I have given The Darkest Star by Jennifer L Armentrout a ☆☆ rating. It is Book 1 of The Origin series. It is Young Adult Science Fiction with some Romance. Tor Teen publishes it. It is published October 30th, 2018.
The blurb reads:
Seventeen-year-old Evie Dasher knows firsthand the devastating consequences of humanity’s war with the aliens. When she’s caught up in a raid at a notorious club known as one of the few places where humans and the surviving Luxen can mingle freely, she meets Luc, an unnaturally beautiful guy she initially assumes is a Luxen…but he is in fact something much more powerful. Her growing attraction for Luc will lead her deeper and deeper into a world she’d only heard about, a world where everything she thought she knew will be turned on its head…
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It has been a hot minute since I’ve posted a review mostly because I have been so busy with my promotion that I haven’t had any time to write a review, or even read which does not bode well for my credit standing with publishers. Anyway, as always, my reviews may contain spoilers. I say may because what’s a spoiler to you may not be a spoiler for me.
It takes a very special and specific sort of reader to actually fall in love with Jennifer L. Armentrout’s newest series. Mainly, you need had to have already read the entire Luxen series and be in love with her world and characters.
So, when I saw the overly high 4.3 star rating on Goodreads, I was kind of confused. and when I finally went through the reviews once I was done, I found out why: the four to five star ratings consisted mainly of Armentrout’s diehard fans rating the book before it had even been released, and before they had even read it.
For, as hyped up as The Darkest Star was, bolstered by the Lux’s cult status, it was dragged down by an unlikeable love interest and a bland, snowflake main character. But, it also tells an entertaining and trashy story with some twists.
The Darkest Star is tough to get through. I was cringing already from the first few pages. Readers are given a brief background on the Luxen and like most other trashy science fiction/romance novels, they are drop dead gorgeous. In fact, that was the trait highlighted most. If I rolled my eyes any harder, they would fall out of my head.
Anyway, Snowflake Main Character, Evie and her token lesbian best friend, are at a club. Like all romances, there must be a meet-cute where she, through a mysterious and Criminal Minds-esque series of events, meets Luc, the Alien-But-Not-Alien hottie who will soon become Overbearing-And-Creepy-But-Hot-Love-Interest. Not long after, the mystery where kids at Evie’s high school are being murdered, seemingly by the foreign and alien Luxen race.
The Darkest Star is more romance than science fiction, unfortunately and much of the mystery takes a backseat as we delve into Evie’s life from school, her friends, her mom and of course, Luc.
Armentrout tries to give Evie some semblance of a personality but ultimately, she comes off as a special snowflake. She is obsessed with photography and carries a camera wherever she goes, even pulling it out during a school-wide evacuation (tacky, much?). She goes on random nature walks to take photos but if you’re into photography, you know that no one does this! But, this apparently makes Evie super unique and it served little purpose within the plot.
It’s no better with Luc. Every time Luc is described, it can be summed up in a single word: hot. That’s all he is—Oh wait.
He is also a bonafide Edward Cullen, albeit with more alpha asshole male tendencies. He stalks Evie constantly, he reads her mind without her permission, he appears at her window without warning, he pops up into her life unannounced and within the first few chapters, already wants to hold her hostage because she stumbled upon his Oh So Big Secret. Don’t even get me started on him pining after Long-Lost-Ex-And-First-Love and Evie getting jealous in the process because that is uber romantic.
And did I mention the, Cagey-And-Invasive-Hiding-Information-From-Main-Character-For-Her-Own-Good? If I were Evie, I would have slapped him: “Spit it out, bitch. This is not the time to play games.” Maybe some girls find this behaviour hot and sexy but with each turn of the page, I disliked Luc further.
But, I commend The Darkest Star and Armentrout for trying really hard at a plot. I did find the twists enjoyable even though they were predictable and a little boring. I also liked how the details and backstory were all woven together to form the overall narrative.
While Armentrout has an entertaining and trashy yet shaky plot going on, it’s not enough to overshadow the fact that in 2019, we should not be having heroes that stalk the heroines relentlessly as some strange form of romantic courtship nor should heroines have absolutely no personality except for their love for photography and abs. Fans of Armentrout’s previous work are bound to adore The Darkest Star if this book has a similar tone as the rest of her books but, it’s not for the casual reader looking for a slice of science fiction and fantasy.
Thank you to NetGalley and Tor Teen for providing me with an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review. This review edition may differ from the finished edition.