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Dark Star Hardcover – October 23, 2012

35 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Dark Star Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7-11-Eleventh-grader Audrey Whitticomb always assumed that her mother, Morning Star, was a typical vigilante. But after a terrifying encounter outside a local nightclub while investigating a mysterious attack on her best friend, Audrey learns the truth. She and her mother are Kin, members of a powerful ancient race that long ago adapted to life among humans. Morning Star battles Harrowers, bloodthirsty, demonic beings who covet the Kins' abilities. A war between these races is brewing, and Audrey knows her psychic powers could help turn the tables. First, though, she must shake her mother's handsome, but annoyingly overprotective sidekick. Leon follows Audrey everywhere, and she soon learns the reason for this. She alone possesses the power to save-or destroy-life as she knows it. Frenette's debut novel pairs paranormal elements with strong female characters to put a delightfully refreshing spin on the conventional superhero saga. Audrey is smart, funny, and self-sufficient, although her impulsiveness tends to get her into trouble, and even secondary characters come to life. Fans of Cassandra Clare and Karsten Knight will devour this action-packed book.-Alissa J. Bach, Oxford Public Library, MIα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Audrey has a gift of “knowing”: gathering impressions of people and what may happen in the near future, a talent nurtured by her late grandmother. But Audrey is not the only special one in her family. Her mother is a superhero (though she prefers the term guardian) by the name of Morning Star, complete with a teleporting sidekick named Leon. Soon Audrey comes to learn that her mother is fighting more than just crime on the streets of Minneapolis, and guardian is a far more apt description than she ever realized. For those who like a healthy dose of the supernatural in their superhero origin story, this exciting, suspenseful debut is a smart choice. Frenette’s thoughtful character building convincingly sells a myth-heavy story, and yet there’s still time for a slow-building romance between Audrey and Leon. Though in some places the narrative plods, and tertiary characters tend to detract from the action, there’s plenty for readers to enjoy here. Grades 9-12. --Courtney Jones

Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 - 12
  • Series: Dark Star
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (October 23, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423146654
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423146650
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,187,652 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By MaryAnn on October 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
If you're anything like me (and by that I mean addicted to the superhero worlds that reside within Marvel and DC) then just reading the synopsis of Bethany Frenette's novel Dark Star was enough to spark your interest and give you goosies. The exact same thing happened to me. In my mind, when I finished reading the synopsis, the first thing that came to mind was: "So you're meaning to tell me that this novel is about a girl with a Superhero mother who fights demons, has an attractive sidekick, and that the main character has enough power within herself to save the city? You had me at Superhero." Hopefully, you're thinking that too and if you aren't you can pretend that the above was your own thought. But I, personally, was begging to start Dark Star because I wanted to read all this superhero goodness since the YA world needs more superhero genre novels, which I am dying for.

The novel itself is about main character Audrey Whitticomb who has grown up without a father, and has a mother who is the superhero Morning Star who defends Minneapolis. To make the story cooler, there is a superhot sidekick named Leon who has lately taken it to himself to constantly protect Audrey due to a series of deaths in teenage girls that are connected to Demons who are plotting something that is seriously not good. Dark Star had high expectations from me and not only did it meet them, it took a raygun, pointed it at my head and *boom* blew my freaking mind!

If you read a lot of stuff from DC comics, then hopefully you know who Zatanna Zatara is? If you do then great! If you don't, you're on the internet right now so go ahead and Google her! Now that you are aware who Zatanna is, you know that she is full of power and that she is a part of a secret variety of people called the homo-magi.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Christina (A Reader of Fictions) on October 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Even though I love this cover, my expectations going into this were pretty low. I haven't seen any reviews for it, but I've heard from people who read reviews that they've seen less than encouraging ones. As such, I adjusted my hopes down a bit and set off. Actually, I ended up really enjoying Dark Star. Is it perfect? No. Is it a fun? Heck yes!

The very best part of Dark Star is the characterization. Recently, though I've been on a really good reading streak, I feel like most of my star deductions have been for characters that didn't feel real to me or that I simply could not connect with, so I really needed this character-driven read. Audrey has a huge personality, funny and clever and a little bit rebellious. I loved her voice so much that the writing style, which leans a bit more to the choppy fragments style than I generally care for, didn't bother me much.

Not only is Audrey awesome, her friends are great too. She has two best friends, Gabriel and Tink. Gabriel is the only one who has been trusted with her mother's secret (that she's the superhero Morning Star, though she prefers to be called a Guardian, and fights bad guys with her younger partner Leon). Audrey trusts Gabriel implicitly, the only secrets she keeps from him being ones she's not allowed to tell. Tink, who I totally pictured as the character of the same name from The Guild, is outgoing and tiny and a little bit terrifying. They have a real bond and I love to see that in novels.

Perhaps even more rare, Audrey has a loving, protective, approachable, attentive mother. Can such a thing truly exist in YA? Apparently so! Audrey's mother, Lucy, does go out all night to fight crime, but she's in no way an absentee mom. She manages to spend a lot of time with her daughter.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kate N on November 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Let me start with a disclosure: I loved this book. I've already read it twice, and I can't wait for the next part of the series. I'll try not to be gushy, but if I fail in that endeavor, at least you'll know why.

There are plenty of summaries to be had here and elsewhere, so let's skip straight to the main character, Audrey Whitticomb. I gravitate toward protagonists with sharp minds and clever tongues, and Audrey (indeed, most of the cast of characters as a whole) has both in ample measure. Better still, Frenette doesn't allow these attributes to overwhelm her entire characterization. Audrey is smart, but this intelligence has its pitfalls. Her intuitive leaps are sometimes misguided or incomplete, she speaks without thinking about the repercussions of her statements, and sometimes she can be both single-minded and a bit naïve. She makes poor decisions based on what she believes to be solid reasoning, and yet it doesn't feel like Audrey strays into Too-Dumb-To-Live territory. When she fails, the culprit is usually a lack of information and a stubborn insistence on moving forward, not a sudden, inexplicable lapse in all good sense.

As in so many YA books, this dearth of information is the result of protective adults filtering what the protagonist hears and knows. Normally, this manifests as stonewalling, without any attempt to explain the complete media blackout other than "for your own protection." This tactic has always irritated me, but again Frenette dances with the cliché before altering it to suit her own needs. Audrey's mother, Lucy, and her sidekick, Leon, briefly begin as those same mute figures, refusing to acknowledge that a smart (though sheltered) girl might be able to adapt if only given the chance.
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