REVIEW: Under Different Stars (Kricket #1) by Amy A. Bartol

Under Different Stars by Amy A. Bartol
Series: Kricket #1
Published by 47North on 9th December 2014
Pages: 296

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.
This was addictive. And exactly the sort of novel I needed to get me out of my long reading slump. I love this cover! It is just beautiful! And you should see the whole series cover's below, just, wow. Although, if I had not had read the synopsis, I would have been expecting a different genre and storyline to what it was.

 

Kricket has been in hiding from Chicago's foster care system for a while, desperately waiting for her eighteenth birthday when she will finally be free and can stop running away. But Kricket is soon captured by Etharian soldiers, and taken from Earth to her real home; where Kricket finds out things about herself and her biological family that she never knew.

I found the whole relationship in this novel uncomfortable. I feel like Bartol tried to make it as though Kricket had become friends with her captors, but it just did not feel right. The relationship between Kricket and Trey did not feel natural, it happened too fast and under strained circumstances. However, I loved Kricket as a character. She was strong, independent, and stood up for herself. She had a bit of sarcasm and sass, but she spoke truth. Kricket said what she needed to say, and did not rely on those around her; she fought for her voice to be heard. It was just the relationship that I found rather uncomfortable.

I really liked the secondary characters. One of my favourite things when reading is when authors really explore their secondary characters. Jax and Wayra were brilliant and hilarious, they brought humour and fun to the novel, and truly I do not feel it would have been the same without them.

The world Bartol created was unique and intriguing. The plot was so addictive and fast-paced, it was really refreshing and intriguing to read. The imagination that had gone into this was brilliant, I was able to truly visualise everything, I was also rather surprised as some of the scenes were quite violent, but it did added to the suspense of the novel. The only thing I did struggle with was the different words and names. Sometimes there were far too many introduced at once, and so it was very difficult to remember who was who. Similarly with places, objects and animals, I feel like the reader needed a key at the start of the book so one could go back and forth, as it really did become rather confusing at times.

Overall, Under Different Stars was fast-paced and addictive; it is highly likely I will try the sequel Sea of Stars.



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