Dark Star: Bethany Frenette

I love superheroes.  It should be obvious to anyone reading this blog by now that my childhood pretty much consisted of watching lots of superhero shows that and reading really horrible YA books.   So, I was really excited about reading this book.  However, it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting….

General Summary:  Audrey’s mom in the legendary superhero, Morning Star.  And for all her life, she’s been looking up at her.  However, Audrey soon finds out that her mother’s job isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.


Talk about deceptive advertising.   Those expecting to get a superhero book will be surprised and maybe even disappointment.  Superheroes are only mentioned in this novel.  In reality, it’s just  YA paranormal.

And it’s not a bad YA paranormal.  In fact, I’d say it’s a little bit above average.  The characters are nice enough.  The use of cliches isn’t horrible.  It’s just not…well, that memorable or exciting.  And I did have quite a few problems with it.

The main character isn’t too bad.  I liked Audrey.  Sure, she was a little bland.  But I’ve read much worse.  And I do think with future installments she could be a pretty kick ass character.  However, even though she and I were okay I really didn’t like her friends and family.

Let’s talk about her mom.  For a superhero, she’s no Wonder Woman.  Sure, she can kick butt, but we only see her doing this once throughout the book.  Otherwise, she’s just the secretive mom who makes Batman’s parenting skills look good.  And for that matter  his people skills look good too.

She’s not likable.  And yeah, I get her backstory was sort of tragic, but…look lady, you knew your daughter was going to come into contact with demons eventually the least you could do is have her somewhat prepared and actually pay attention to her than that obnoxious sidekick of yours.
Oh yeah, she had an obnoxious sidekick who actually made Robin and any other annoying sidekick look good.  I don’t like Leon.  And yeah, I know he doesn’t fit in the typical awful love interest YA love interests cliches that annoy most people, but he’s still annoying.  He constantly talks down to Audrey and I really didn’t understand the attraction there.  Yeah. he’s hot…but really?!?!?!?!?!

Okay, so there was one scene where they got in a fight while making a cake which sort of showed the potential chemistry that these two had.  But I viewed this more as a fight than hidden sexual attraction.  He’s just obnoxious.  At least in my opinion.  To be honest, I’ve never been really a fan of acting like a jerk to hide your true feelings romance.  So maybe that’s why Leon bothered me…oh, and anytime I hear the name Leon I think of this.

In addition to Leon and her mother, I had problems with how some of the characters were developed. In the book, Audrey finds out that she has some long lost relatives.  Other than being used to facilitate parts of the story these characters serve no purpose other than making some pretty big plot holes exist in the story.
Yep, plot holes.  Not to give details away, but i couldn’t help that think that some of the characters were very stupid for not putting two and two together.  That and, well, often things were ignored that should’ve caused some emotional struggle for the plot to go on.
I will say this, when the plot moved it was exciting.  And so was the world building too.  Although, there were severe problems with said world building (see plot holes) I enjoyed it.  Yeah, I am still confused about how things work but it is an interesting enough concept.
I think the biggest thing about this one is that I expected more out of it.  And it just didn’t live up to that potential.  Audrey, for all intents and purposes, was an observer.  Sure, she sort of did something in the climax-sort of being the operative word.  But she’d make a pretty lousy superhero.  Though I guess I should say guardian since the whole superhero concept seems to be moot in this book.  However, I’m pretty sure we’ll be getting this out of Audrey in the next book.

Best Feature: No Golden Age Cheesiness.  One of the biggest issues with writing a superhero book, I think, is trying not to make it too cheesy.  Yes, I know the typical superhero medium is comics and comic books by their very nature are cheesy especially if you look at comics in the golden age, but in the modern era comics have grown increasingly sophisticated and in some cases dark.  It’s true there are still cheese inducing villains like  The Lizard or Mister Mxyzptlk, but even these characters have been modernized and have somewhat a sense of realism.  Okay, maybe not Mxyzptlk, but The Lizard has improved a lot since his initial appearance (at least in my humble opinion).  Anyway, back to the point, I was glad that this book didn’t indulge in that sort of comic cheesiness.  It was a pretty sleek realistic enough story.  However, there were no freaking superheroes in it.

Worst Feature: Ignored Bat Signal: This is not a superhero book, ya’ll.  It’s just a decent YA paranormal that uses the term superhero to sell.  This is very annoying.  And honestly if it wasn’t for the false advertising the book might have gotten another star.  I didn’t even know what the point was of using the word superhero in this book.  Batman would not be impressed (but hey, when is he ever).

Appropriateness: This one is pretty clean.  Some violence maybe a little cussing.  But we barely, just barely get to first base.  So that’s good clean fun, right?

Blockbuster Worthy: Maybe.  This would be another book where I guarantee you things would considerably change from the book to the big screen.  As long as it wasn’t like that abomination, Sky High, I’d be happy.

Audrey: Emma Watson.  Because if anyone can kick ass it’s her.  Though Audrey really doesn’t kick ass in this book.

Overall Rating: Six out of ten capes.  This wasn’t what I was expecting and in a way that was a good thing, but at the same time it was a little annoying.  It was interesting enough though and after reading some rather sour books in the genre as of late it was sort of refreshing.


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