TitleDarken the Stars

SeriesKricket, Book 3

AuthorAmy A. Bartol

Published:  September 2015

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.

**Note:  This book was provided to the Book Hookup by the publisher via Net Galley but that did not in any way influence this review!!

Ana and Christina will put Darken the Stars on their TOP shelf!!

Ana5 *wow that was intense* stars!!!  I finished this book several days ago and my feelings are still raw.  I feel like I don’t have the words (as I stare at my mostly blank computer screen) to convey how this book pleased me, saddened me, and made me fall in love with this world all over again.  So many secrets are shared, so many story lines unraveled, and so many characters surprised me.  From the very first page, I was lost to this amazing world that Ms. Bartol has created and I’m not sorry that I traded sleep for the opportunity to spend every possible moment immersed in this story.

I love that Kricket really came into her own here.  She’s always been an intelligent, sassy character but, in this book, she’s fierce.  She’s not afraid to take on the challenges before her, she’s not afraid to make decisions that may surprise you, and, most of all, she’s not afraid to open her heart in some unlikely ways.  As the pieces of her destiny come together, she struggles to find the answers but never gives up.  She’s strong and she untimely has to make sacrifices…ones I didn’t see coming!

Now, if you haven’t read the book yet, what I’m about to tell you may be a bit of a *SPOILER*…so proceed with caution!!

Are you still here?!?!  If you are, I must tell you that among all the emotions that I felt in this book, one was a very big surprise to me and I’m still wondering how Amy Bartol managed to make me do something I didn’t think I would ever do again.  You see, a few years ago I read a wonderful series that many of you have probably read as well (*waves hello to the lovely Tahereh Mafi*) and during that series, I abandoned my team (*hangs head in shame*…well, not really).  You see, by end of her series, I was head over heels for the bad guy.  But, that was a one-time thing I told myself…it’ll never happen again.  Then along came Kyon.  Yes, Kyon.  And once again, I have to say that I’m abandoning my previous #TeamTrey status.  I’m turning in my membership card and moving on because, as Kricket discovered more about Kyon, so did I.  And I just couldn’t help myself, I fell for him.  Yes, he’s still rough around the edges, easy to anger and a little full of himself.  But, gosh, his protectiveness towards Kricket and his focus on her is so overwhelming that I just couldn’t help myself.  So much so that I sent Christina this text…

“Are you flailing over Kyon?  Please tell me you are… tell me I’m not alone!!! It’s Warner all over again for me!!

#gottalovethebadboy”

So…there you have it.  I loved this book and I loved Kyon.  You’ll probably read some reviews that focus on the end of this book (an ending which some will love, some will hate and some, like me, will pray is not really the end) but I’d much rather focus on the amazing world building, the fantastic characters and the unexpected surprises…all of which come together to create a phenomenal series!! So, if you haven’t picked this up, you are definitely missing out.  Go get it now!!!

Then you too can join #TeamKyon!!

Christina: 5 stars! I don’t even know where to even freaking start, especially after Ana already elaborated about the best parts. My thoughts are a tangled web of emotions and the more I try to unravel them, the more entrapped I become. I guess the easiest place to start is by saying this: Ms. Amy “Badass” Bartol has done it again! This woman is a world builder if I’ve ever read one. I always know that once I begin her stories, I’ll be thrust into a new world that will undoubtedly transport my mind and be bent to her creative authorly will. I absolutely loved coming back to Ethar, and, specifically during this novel, “living” on Kyon’s island in the Sea of Stars and staying on his Alameedan estate. Another thing you can count on Bartol to deliver is the action. As Kricket’s story evolves, you’ll find the betrayals run deeper, new scarier enemies are uncovered, and there are surprises around every corner, ones that will have you racing through the pages to see how it all works out. I always enjoy reading Bartol’s books simply because just when you feel like you have discovered which way it’s going to go, that theory will explode in your face and hundreds of other potential scenarios will be born in an instant. It always makes for a fascinating, thrilling journey. Aside from those other glorious factors that bring about awesome books, Bartol is also guaranteed to give you exceptional characters. Ones that will twist your heart this way and that, tug you along emotionally, as they develop until these people leap off of the page and in to your heart, leaving you feeling wrung dry and physically spent. I love watching her characters evolve as we progress through each subsequent novel, and this Kricket series is no different. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching Kricket grow even more into her own person, becoming even more fierce, vibrant, and bold. And, of course, if you mention Kricket, you have to mention her love interests. Yes, plural. I love the push and pull of a good triangle, and this author knows how to do them right. She takes the time to build the relationships and to show the building of that connection. I adore Trey, don’t get me wrong, but I have been enthralled with Kyon from the very beginning, way back in the first novel of this series. Bartol knows how to work the mind of the anti-hero and before you have a chance to blink, you’ll be ensnared in his wicked spell of doom and demise. Though her bad guys are phenomenally good at being oh so very, very bad, I love that Ms. Amy gives us the time to know them, to see their depth and development, to recognize the person beneath that “monster” façade. Kyon was the perfect portrayal of her talent in that area for me. I do love me a bad guy; the more deviously, deliciously dark, the better. (Don’t judge me, it’s a weakness.)

Now for the elephant in the room (aside from the blasted love triangle other readers have no doubt ranted/raved/threw a giant hissy fit about), that traitorous ending! Spoiler alert: SHE CHOSE NO ONE AND WENT BACK TO EARTH ALONE! While, initially, I was super upset, I woke up this morning after a brief bit of sleep with a bit of clarity: She didn’t chose no one, she chose herself and her freedom, which is absolutely something that I can respect. Lord knows that while it has it’s loose ends and storylines felt unfinished, not everything in life can be so easily gathered in starlight and sprinkled with fairy dust to work out perfectly, so I can appreciate this journey for what it worked itself out to be: A girl that truly found herself. That being said, which publisher person do I need to beg speak with to make at least one more book happen.

As always, thank you Ms. Bartol for giving me an epic adventure and for giving me the bad boy that others love to hate and that I… well, really freaking love. Those boys make my heart pitter-patter like no other, well, aside from you. *squeeeeeeze* Now, if you wanted some other priestess– say you wanted to name her, oh, I don’t know… Christina, to help Kyon mend his broken heart in the absence of Kricket, well, I wouldn’t hate you one bit for it. *cough*Pretty please make this happen. At least for me. You can send it directly to my inbox.*cough*

♥ A very special thanks to 47North and NetGalley for providing us with an advanced copy of this title in exchange for our honest review.

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