the series, please don't the books are a true spark of the imagination.

Pierce, you've just earned yourself a life long fan, and i look forward to your future work.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Chris Gander
  • 04-07-16

A captivating and exhilarating space adventure!

Without a doubt, the best trilogy I have ever read. Brown has catapulted himself into the upper echelons of literary greatness.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Rob
  • 09-11-22

very entertaining

wonderfully narrated

great story, easy listening

has some good twists and turns

I'll be finishing the series

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-28-22

Worth every second

Everything about this story was perfect from the themes to the characters to the development it was worth of second I took to listen to it

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sean A. Lenihan
  • 05-13-22

Blew me away and left me in tears

Without doubt, THE best trilogy I've had the pleasure of 'reading'. Do t be a fool, pick it up and be immersed like no other story told.

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  • Janine
  • 05-04-22

A must listen.

Powerful, enthralling. The Narrator is amazing! He made the story with his talented voices. Absolutely loved it.