Lucy Whitticomb was a superhero and a vigilante. The media in Minneapolis and St. Paul referred to her as Morning Star because she was a light in the dark, a herald of change, and a symbol of hope. To children, she was a myth just like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.
To Audrey, however, Morning Star was much more than a superhero and a holiday icon. She was her mother. And when your mom is a “badass with amazing superpowers,” your life tends to get a little bit complicated.
Like all superheroes, Morning Star had many secrets. Even Audrey didn’t really know what her mom was doing at night. “I thought she was just fighting crime or something,” she admits at one point. “All this time, I thought she was out there making the city safe from—I don’t know, muggers and murders, I guess.”
If only life were so simple. Audrey’s mom was actually a preternatural creature who was a descendant of an age-old race of demons. At night she wasn’t prowling the streets looking for drug dealers or cat burglars. She was working overtime trying to keep a horde of evil demons out of our humanly realm. In other words, she had concerns above and beyond the superheroic.
Because of her pedigree, Audrey had unique supernatural powers too. Until recently, her life was (more or less) demon-free. But now things were starting to get critical. A portal was slowly opening above the Twin Cities skyline, and it was just a matter of time before a full-scale demon war erupted. It was time for Audrey to help her mom save the world.
“Saving the world” might be stretching it a bit, however. Dark Star is a novel about demons fighting demons, and doesn’t really have anything to do with regular folks like us. In fact, the book’s big crisis is nothing but a harbinger of demon-on-demon violence. Unfortunately, this dynamic robs the novel of any sort of relevance. As readers, do we care about an ancient rift between monsters? The answer is no. Despite her superhero rep, Morning Star wasn’t actually protecting the residents of Minneapolis at all. She was only concerned about protecting a small community of “good” demons.
The author has attempted to write a novel with a dash of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and superhero elements. We think that’s a great idea. But if you’re an author who wants to write a genre mash-up, it’s probably a good idea to do some research before sitting down at your keyboard. In this case, the author’s knowledge of superhero fiction appears to be rudimentary at best. Her grasp of genre tropes and language is lamentably deficient and askew. Others may not care (or even notice), but for us, Dark Star has no shine whatsoever.
[Dark Star / By Bethany Frenette / First Printing: October 2012 / ISBN: 9781423146650]