Darken the Stars by Amy A. Bartol

14 October, 2015 Reviews 7 comments

Darken the Stars by Amy A. BartolDarken the Stars by Amy A. Bartol
Narrator: Kate Rudd
Length: 9 hrs and 36 mins
Series: Kricket #3
Published by 47North, Brillance Audio on September 8th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, Sci-Fi
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Amazon Good BooksBook Depository

Kyon Ensin finally has what he’s always wanted: possession of Kricket Hollowell, the priestess who foresees the future. Together, their combined power will be unrivaled. Kricket, however, doesn’t crave the crown of Ethar—she has an unbreakable desire to live life on her own terms, a life that she desperately wants to share with her love, Trey Allairis.

As conspiracies rage in the war for Ethar, Kricket’s so-called allies want to use her as a spy. Even those held closest cannot be trusted—including Astrid, her sister, and Giffen, a member of a mysterious order with a hidden agenda. But Kricket’s resolve will not allow her to be used as anyone’s pawn, even as the Brotherhood sharpens its plans to cut out her heart.

As the destiny prophesied by her mother approaches, Kricket will backtrack through her fiery future to reshape it. For she knows one thing above all else: the only person she can truly count on is herself.

Warning: spoilers.

Absolutely no stars.

I know a lot of people might be confused why I decided to continue this series despite disliking each book along the way. I get that it might seem pointless to subject myself to mediocrity purposefully. But I’ll be honest, a small part of myself enjoyed the terribleness in a sense of morbid fascination.

Without a doubt, Darken the Stars is the worst of the three and actually angered me. While books one and two can be swept under the rug as simple wish fulfillment gone terribly wrong, this one is a flaming pile of dog shit.

I didn’t really have any intention of reviewing Darken the Stars, but after browsing other reviews, I feel morally obligated to say what no one is talking about. Kricket falls in love with the primary antagonist of the series — the guy, who at one point, tries to choke her under water into submission. I’m not talking about a poorly written Stockholm syndrome. This is a legitimate romance that the author attempts to sell the reading on and it’s so horribly offensive.

The entire novel is based around Kricket finally being in the palm of Kyon’s hands, right where he wants her. She’s trapped on his beach and makes several attempts at escape with no success. Each time she does try to fight Kyon, he hurts her in some way. He also chooses what she wears and makes it clear that her opinions and wants mean nothing. Basically, he’s disgusting and the farthest thing from romantic.

However, somewhere along the lines, Kricket starts to fall for Kyon by way of a forced alliance (of course) and “changes” him. This is so very problematic. First, it completely glosses over the severity of domestic abuse. Second, you can’t FIX people, certainly not abusers, with love. Out of the blue Kyon starts showing affection and a little more respect for Kricket. Then we find out that her mother entrusted Kyon to look after Kricket, which is supposed to explain why he sought after her so hard in the first two books. Kricket accepts this and starts to rationalize some of his abusive tendencies and dismiss the others. There’s even a point in the book where she refers to him as “my psychopath.” Also, there’s a lot of sex between them, where Kyon insists on getting Kricket to confess her love as he pounds into her. >insert vomiting<

What’s worst is how so many reviewers are so pro Kyon as a love interest and it’s got me going HUH? I’m not the kind of person that is usually bothered by how others react to books, but in cases like this, it really disturbs me to see it. And I think it’s entirely irresponsible for an author to portray an abusive relationship as romantic. It’s sick.

Side note: this entire series revolves around the mental, emotional, and physical abuse of one female character by way of the people who supposedly love her. Who the hell thought this was a good idea?

Anyway, this is another case where my curiosity really did me no good. But I just had to know how it ended and the fact that it was free on Kindle Unlimited didn’t help. Next time I’ll try to remember that just because I CAN, doesn’t mean I SHOULD. I definitely don’t recommend this, not even for the lols. Stay far away.

Steph Sinclair

Steph Sinclair

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
I'm a bibliophile trying to make it through my never-ending To-Be-Read list, equal opportunity snarker, fangirl and co-blogger here at Cuddlebuggery. Find me on GoodReads.

7 Responses to “Darken the Stars by Amy A. Bartol”

  1. Dana

    I could not agree MORE! I was so pissed off when I read the epilogue and said out loud WTF, that’s it? Kricket was never picked first by anyone except Kyon who is nucking futs. I did, however, give him one ounce of credit because he did pick her first in his own sick and twisted way, and slightly less sick way in the end. And then, there was nothing. Tres sort of helps her but it resolves nothing and her a-hole of a dad may still come and try to kill her. I was so terribly disappointed. If she does this in the premonition series I will ban her from my kindle forever.

  2. Vane @ Books With Chemistry

    Ugh. I hate this trope of “love can cure all and change monsters to civilised people” What even? Ugh. And Steph, I don’t blame you. Sometimes I do the same with awful series (*cough* Cassandra Clare *cough*), but I’m starting to control myself a little. I’ve had many rages and I’d love to avoid them.
    Vane @ Books With Chemistry recently posted…Review: Misery – fangirling had never made me feel so… disturbedMy Profile

  3. The Unpopular Opinion Book Tag | Cuddlebuggery Book Blog

    […] Darken the Stars was one of the worse books I read last year. The way the author handled the romance in this book was so offensive and irresponsible. Basically, Kricket falls in love with the series’ primary antagonist and abuser. She “changes” him and it’s so gross I wanted to throw up. I never exactly shipped Kricket with anyone in this series because I found them all to be assholes, but jeez, OF ALL THE CHARACTERS. […]

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