Series: Kricket #1
Published on December 17th 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Science Fiction, Young Adult
All she wants is a home, but can she find one…UNDER DIFFERENT STARS
Kricket Hollowell is normally not one to wish upon stars; she believes they’re rarely in her favor. Well versed at dodging caseworkers from Chicago’s foster care system, the past few years on her own have made Kricket an expert at the art of survival and blending in. With her 18th birthday fast approaching, she dreams of the day when she can stop running and find what her heart needs most: a home.
Trey Allairis hates Earth and doubts that anyone from his world can thrive here. What he’s learning of Kricket and her existence away from her true home only confirms his theory. But, when he and Kricket lie together under the stars of Ethar, counting them all may be easier than letting her go.
Kyon Ensin’s secrets number the stars; he knows more about Kricket’s gifts than anyone and plans to possess her because of them. He also knows she’s more valuable than any fire in the night sky. He’ll move the heavens and align them all in order to make her his own.
When everything in their world can be broken, will Kricket rely upon love to save her under different stars?
“Kricket,” Trey says in a calm, soothing voice. “The stars here are in opposition to you…can’t you feel it? You are foreign to them. You have no ancestry here—no lineage. Let us take you home.”
This story is told through the eyes of Kricket Holloway, a 17-year-old girl who has spent her life in and out of the “system” after becoming an orphan as a young child. Her whole life she’s realized that she had certain traits that set her apart from ‘normal’ people. Despite her special abilities, she’s managed to fly under the radar undetected, while growing up in and out of foster homes within Chicago. One day she has a run-in with some men who claim to have been searching for her, and have a mission which involves returning her to the world in which she belongs…unfortunately, Kricket is neither willing, nor compliant, and is in need of further “persuation” (AKA, abduction). After playing a game of Cat & Mouse, Kricket finds herself punching a one-way ticket aboard the “Rafe-Express”, which leads to an epic journey through portals, jungles, and caves. Spelunking, anyone? Did I mention that this trip includes 3 hot, other-worldly male tour guides? Can’t leave that out!
The leader of Operation: “Retrieve Kricket” is a hunky hunk of a man by the name of Trey Allairis. He is a high-ranking military soldier who follows orders, and asks no questions. His one and only objective, is to secure his target, and return her safely to her people. This means that she is come back alive, and in one piece. You’d think that would be easy, right? WRONG! Trey soon learns that aside from dangerous creatures and threats from rival beings, there are bigger things he needs to watch out for. He also discovers that he may be getting more than he bargained for when it comes to Kricket Holloway, as he finds that she may just mean more to him than a “mission”.
Throughout the course of this book, we follow Kricket who begins to blossom as she grows into her own. The more she learns about this new world that she will now become a part of, she sees that she must become vigilant, as everything is not as it seems. She must show that she is a force to be reckoned with.
“You’re tough?” “I’m stone.” “Stone can be broken.” Tilting my head toward him, I meet his eyes. “Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine. I’m used to holding on to nothing as tight as I can.”
“I underestimated you, Kricket,” Kyon says softly. “You’re so much more than I could have imagined.” “What?” I ask, startled by his compliment. “Having to fight all your life hasn’t made you less…it has made you more.”
Kricket is not only coming into her own and developing her powers, she is also learning to cope with her feelings that have developed for her captor-turned-savior-turned-advisor: Trey. Talk about a SLOW. BURN. Good grief. Those too could steam up my kindle without even touching each other. Their chemistry is out of this world…LITERALLY! See what I did there? Cause…they’re…from another…world. Other…worldly…*giggles*. Now it’s time for some lovey, heart-warming quotage:
“We have to make the stars align for us now—find a way for us not to get burned for being together.”
“I’m working every angle I can think of to align those stars for you Kricket. I promise,” he admits. “I’ll find a way out of this for you.”
“You could never be a temporary situation for me, Kricket. I know that once I have you, I’ll never be able to let you go.”
“Trey, all of that is meaningless. The only thing that matters is how we feel about each other. I love you and that’s never going to change,” I promise, leaning forward and placing a gentle kiss on his cheek. “I’m yours,” I whisper, shifting my lips to the other cheek and kissing it, too. “And you’re mine,” I continue looking in his eyes, before touching my lips to his.
Now, it’s not all daisies and sunshine when it comes to the romance in this book. If you’ve read Amy Bartol’s Preomonition Series, you know that she writes some great villains. The kind of villains that you’re not even sure if you love, hate, or want to take to bed just to get them out of your system. Enter: Kyon. Ah yes, he is bad to the bone from the very start, and he’s pompous, arrogant, conniving, and manipulative…and he looks damn good doing it, too. Naturally Kyon has his sights on Kricket, and he will go to any means just to have her. Not on Trey’s watch…
“You’re so passionate and resolute. How could I possibly let you go?” Kyon is still smiling. Frowning, Trey says in a deadly tone, “I’ll make you see that letting her go is the only option available to you.”
This book was 100% certifiably FANTASTIC. This was such an entertaining read, fast-paced, entertaining, with enough sexual tension to get your juices flowing. I find that when reading books within the Sci-fi genre, at times the plot can get lost in the world building. This was not the case with this book. The dialect, the imagery, and the characters, were all interesting and well developed. I felt transported into another realm, all while being captivated by a story that left me unable to put this book down.
Amy A. Bartol is one of those writers who tends to leave no stone unturned when it comes to creating books that stick with you long after you read them. My first thought upon finishing Under Different Stars was “Do I have time to reread this?” I was completely and utterly HOOKED. I cannot wait until the next book comes out, and we see what is in store for Kricket and the other lovable (and not so lovable) characters. With that, I’ll leave you with a final thought from my new favorite broody book boyfriend, Trey:
“They won’t keep us apart, Kricket,” he promises. “We won’t let them.”
If you haven’t read this, you don’t know what you’re missing. There’s a whole world in here waiting for you…
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