In writing this review, I'm a bit conflicted. While most of Darken the Stars was riveting and action-packed, the ending fell short for me, and I can't rate the final installment of the Kricket series as highly as I had hoped.
Bartol writes, yet again, a fierce leading lady in Kricket. She's determined, brave, and has a great head on her shoulders. This has been consistent throughout the entire series. This is coupled with a strong love interest, a hate-to-love-him villain, and captivating supporting characters-- everything you could ask for. Almost.
The ending, as stated, is where things bottomed out for me. While I can appreciate a heroine who forges her own path and requires no man to make her happy, I felt that certain characters got the short end of the stick-- particularly Trey and his crew. They deserved more. I keep holding out hope that there will somehow be an additional novel in this series, because I can't fathom that this is it. Where was the closure? I didn't feel it, that's for sure. These were characters that readers (and Kricket herself) spent two amazing books falling in love with. We were invested in their stories and their future. It was actually a little heartbreaking to see this end the way they did. Along with Kricket's many attributes, I considered her an unwaveringly loyal character. Towards the end, I had no idea where that person went. Her actions, while understandable-- if I try really, really hard-- seemed so out of character. It just didn't feel right. You can't be pleased with every ending, that's a given, but it has to feel authentic. Sadly, this ending did not. But bravo to Bartol for giving us the unexpected, I suppose.
Of course I will always be a huge fan and supporter of Amy Bartol, and will be waiting anxiously for her next book. Unfortunately, you can't win them all.
I live in Michigan with my husband and our two sons. My family is very supportive of my writing. When I’m writing, they often bring me the take-out menu so that I can call and order them dinner. They listen patiently when I talk about my characters like they’re real. They rarely roll their eyes when I tell them I’ll only be a second while I finish writing a chapter…and then they take off their coats. They ask me how the story is going when I surface after living for hours in a world of my own making. They have learned to accept my “writing uniform” consisting of a slightly unflattering pink fleece jacket, t-shirt, and black yoga pants. And they smile at my nerdy bookishness whenever I try to explain urban fantasy to them. In short, they get me, so they are perfect and I am blessed.
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