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The Compulsive Reader: Dark Star by Bethany Frenette

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Dark Star by Bethany Frenette

Sixteen-year-old Audrey is the daughter of Minneapolis’s resident superhero, Morning Star. Living a double life with her mom is pretty natural to her, and the only thing Audrey has to fear is a too-curious detective who might blow her mom’s cover. But when Audrey is attacked one night and her attack is linked to the murders of teenage girls across the city, she discovers that her mom isn’t just fighting criminals—she’s battling demons.

Dark Star combines superhero tropes with demon wars in an interesting way. The Minneapolis setting is a refreshing change from some of the bigger city settings of other speculative YA fiction, and there is no shortage of strong females characters in this novel. Unfortunately, Frenette’s tendency to slip into telling mode to dispense large amounts of backstory and world-building keep this book from flowing as quickly as it could. Audrey is a pretty flat character who only grows more entitled and justified by her poor decisions as the story unfolds, and her reactions are extreme and puzzling—she goes from crippling fear to blazing courage in the space of about thirty pages without any apparent catalyst. Frenette also neglects to answer pertinent questions about the story, such as, where is Audrey’s father? How is her newfound family connected to her mother? Frenette leaves these answers for later in the narrative, attempting to present them as surprise twists, when really the lack of answers just brings attention to plot gaps. Dark Star starts out very strong, but for a story that is tries to be an action-driven thriller, it could be much tighter.

Cover Comments: I don't mind this cover--I like the colors and the title font. I do think that close inspection of the girl on the cover and her facial expression will be giggle-inducing, but taken as a whole, not a bad cover.

Book purchased from my indie!

1 comment:

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Thanks for sharing! I find books about superheroes are interesting, but it sounds like this one lacks a bit of development.

-Lauren