Monday 27 January 2014

Book Review - Dark Star

Dark Star
Author: Bethany Frenette
Series: Dark Star #1
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy | Young Adult
Release Date: 3rd September 2013
Publishers: Disney Hyperion
No. Pages: 384
Source: Gifted
Buy From: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones
Audrey Whitticomb has nothing to fear. When your mother is the most powerful superhero in the Twin Cities, it’s hard not to feel safe. But when Audrey is lured into the night air by something most definitely not human, the time for feeling safe is over.

Now Audrey knows the truth: her mom doesn'’t just stop criminals. She fights Harrowers.. merciless beings who were trapped Beneath eons ago. Some have managed to claw their way into our world, and they want Audrey dead because of who she is: one of the Kin. There is some good news, though. Audrey has powers of her own. Being able to read someone else’s mind and glimpse the future can be very useful. If she’s able to get close enough to Patrick Tigue, a powerful Harrower masquerading as human, she could use her Knowing to figure out his next move.

But it won'’t be easy, not if Leon, her mother’s bossy, infuriatingly attractive sidekick has anything to do with it. Lately, he hasn'’t let Audrey out of his sight. When an unthinkable betrayal puts Minneapolis in terrible danger, Audrey discovers a wild, untamed power within herself. It may be the key to saving herself, her family, and her city. Or it may be the force that destroys everything, and everyone she loves.

This is not a superhero story. I repeat, this is not a superhero story. Message confirmed, this is not a superhero story. This is about demons, power and family.

I'm glad we got that out of the way, otherwise you would have all been very disappointed when you picked up this book and realised it wasn't about kick-butt superheroes fighting knife crime, and it that it wasn't as simple as murdering girls. Oh no, you would have been highly disappointed if you'd read it with those expectations, so now let me tell you what this story is really about and see whether you feel what I did. This story is about a young girl, Audrey, who believes her Mum is a superhero, saving citizens on a nightly basis, except she isn't; she fights demons from under the world, planning to seek out and gain control over somebody who has the power to make them unstoppable, and Audrey, with the help of a family she didn't know she had, with her Mum, the greatest kin in history, and her guardian, Leon, she must make sure that that, doesn't happen. Knowing that much, you'll be much less disappointed with the book if you were hoping for a superhero. Me personally, I paid attention to the plot in the book, and by the time I received it for Christmas, I knew it wasn't superhero type book; for crying out loud, the synopsis bloody says so, so why on earth are their reviews of this book, 3 stars and below of people complaining that it lied to them. IT SAYS IN THE DAMN SYNOPSIS GUYS. If people actually bothered to read the backs of books these days, you'd be a hell of a lot less disappointed. You have only yourself to blame.For the people who did read the back, people like me, we loved it.

Maybe that's jumping the gun, but I loved it. It was exactly what I needed at this moment. I was looking for a book that would get back into my demons, as I've been reading way too many 'Angel vs Demons, and the Angels win' type books, and it had really began to frustrate me, so much so, I was avoiding series I liked because it followed this theme, but Dark Star was so different; it took the theme and turned it right on it's head. This time, it's not Angels vs Demons, this time, it's Demi-Demons vs Demons, which is instantly a much better story line. But where do I start? Lets start with the really really good points.

Frenette created a great sense of character growth throughout the novel; even the minor characters such as Detective Wyle, and that was instantly something I seriously enjoyed. I love a story when it takes a sarcastic, impractical and generally clumsy teenager and makes her realise that there's too much going on out there for you to be throwing cake mixture at the boy you think you're growing to like. I loved how passionate Audrey was about helping others, and protecting her Mother at all costs, and while some people will say Audrey was irresponsible and immature, stupid and annoying to experience the story through, I disagree. I felt her pain, I felt a great deal of sympathy when reading about her, and I understood her actions and her reasons. She always did the right thing; what was the right thing in her eyes, no matter the danger, no matter how scared she was. She fought like a true hero. The relationships Frenette created were also fantastic, covering the aspect of a working Mothers relationship with her daughter well and exploring it into the depths of trust, worry and honesty. The bound she created between Audrey, Tink and Gideon was also lovely; it was nice to see not just one best friend, and to have them entirely different, polar opposites almost. Finally, it was the relationship between Audrey and Leon that grew on me; I was struggling at first, how they were together, the annoyance she felt in his presence, how he was towards and with her, yet I could see and feel the growth, I feel the changes, and it may not have been any of this insta-love, and nor may it have been obvious, but it was there; subtle, gentle, growing. Can I also mention how much I loved that Frenette made their first kiss a flop, please? Lets be honest, your first is never like skipping over rainbows.

The reasons I didn't and couldn't give this book a 4.5 or a 5 was simply because of the world, and the lack of world building. Well, I say lack, it wasn't that bad; I just wished it had been better, better enough to add even half a star onto my rating. I didn't once feel lost in the twin cities, and I didn't for one moment feel confused as to what I was left to imagine, but a little bit of help here and there, a little more depth into some scenes and I would have been sold. I would have been hook, line, sinker.

In the end, the twists and turns in this plot were fantastic, the characters, also pretty brilliant, and while the world descriptions let it down, Frenette hasn't got just one sequel, but two coming soon, so I'm sure she'll delve deeper into Minneapolis and give me everything I want and more. I repeat, this is not a superhero story, and Audrey is no hero. The demons in this book are the type you have nightmares about, and they sure as hell bite back. The biggest and main feature of this entire book is family and sacrifice. A fathers dying love, a relatives hunt for love from the most distance of places, and a mothers love, a mother who would die for her daughter time after time. I would recommend this book to so many people, and I'm so eager to get my hands on Burn Bright. We all need a little Dark Star in our lives.


  1. I'm glad you liked it! I might have to check this one out (with the right expectations, haha. THIS IS NOT A SUPERHERO STORY.) It sucks that the world building lacked, but I have to say I don't usually mind that a lot. I hadn't heard of this one before, so thanks for putting it on my radar! :)

    1. I think it's the disappointment that has given this book low ratings, however, it is really good, even with the slight lack of world building, but I think it's definitely worth checking out! Glad I could help :D

  2. I've always been intrigued with this one it sounds pretty good and I can't say I have read very many reviews of it. Good to know about the world building it seems like it could have used a bit more in there, but I'm a very character oriented reader and this one sounds like it has awesome character with great character growth throughout which I find important especially with this genre. Great review, Amanda! I'll def. pick this one up !

    1. Thank you Giselle, it's definitely a book I feel needs more recognition out there, and the sequels due out soon too! :)

  3. I agree, the world building isn't this book's strong point at all--and I can see what you mean about saying it's not really a typical superhero story. They do have powers, though, so that's where the confusion probably comes in.

    I really liked all the relationships, too, and I like that there's good friendships and realistic kissing as well. I hope you like the sequel--I was a bit nervous going into it, but I thought it was really fun. :)

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    1. Thank you Wendy, I really hope I enjoy the sequel too, although I don't know when I'm actually getting my hands on it.. damn bank balances! But I hope the world building improves a little in the sequel :)


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