Book Review: Under Different Stars & Sea of Stars (The Kricket Series 1&2) by Amy A. Bartol
Under Different Stars
Amy A. Bartol
Pub December 9th 2014
ARC for Review
Winner of four 2014 UtopYA Awards, including Best Book of the Year and Best Sci-Fi Book of the Year
Kricket Hollowell never wished upon stars. She was too busy hiding in plain sight, eluding Chicago’s foster care system. As her eighteenth birthday approaches, she now eagerly anticipates the day she’ll stop running and finally find her place in the world.
That day comes when she meets a young Etharian soldier named Trey Allairis, who has been charged with coming to Earth to find Kricket and transport her to her true home. As danger draws close, he must protect her until she can wield the powers she cannot use on Earth…and he soon realizes that counting a galaxy of stars would be easier than losing this extraordinary girl.
Kyon Ensin knows the powerful depths of Kricket’s gifts—gifts he’ll control when he takes her for his tribe and leads the forces that will claim Ethar and destroy his enemies, starting with Trey Allairis. Now, Kricket faces the most difficult choice of her life: whether to wage a battle for survival, or a fight for love.
Belonging Doesn't Mean Fitting In
This is Si-Fi at its finest. I’ve been delving into this genre more and more I have to say Under Different Stars is my favorite thus far in this category. There were a lot of words that weren’t explained i.e. blusher. I think it meant girl? It wasn’t specific what type of girl? Pretty? Easy?…Yet there were enough words explained that it didn’t make the read confusing. Over all I would say this had a good flow with very high pacing. Unable to put this down I went through lots of action and surprises at every turn. The author had me guessing left and right the wormhole bit was perfection. The world building was excellent I felt like the differences between worlds was just enough! Not too much but plenty to make the transition and distinction simple for the reader. The second I’m done typing this review I will be picking up the next installment with a Cheshire grin plastered to my face! Eeeeep! Seriously I’m really excited about this!!
The Story, Kricket has had a very difficult life. Since the passing of her parents nothing has been easy. All she has to do is keep her head down and make it a few more months. Unfortunately that isn’t written in her stars. Taken to a different world she begins a different more dangerous journey where those that aim to protect her are the ones putting her in more peril. Slowly Kricket will discover there is more to her than she ever imagined. Maintaining the wolves at bay she will use her wit along with her gifts to keep her from serious harm.
The Characters, Kricket is every bit my favorite type of female lead. She loves fiercely, she is smart, she is kind, she is strong of mind, body, and soul, oh and she does some other pretty freaking awesome things along the way. All the while she is just trying to figure out a place for her on this world or the next. Threats of discord surround her but all she wants is somewhere to just be. Trey, yowza talk about smoking! He is a solder with a mission. Although he had knowledge of Kricket he never expected her to be so much more. His team grow to care for her deeply there isn’t anything either one of these solders wouldn’t do for her. Always following the rules Trey is his own biggest obstacle in having Kricket. Kyon, gosh I know I’m supposed to hate him because he is toted as the bad guy but I don’t. No, I don’t hate him at all he comes to love Kricket and will do whatever it takes to have her by his side. I’m not sure what is to become of everyone but I can’t wait to find out. Please know there isn’t a love triangle Kricket loves Trey and that will never change. Its probably because I love, love triangles so much that I’ve made one up in my head. ;) I hope Kyon redeems himself because I see glimpses of a wonderful person but who knows. I may be overdoing the optimism with this one. There are so many other characters I want to touch on but we’d be here forever! Every. Single. Character was perfectly placed and provided the right amount of depth to the story.
The End, very intense and full of action. The author does an excellent job of setting up the next book. There aren’t any serious cliffhangers it was just a culmination of Kricket’s developments. Everyone wants a piece of her because of who they think she is. All the while all Kricket wants is a life of peace with the freedom to love whoever she wants. As I mentioned before this is a wonderful Sci-Fi read. It had all of the makings of an excellent escape into a world not so different from our own. Though beautiful this society struggles under the fall out of what nearly destroyed them. Now rebuilding and though wanting to do so peacefully greed threatens all that they have built. Kricket plays a key role and I look forward to seeing how she will affect the outcome. I highly recommend this for anyone who loves the stars and loves love.
4.5 Wish, Blonde, Brunette, Bar, Shotgun, Water, Wormhole, Stars, Trees, ID, Wild, Commitment, Soothsayer, Knife, Skye, Everyone knowing what is a stake filled stars!
Eighteen-year-old Kricket Hollowell was looking for her place in the world when she discovered that the universe was bigger—and more dangerous—than she had ever dreamed. Now, whisked across space to the planet Ethar, Kricket learns that her genetic ability to see the future makes her a sought-after commodity…and the catalyst for war between her star-crossed parents’ clans. According to Alameedan prophecy, one house will rise to power and the other will be completely wiped out, and Kricket’s precognition is believed to be the weapon that will tip the scales.
A target of both the Rafe and the Alameeda houses, Kricket finds protection—and a home—in the arms of Trey, her Etharian bodyguard-turned-boyfriend. But her visions of what’s to come disturb her deeply, especially since she must discover whether the gift of foresight will allow her to rewrite the future, or if her fate is as immovable as the stars.
Destruction is Near at Hand
Well that was surprising
Okay y'all talk about mass of emotions or is it massive emotions. I dunno I think both apply pretty well in this situation. Sea of Stars was another fast paced read. I was captivated by every page and could not put this read down. The author keeps the action coming blow for blow and we start to really understand the situation Kricket is in. Again, I can’t wait to pick up the next installment of this series to how is everything made right again when the world seems so far away.
The Story, this installment picks up right after the first ends. Like right after. In Under Different Stars Kricket had to face a political battle using her wits and her gifts. In Sea of Stars she will have to run and try to convince those around her to believe her. So many shocking truths are revealed they will make your head spin. I felt such sympathy for Kricket it seems she has always been a pawn of her own destiny. Not being able to practice or learn or change anything at all really. This was a huge rat race of explosions and all out war. On a very positive note Kricket is able to connect with Trey the way her heart has been pushing her to do this hole time. Kylon is looming at every turn he will turn over the universe to have Kricket. There is nothing he’ll stop at until he can have her.
The Characters, Kricket is still this amazing broken girl. Loving Trey isn’t enough to fix the world around her but his arms do offer her a reprieve. Just when she thought she couldn’t be any more alone she finds out just exactly how alone she truly is. Cast away purposely by those that were supposed to guide and love her is a pain she can hardly understand but she is stone. To stone she must return, given all of her circumstances I don’t know how she manages to keep it together. She is exemplary the way she cares for those that have written on her paper heart is heart aching. The scariest thing of all is I don’t see a way out. Trey, ever valiant ever present. He is everything to Kricket in the short amount of time it took to give him her heart he also managed to obtain every piece of her soul. There is nothing he would not sacrifice for her. Although their love is rushed and mostly hidden, the passion and all consuming emotion is there in spades. Kyon, is supposed to be this vicious monster but I don’t see it. Sure starting a war and easily murdering anyone in his way of Kricket seems slightly unhinged BUT when he’s with her its different. I’m really sure I’m the minority here but I could see her with either guy and be happy. However it has been made very known that Kricket has always and will always belong with Trey. We get to meet Trey’s family in this installment and it was perfect. I can’t explain it but things seem so calculated…whatever, I’m going to go with it and enjoy the read with out delving too deeply. We also get to meet some other priestesses what what! They seem so resigned it was sad to see. Key players are easily plucked down and we are introduced to a slew of others. Again the characters even the extras were a wonderful treat.
The End, okay this one was like what the WHAT?!!! From the first vision Kricket experienced I knew the end would be pretty epic. There isn’t a cliffy ending but there is for sure a surprising ending. I haven’t a clue of whats next but one thing is certain. I can’t wait to find out. Kricket has reached another crossroad in her life and she has made certain promises. I can’t wait to see how she plans on accomplishing all of that and on top of it saving the world. This ending had quite a few heart stopping moments but my little ticker is still ticking. I can’t wait to get started on the next one! Fave Sci-Fi series EVA!!! Still holding strong!
I live in Michigan with my husband and our two sons. My family is very supportive of my writing. When I'm writing, they often bring me the take-out menu so that I can call and order them dinner. They listen patiently when I talk about my characters like they're real. They rarely roll their eyes when I tell them I'll only be a second while I finish writing a chapter...and then they take off their coats. They ask me how the story is going when I surface after living for hours in a world of my own making. They have learned to accept my "writing uniform" consisting of a slightly unflattering pink fleece jacket, t-shirt, and black yoga pants. And they smile at my nerdy bookishness whenever I try to explain urban fantasy to them. In short, they get me, so they are perfect and I am blessed. Please visit me at my website: http://www.amyabartol.com