Book Review: Dark Star by Bethany Frenette

dark star cover

View from the window seat:
Audrey Witticomb lives in Minneapolis with her mother, the superhero Morning Star. She thinks her mother fights crime until she discovers it’s even worse: her mother fights demons known as Harrowers. Audrey discovers that she is Kin, born with the power of Knowing, and that her life is in danger because the Harrowers hate Kin. She may be able to use her power to find out what the Harrowers’ next move is, but her mother’s sidekick Leon is acting frustratingly overprotective. Audrey may be the key to saving her city and the Kin…or she may destroy everything.

I was really looking forward to reading a superhero book (I haven’t read one since the excellent The Golden Age by Carrie Vaughn), but it turns out this is actually more of a paranormal story than a superhero story. The Harrowers, the villians Audrey’s superhero mother fights, aren’t criminals but demons from Beneath, hellbent on eliminating the Kin. I actually really enjoyed the fact that this book wasn’t a typical superhero book, but that it took elements from that kind of story and added its own mythology. The stakes are the usual: save the world from destruction. The superheroes, called Guardians, have the same duty-bound attitude to protect the world as usual superheroes do. The demons, and their relationship to the Kin, is really interesting. I’m hoping it’s something that will be explored further if there’s another book set in this world.

As for the characters, I liked Audrey the most. She has a kind of natural humor that made her narrative entertaining to read. I appreciated how, even though her mother and other people in her life constantly withhold important information from her, she doesn’t give up or stop trying to do the right thing. She also doesn’t stop questioning them. Unfortunately, her romance with Leon, her mother’s sort-of sidekick and a Guardian himself, fell flat with me. It didn’t have any passion and felt forced. It was also dreadfully predictable, something that was common in this book. I saw the big twist coming almost immediately.

Overall impression:
Despite its predictability, Dark Star was still an entertaining read and has potential for a deeper story if it continues in more books.

Rating:
6

Note: I received this ARC from the publisher at the 2012 ALA Annual Conference.

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