Jennifer L. Armentrout pulls out all the stops with The Darkest Star, making it a surefire hit for fans no matter how familiar they are with the books that came before.
First, I must admit something to you all. I, a Jennifer L. Armentrout fangirl, have never read the complete Lux series. *cue gasps of horror* I know. It’s one of my darkest reading secrets. I always intended to finish, but I’ve only read the first book, Obsidian.
So, do I know who Daemon Black is? Yes. Do I fully appreciate the complexity of the Luxen and know how the story escalates to the war mentioned in The Darkest Star? No, I do not. But I think that gives me a unique perspective with which to see what happens between Luc and Evie in this book.
Before I dive into all the greatness that is The Darkest Star, for those that haven’t read the Lux series, The Darkest Star is set in a world where aliens are one hundred percent real. They are called the Luxen, and they kept their presence here on Earth a secret for a long time. The Lux series goes in depth as to their abilities and backstories, but everything in this book’s universe stems from them.
The Darkest Star is all about Evie and Luc. She’s a pretty normal 17-year-old girl who steps out of her comfort zone to go to a club where both humans and Luxen are free to mingle. It’s not her usual gig, so she’s more surprised than anyone when a super sexy, possible-Luxen singles her out. Little does she know that her life is about to change. For better or worse, Evie Dasher is not prepared for Luc and the truth he brings with him.
I started The Darkest Star a little nervous about not having read the entire Lux series beforehand. I was apprehensive about going into this story without experiencing everything the world around it has to offer. I should have known that Jennifer Armentrout would find a way to make this new series accessible to everyone, though.
I quickly found myself invested in each and every moment as it unfolded. As Luc talks to Evie about how he experienced the war, readers who are entering this world for the first time learn everything they need to know. And for those that have been here all along, there are definitely easter eggs hidden along the way. Things that my limited knowledge recognized, and I’m sure, things I missed entirely.
The way the mystery was deftly woven into the fabric of Luc and Evie’s story is a testament to the genius mind constructing this world. I fell absolutely head over heels in love with both Luc and Evie separately, and then found myself hoping beyond hope that their stories would come together.
Evie is the perfect way to introduce this series to readers both old and new. Her unique perspective of the world she inhabits allows the reader to get used to her point-of-view, and experience each and every twist and turn right along with her.
I love that Evie has friends that she loves dearly and friends that she doesn’t always understand. It’s refreshingly honest and realistic. We all have a friend or two who sees the world in myopic ways that we just can’t comprehend. It’s the nature of who we are and how we live. Seeing that truth reflected in the people around Evie makes the whole world of The Darkest Star feel unidealized.
It’s equally important to see that Evie isn’t afraid to oppose those same friends when she feels they’re wrong. It’s the nature of the beast and reminds us all that we need to choose how we want to live for ourselves, not just follow along blindly behind people we care about.
And then there’s Luc. He’s a bit of a pill when we first meet him. He’s confusing, he’s confrontational, and he’s, well, rude. It all makes sense as Evie gets to know him and the mystery regarding some of those thinly veiled comments starts to unravel, but he can be a little alienating at first (pun absolutely intended).
Luc is a very interesting lead character for this book. He’s not the most likable male character. He’s not necessarily the funniest or the most charming, especially when it comes to Evie. But there’s just something about him that keeps you hoping that she goes back. That she won’t be able to stay away. That quality is what makes or breaks a mysterious leading man, and it makes Luc seriously captivating.
Not to mention that it informs so much of what makes the dynamic between Luc and Evie so fascinating. This story is more than just their relationship, but so much of the heart of the book is tied to how well they understand and relate to each other.
The Darkest Star sets up a thrilling world that I can’t wait to get back to. It’s layered and complicated in all the best ways and you can tell that this is just the beginning. The antagonist in this story isn’t the biggest bad guy out there. He’s a formidable foe for sure, but you can feel the stakes escalating as each chapter flashes past as well as with the threads left unknotted at the end of the book.
Whether YA, romance, stand alone, or series, I’ve never met a Jennifer L. Armentrout book I didn’t like and The Darkest Star is no different. She is masterful with weaving threads of plot together, and I am beyond eager to see the bigger picture of what those threads create in the rest of the Origin series.