Thursday, August 11, 2016

Review: Darken the Stars by Amy A. Bartol

Title: Darken the Stars
Author: Amy A. Bartol
Genre/Age: Fantasy/YA
Series: The Kricket Series (Book Three)
Publisher: 47North
Format: ebook via KindleUnlimited
Rating: ✺✺✺✺.5
SynopsisKyon 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.

Oh, wow, wow, wow! And yet, no, no, no!

Let me begin by making a confession. A part of me actually liked Kyon from the beginning, for reasons I can't quite explain. So this book really made me happy. Well, mostly.

Kricket meets her match when she falls into Kyon's grasp. And at the same time, Kyon finds his own equal in Kricket. The two are at odds from the first moment and the tug and pull of power is exciting to witness. The partnership that must develop in order for the two to survive their ordeal makes sense to me. Others may not, but I tend to enjoy the enemy-to-lovers sort of relationships. The fiery I-know-I-shouldn't-but-I-want-to passion is dangerously delicious.

Conspiracies and secrets are uncovered in this book, which add layers upon layers of depth to the story. From a vague prophecy pitting sisters against one another, to several sour family relationships, and attempted assassinations coming from every angle, I thought the author did a good job of finding some downtime, which was missing for most of the second book.

The love scenes are more substantial, I think, and matched the action scenes a bit better than the previous books. I realize this may not be a priority for some, but I think if you're going to show me an angst-y romance, then by golly, show it to me! *wink* 

The ending left me wanting. I can't lie about that, as much as I enjoyed this series in spite of it. I won't give it away but I had hoped for at least a hint of how things fared in the aftermath of the war. I don't think all series need to have a pretty-packaged HEA, but I thought Kricket earned one for all that she went through. I can say that I was happily rooting for either of the men in Kricket's love life. The way I see it, Trey makes Kricket a better/happier person, yet Kricket makes Kyon a better/happier person. I would have been delighted with either.

In closing...
This series was a fun ride! After a slow start, I'm glad I didn't abandon it. For three days straight, I lived and breathed this series and fear a book hangover may be coming... 4.5 suns!


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