Overall Rating: ★★★★
Name: Under Different Stars
Series: Kricket (book 1)
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy, YA, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 297 (may differ from edition to another)
Kricket is only 17-year old yet has lived it already a little rough, going in and out of the foster care system, from one family to the next, never really knowing her parents. She’s bouncing off the walls for the day she turns eighteen and is no longer a ward of the state. At 5′ 10″ with platinum blonde hair and violet eyes, Kricket is striking and has to work extra hard to stay under the radar by working jobs that pay in cash. But apparently, life has different plans for her. Kidnapped by a trio that consists of incredibly good-looking bulky guys who have the same violet eyes as hers and claim their mission is to take her “home”, Kricket is catapulted into an entirely new world (Ethar) that has less gravity (yet they move there faster instead of slower….?) and where she is a highly valued “priestess” with uncommon special gifts. The most powerful 2 houses (like nations-there are 5 houses) would give an arm and a leg to have her. Etharian men are fighting over her to make her their consort (wife). She has only eyes for Trey,the leader of the little group that kidnapped her, though. They fight to “align the stars to their favor”.
“We have to make the stars align for us now — find a way for us not to get burned for being together.”
The Regent (like the king or president etc.) is none too happy, he wants her too, and being as powerful, he pressures Kricket to commit to him by threatening Trey’s safety. Despite his unworthiness, when Kricket finds out he’s in danger, he and his men, using her special gifts, she warns him but he’s so full of himself that he ignores her and Boom! He’s as good as dead-at least for now….
I ashamedly admit that I’ve never heard of Amy A. Bartol before I picked this book. Another confession is that I didn’t expect much before I opened this book. It’s just that… wow. The story-line is so captivating, I literally couldn’t put the book down. Since the first page, I want more, more, more..! The characters are interesting and intriguing. The world building is perfect and new. I love how Bartol avoided usual YA books stereotypes (most of them anyway). Sequel (Sea of Stars) already on shelf!