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Dark Age

Written by: Pierce Brown
Series: Red Rising, Book 5
Length: 33 hrs and 58 mins
5 out of 5 stars (233 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2019 Pierce Brown (P)2019 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Best one yet!

Insanely good audiobook experience. Story is 10/10 and the performance brings it to life. Would recommend to any SciFi/fantasy fans.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Dark is right! Oh and ignore the dim reviews.

First, I'm aghast at the vehemence and lashing out of reviewers toward the narrators (in the .com reviews). Sure the multiple POV was a change I had to get used too from the first trilogy, but its the performers voices, skill, and talent that made the transition so easy. I barely noticed they swapped a few of the narrators (it being several months since listening to Iron Gold) I found myself excited each time the POV switched simply to hear the voices of the characters. I get it comes down to personal opinion and I'm no voice coach, but I've listened to my fare share of painful audiobooks (looking at you Foundation and Earth), so if I had to guess the anger comes from stubborn fans stuck in the nostalgic days of the institute. Eh, c'est la vie.

That said, wow does Dark mean dark. Sometimes after a listening session I had to take a moment to myself to process what I just heard. I loved it. The book has well paced movement of plot, the flat characters we've come to love or hate played their rolls cleverly, the round characters rotated and translated in intriguing ways, surprise and shock, laugher and tears. It's all there. Wonderful writing, and wonderful performance. Thank you everyone involved, looking forward to the next one.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

A fall from grace

Let me start that I loved all 4 book in this series. I have enjoyed all the stories and novels and they rank high on my must read list.

But this is the first novel that was so bad I wanted to ask for my money back.

Pierce Brown has decided that in this novel he would reveal in the blood, gore and inhumanity of his characters. This book does not address the complexity of perspectives but simply reveals in watch a world burn.

The story was predictable and lacked something George Martin always understood good writing should have. Characters should have both good and evil qualities and their struggle to balance those facets. And in his novel Pierce Brown provide villains that are one dimensional.

And the reader soon learns that the story is predictable. Imagine the worst case scenario and that will be the result.

I love to spend my free time listening to excellent stories but not to listening to such appalling violence and shallow characters.

I will not buy the next book and deeply regret wasting my hard earned money on this terrible story.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Luc
  • 2019-10-28

Characters sometimes hard to differentiate.

If there were male and female voices for each character it would be much easier to follow the story rather than each chapter being one voice actor.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Ending

For a 30+ hour book I expected the ending to be better and for the story to finish.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Really enjoyed it!

It took a little while to get going and I was preparing to be disappointed, but it turned out to be one of my faves in the series. Really thoroughly enjoyed the ride and the performances were stellar. Excellent quality recording too. Loved it, miss it and can't wait for the next (hopefully last) one to wrap it up.

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Incredible

Performance by the actors was amazing. The story was incredible as expected by Pierce.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Another exceptional book from Pierce Brown

Greatly enjoyed this one, just like all the other ones in the series. I hope he writes the next book soon.

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There will be blood

if you can accept the deep flaws of Iron Gold (Book 4) then Dark Age (Book 5) is a return to form in every way. The pacing is greatly improved and the plot points meaningful. There are still large glaring issues with Lysander's character development and I found myself saying "What...? SERIOUSLY?!" out loud at least a half dozen times at what he does.

The performers are much more stable this time with Lyria's performer in Dark Age being far more nuanced and collected than the approach the performer took with Lydia in Iron Gold.

Pierce Brown is still improving as a writer and for me has not yet warned the emotional weight warranted by many of the dramatic deaths and plot points written into Dark Age. Book 6 will be interesting nonetheless, but I wouldn't say satisfying.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome!

I loved it!! Although I got so used to the Lyria and Lysander voices from the last book it was hard to adjust.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-08-07

Sound volume

I sure wish the sound engineers had put all the narrators at the same volume

32 of 33 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • ClementN
  • 2019-08-14

Least favorite so far.

As much as I looked forward to this book I was a little bit disappointed by time the end came. It felt too....disjointed. As if side quests kept popping up to interrupt the main story.
Even if they were overall connected to the main plot, it still felt like way too much time was spent focused on them. Like a side story could have been written instead.
Alot of the ruminations from the characters felt like filler to pad out the dialogue. I hope the next book is more tightly focused.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Paul Yuro
  • 2019-08-01

Nails on a chalk board

I have always loved the books, I have listen to them times over because I love the flow, the narrators it was always like music to me, I actually almost giggle when the first chapter of Lysander was to begin then I cringed at the sound of the new narrators voice, its really hard to listen to, its like listening to Count Chocula and Carrie Grant.I just want to know Piece Brown why? I would also like to know why the new pronouncing of Cassia, really sad to see something so perfect broken.

38 of 44 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • 2019-08-09

This series has gone full blown Grim Dark.

As my title says, the story has turned really dark, so much so its incredulous how everything that could go wrong does. So much so it takes me out of the story several times. The beautiful prose of the author in this book feels laborious to work through as you start to realize it's going to lead to tragedy.

The performance is flawless and the addition of other narrators gives more life to the story, I'm happy with the change.

The plot suffers from timing, luck, nativity and stupidity of certain characters that its truly unbelievable. I rate it a 3 out of 5 out of respect of the audio performers and the first trilogy. how beautifully the first trilogy was done and the obvious talent of the author gives me enough hope he will drag this story out of the hole it's in. This is part of the whole which is still not finished. I will reserve full judgment of this trilogy or story until it is finished but this book left me feeling very unsatisfied.

25 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tom
  • 2019-07-31

Why??

Should've had Tim Gerard Reynolds narrate the entire book. He is amazing the others are lame.

50 of 59 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lore
  • 2019-09-11

More bloodshed and a new PoV character

The war has spread and it now consumes the entire solar system. Blood and violence are pervasive as the fledgling Republic tries to hang against those who oppose it. Many want to return to the old color based society and others view this conflict as an opportunity to rise to power, so there is no shortage of combatants available.  Like the last book, Iron Gold, this story is told from the perspectives of the same PoV characters (plus Mustang this time) and each of them experiences this conflict from a different location within the solar system. With such a complicated set of battles it will take you some time to get your bearings, especially if it has been a while since you read the last book, but once you get everything sorted out this is another wild ride in a series that remains surprisingly compelling.

The body count rises as humanity tries to find some sort of equilibrium in the aftermath of Darrow's rebellion, and it is his storyline that remains the most compelling of the bunch. The other PoV characters all play key roles in the conflict and some new characters also rise to prominence, including Darrow's son Pax who grows into an interesting character in his own right. Despite a number of big moments that have unalterable impact to some of the main characters, this book is not without some Deus Ex Machina which can be a little unsatisfying. However, if you are a fan of the series then you should definitely pick this one up but don't expect much to be resolved in the big picture. The individual battles are tense and exciting, but they do not bring an end to the overall war, so this series will be moving on to book 6. 

Once again it is an ensemble cast of narrators with each PoV character being voiced by a different person. I found them all to be excellent with Tim Gerard Reynolds remaining the best of the bunch.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Muhammad Qadeer
  • 2019-08-03

THE RED WEDDING OF THE SERIES

Dont read this book if you have loved or even remotely liked any characters from the original series. At every moment that you think somthing will go right, everything implodes and your left with a gut wrenching feeling. But by god this book is so dark and soul killing. That when you finish you cry and hold yourself, because the rollercoaster of emotions has ended. And then realization hits you, like a smack in the face. You have read a master peace. And if you could go back in time and tell yourself one thing. It would be to, stop everything in your life and read this book.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Andrea
  • 2019-08-22

Changed Narrators!?! Trash Move Amazon/Audible.

WTF. Lysander had the best voice and this new guy obviously didn't even listen to the other books because he didn't even attempt to pronounce the names of people or places correctly. The recast ed two characters in fact. Just pay them what they want. We sure pay enough for these books!!!!! I am very disappointed in Audible. Very disappointed indeed. It is very hard to listen to. Save your money and read the book. This was just pathetic.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Sailfish
  • 2019-09-04

Too Poetically Long-Winded

I have been anxiously waiting for this release since Iron Gold but, while Pierce Brown writing is still amazing, even amazing can chafe when over-used, over-wrought and overly and brutally indulgent. It was also much too long and seemed that Pierce Brown may have attempted to give each voice actor close to equal voice time to the detriment of the story.

As others have mentioned, the change of narrators took some adjustment and was disconcerting. Aedin Moloney for Lyria was replaced but Moira Quirk (I believe) as her replacement but was also quite good along with Lyria's intriguing new part. Rendah Heywood as Mustang (I believe) was a treat, not only for Mustang returning to the story but for her performance. John Curless as Ephraim was still difficult to enjoy, partly due to the character he played but also to how much story time was allocated to his character. By far, the least enjoyed character was that of Lysander, voiced by James Langton. He, too, was given way too much time in the novel. While there does seem to be an attempt by Pierce Brown to frame the battle between The Reaper (Athenian democracy champion) and Lysander (Spartan supremacy and slavery advocate), it falls apart when one attempts to map Spartan martial expertise with Lysander's constant sophisticated, urbane and meandering pontifications.

There was some strangeness introduced what with invading, intelligent parasites and restoration of both likable and unsavory characters that gave the story a sense of shark-jumping.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • NgBoi
  • 2019-07-31

Another masterpiece by a brilliant mind

Overall this book is FANTASTIC. At first I did not care for the voice of Lysander as I really enjoyed the narrator from book 4 so it sounded off to me but over time it deffinetly grew on me and it became quite natural sounding and quite enjoyable. Other then that this is a masterpiece of an emotional rollercoaster and one of the most exciting books I have ever read. Bravo Pierce Brown, Bravo!!

17 of 22 people found this review helpful