Darken the Stars (Kricket #3) by Amy A Bartol
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.
My goal has always been to give my thoughts on a book to encourage you to read it, without giving too much away. It is going to be difficult with this book, but I will do my best to keep it “spoiler free”.
If you been reading this series from the beginning like I have, then you know that Amy’s fans have been dying to get this last book. Maybe not as much as we are waiting for her other book, Iniquity, but long enough. If you spend anytime on Goodreads you also may have noticed the reaction to this last book. It’s mixed. It kind of reminds me of when Allegiant by Veronica Roth came out. Not everyone is going to like the direction that Amy went with Kricket, but after much sleep I’m OK with it.
I want to talk about Kricket Hollowell as a heroine. She is strong, intelligent, fierce, and quick thinking. She came from a sad, lonely past of surviving foster care in Chicago. Even when she finds out what happened with her parents, it’s not great. She doesn’t get much closure. When I think about all of that, it explains why she does what she does in this last book. Was I disappointed and hurt by her some of her choices? Yes, because I wouldn’t have made those choices, but I still loved her and rooted for her until the end.
“Our story will never end, Kricket. I’ll never let you go–not when we fit so well together. You’re my darker half.”
My eyes widen in surprise. “You’ve gotta be kidding, Kyon. If anyone is dark, it’s you.”
“A star will shine brighter than all of the other stars just before it goes dark forever,” he murmurs, as if it’s a secret he’s imparting to me.
“You mean as it explodes and extinguishes forever?”
“I mean right before it transforms into something infinitely more powerful. And once your heart turns black, there will be no escaping it.”
“If I’m the dark one between us, why am I afraid of you?” I ask.
“Because you should be.”
My trembling becomes more pronounced under his intense gaze. I have to hide everything from him–keep everything I’m thinking a secret. His assault on me will be brutal–mentally as well as physically.
I have no place to hide, not the way the stars have aligned against me. I’m in this with Kyon until I find a way out. That realization makes me do something that I never thought I’d do in a million years: I pull Kyon to me and rest my cheek against his shoulder. Our feet touch beneath the water, toe-to-toe we stand. “I don’t want to be dark.”
I chose that excerpt because it shows what Kricket is up against and almost reveals the why behind her decisions later on.
Let’s talk about Kyon Ensin. He is ruthless, deranged, lethal and gorgeous. I still don’t like him. In order for me to fall for the bad guy, which I have done in the past, he has to have redeeming qualities. Kyon did prove his allegiance to Kricket for sure, but not enough for me to go to his side. At the end, Kricket didn’t break any promises to him and he got what he wanted, revenge.
Last and most certainly not least, Trey Allairis. I can’t say much about what happens with him, but I will say that there isn’t enough of him. I want to know more about him and what happened to him. Amy could write this whole series from his point-of-view and I would read it in a second. *hint hint Amy* If you’ve seen the reviews for the first and second books, you would know how much I love Trey. I am STILL Team Trey, and honestly my heart breaks for him. I want to say more and could write a whole post on my thoughts about how unfair it is, but won’t. *heavy sigh*
If you read between the lines of the summary, the ending makes perfect sense. Kricket was never the typical heroine and only knows what she knows about staying alive and being true to herself.
Because of my seriously mixed emotions, I am still at a loss has to how to rate this book specifically, so I won’t. I will say that the Kricket series as a whole is definitely 5 “blow me away” stars. It is an amazing rollercoaster ride and Amy’s writing style puts you right in the heart of everything. You feel and see it all. It’s that good.
***I was given an ARC of this book from Netgalley for an honest review. The excerpt is from that copy. This book will be available to purchase September 9th.***
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