A few books ago, Pierce Brown introduced us to the quote: “Shit Escalates”. So far, in every book in the Red Rising series, Brown has lived up to that quote, escalating the shit to breathtaking heights. But, I’m convinced he broke that term in Dark Age, and now must come up with a new way to encapsulate the devastation he ravages on his fans.
“I once thought the greatest sin of war was violence. It isn’t. The greatest sin is it requires good men to become practical.”
I’m going to be brief in this review, because I’m still reeling from the destruction of my soul. But also, I don’t want to give any spoilers for this beast of a book. By nature of a sequel, there may be spoilers for Iron Gold or any of the other Red Rising books, so if you have not read them yet, be warned my goodmen, be warned. Also, what the holy fuck are you waiting for, because these books are MAGNIFICENT!!!
Like an exquisite meal or a vintage wine, Dark Age must be savored and experienced. From the first pages, like a breach in a spacecraft, I was sucked out of reality and into this world.
Brown once again gives us multiple POV’s, but, unlike Iron Gold, where the perspective was spread evenly throughout the book, he has managed to escalate even the tension in perspectives. War is told through different sides, describing heart-pounding battles that are multiple chapters long. He draws us into a story, giving us the character for several chapters and then shoots us across the horizon, landing on a different planet into a new melee. The result is a frantic desperation to know what is happening, what has happened, and most importantly, what is going to happen next.
I found myself pacing my house, needing a break from the incredible intensity each page holds, only to race back to the book, devouring more, more, more. This book consumed me, probably more than I consumed it, proving that Brown is more than a mere writer, he is an artist with words.
Speaking of words, every sentence is magnificent. I want to pull apart the sentences and eat the delicious words that destroy my soul. They’re genius and brutal, but only in the very best ways. Brown’s writing is delectable, excruciating, and pure fucking magic.
Every single book in this series continues to rise and defy expectations. ‘How can they get any better?’ I find myself asking, and then he releases Dark Age and I continue to be blown away. The plot is a wild thrill ride, the characters oh so human and full of beauty and flaws. I love how Brown pushes boundaries, experimenting with delivery while maintaining a stunning capacity at capturing profound truths in powerful sentences. This is why I love this series. Because it evolves, it changes, and yet, at the core, it is beautifully consistent.
If you love beautiful prose, spectacular imagery, flawed characters, and a heart-pounding plot, you need the Red Rising series in your life. Now, if you’ll excuse me. I’ll be eating my feelings, waiting in suspense and near panic at what devastation Brown is conjuring up to torment me with next.