You Read What? Book Review: Dark Star

Author: Bethany Frenette

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Date Published: October 23rd 2012


        Audrey Whitticomb has nothing to fear. Her mother is the superhero Morning Star, the most deadly crime-fighter in the Twin Cities, so it’s hard for Audrey not to feel safe. That is, until she’s lured into the sweet night air by something human and not human–something with talons and teeth, and a wide, scarlet smile.
Now Audrey knows the truth: her mom doesn’t fight crime at night. She fights Harrowers–livid, merciless beings who were trapped Beneath eons ago. Yet some have managed to escape. And they want Audrey dead, just because of who she is: one of the Kin.
To survive, Audrey will need to sharpen the powers she has always had. When she gets close to someone, dark corners of the person’s memories become her own, and she sometimes even glimpses the future. If Audrey could only get close to Patrick Tigue, a powerful Harrower masquerading as human, she could use her Knowing to discover the Harrowers’ next move. But Leon, her mother’s bossy, infuriatingly attractive sidekick, has other ideas. Lately, he won’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 her herself, her family, and her city. Or it may be the force that destroys everything–and everyone–she loves.

Number of Days It Took to Read: 3

Cover: It’s a nice cover. I think the blue and pink pairing helps it a lot. I’m not a fan of the girl on it. Her expression kind of freaks me out actually but it might just be the doom and gloom brought on by the talk of super storm, Hurricane Sandy.

The Writing Score: 2 out of 5

Recommendation: Nah…I’ll pass.

Memorable or Forgettable: Forgettable

Rating: 2 out of 5


Okay. This wasn’t a superhero book.

I expected a superhero book but this wasn’t it. Now, to  be fair, this book is marketed under the genre of YA urban fantasy. What is YA urban fantasy? The best example would be Cassandra Clare’s series, the Mortal Instruments, which is a series that takes place in a city-like setting with something paranormal in nature incorporated into it…oh, and it’s written for young adults. That’s what this book is and, without the mention of superhero in the synopsis, that would be fine…kind of.

Let’s begin with the plot. This book took too long to get to the point or action of the story and if you cut out some scenes and chapters or fused some scenes and chapters, it would actually be too short. You know Patrick Tigue? The dude mentioned in the synopsis that you assumed would be one of the main focus’ on the book? The first mention of him can be found more than halfway through the book. He was, in fact, a minor character but was only “major” in name only and not in an actual role. This story spent most of it’s time discussing Audrey’s inability to handle the unfathomable idea of demons (despite the fact that her mom is super strong and has super healing…).

No, seriously. Audrey is probably one of the most annoying heads to be in. The writing is such that her feelings are told to us (not shown!) over and over and over again to the point where I just wanted to scream and say, “WE GET IT! YOU’RE AFRAID AND CONFUSED BUT PLEASE GET OVER IT SO I CAN ENJOY SOME ASS KICKING…” I understand that not all characters can be bad asses but even Clary in Clare’s the Mortal Instruments (Books 1-3 to be more specific) is a lot more helpful than whiny. Even when Audrey does go out to help, she does so without a plan and she’s almost always rescued. Also, the climax was anti-climactic and it might be due to the fact that it took too long to build Frenette’s world or that there was no significant build up to the climax at all.

The dialogue and exchange between characters fell flat for me and therefore creating 1 dimensional characters. I didn’t genuinely care about or like anyone. Leon had his moments when he’s not constantly coming in when it’s convenient for the plot and then leaving just as abruptly. I did like Morning Star – Audrey’s superhero mom and the scenes with Detective Wyle. I feel like the story should have been about her as a teenage instead (that would have been a really cool story from what it sounds like when discussing her past). Kind of like the beginnings of a reluctant superhero since she’s just fighting Harrowers at first and was deemed a hero by the public. Just add in the occasional crime fighting outside of Harrowers (like a hostage situation in a bank or a super villain…) and you can have a nice balance between a superhero book and an urban fantasy.

Overall though, this book was an effort to read. I feel that, even if you’re okay with the whole “it’s not really a superhero novel”, it’s still not a well put together book for whatever genre it was intended for.

I’ll write a later post why this wasn’t a superhero book because I think that needs to be cleared up but, in the meantime, here are some actual superhero books you can check out (The Black and White series by by Jackie Kessler and Caitlin Kittredge. Dull Boy by Sarah Cross. Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman).

A. A. Omer
The opinions expressed here are mine and readers are welcome to disagree. In fact, I encourage it! I never believed in putting particular books or authors on some sort of universal pedestal but you’re free to put it on your individualized pedestal because I most certainly will.