Monday, October 28, 2013

Becky's View: Dark Star by Bethany Frenette

Dark Star by Bethany Frenette
♦publisher: Disney-Hyperion
♦released: October 23, 2012
♦hardcover, 368 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦series: Dark Star, book 1
♦source: sent for honest review
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.

Review: Bethany Frenette’s Dark Star, despite a bit of a slow start, ended up being a story I really enjoyed.  The writing is fun and casual and was the perfect way to tell this story.  Sometimes I have a hard time taking superhero-type stories seriously, but this is not your run-of-the-mill superhero story, leaning more toward paranormal fantasy.  They aren’t so much superheroes, but rather Guardians that protect the world from being taken over by an ancient race of demons.  

When the story opens, we meet Audrey.  She has a great humor and I love how protective she is of her mom---how protective they are of each other, actually. Despite the odd situation, their relationship felt very genuine, with it’s good moments and it’s struggles.  Audrey is used to living with secrets---on top of her own subtle powers of perception, she has to hide the fact that her mom is Morning Star, defender of the city by night, complete with a dedicated sidekick and mild-mannered alter ego by day.  Mom’s biggest secret is one that she’s kept from even Audrey to protect her, but when she winds up being the next victim in a series of attacks on teen girls, that secret is forced out. Suddenly, a whole new world opens up for Audrey and makes her feel part of something both special and incredibly terrifying. 

Leon, the sidekick is the bane of Audrey’s existence, always on her case like a bossy older sibling.  If anyone could make her snarky, snotty side come out, it’s him.  I actually couldn’t help but love the guy.  He’s a bit bossy, yes, but in a protective way---and he spends his down time as a baker, often popping into the room smelling like cookies (gotta love that!).  I loved how their relationship evolved over time and sort of naturally hit both complications and touching moments as little truths begin to surface.  

There are some great action scenes, heart-pounding, intense, and really visually written.  The demons are just creepy enough to set the spine tingling, mysterious and lurking and predatory. The actual villain and his accomplice felt a tiny bit cliché, but entertaining none the less.  

Definitely one to check out! Don’t go into it expecting the traditional superhero story---this one is not as it appears at first glance! I’ll definitely be checking out the sequel, Burn Bright, out February 2014!

Find Bethany Frenette online:  Website  •  Twitter

Purchase Dark Star: Amazon  •  BookDepository  •  Indiebound


  1. I like that you mentioned this is different than what we might be expecting. I hate when a book gives you *exactly* what you want, so I'm definitely intrigued now! :) great review!

  2. Yup, this one was unexpected and I loved it for that! I think I would have like it less if it had been more of a typical superhero story. Thanks, Melissa!

  3. I love that there is a mother daughter relationship in the story! Far too often in YA the parents are just shadows in the background :/ I was actually gifted this one on my nook! After reading your review it's definitely being bumped up on the review pile!

    1. Isn't that the sad truth? I love when there is a strong parental presence in YA books and few have it. Mom is definitely part of this one. :)

  4. Aw, sounds like an awesome book :D Leon sounds amazing. <3 glad you loved this book :) Thank you for sharing :D