I’m quite well-versed with Amy A. Bartol, having read her Premonition series and still waiting patiently for the next book. When I heard she had a new young adult series in the mix, I was intrigued. Under Different Stars, book one in the Kricket series, took Bartol’s fast-paced writing from her previous series and added the complexities of developing a new world.
Kricket Hallowell is a victim of Chicago’s foster care system. After her parents died when she was a small child, Kricket learned quickly to work hard, trust few, and hold out until she was 18. Unfortunately, a few months before her eighteenth birthday, mysterious tall and rather well-built men come looking for Kricket. One group claims to be her friends while the other says she must pay penitence for her family’s sins. Both parties claim to know where Kricket’s home truly is, and it’s not here on earth. Kricket has to use her innate ability to be a lie detector to figure out how to survive in a whole new world and to learn who she can trust amongst a new race of people.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I can’t really say anything negative about the first novel, other than that the sudden influx of foreign words when Kricket leaves earth was a little overwhelming. By the end of the novel, I kind of sorted them all out, but I still grazed over some of the less-used jargon.
The story itself was enjoyable. Kricket is a likeable, headstrong character who wants to see the best in people but knows when to expect the worst. The love interest didn’t seem forced, but it didn’t seem too necessary either. I’m hoping the next few novels develop the relationship so I grow more comfortable with the pair and see them as more than just young love.
I would definitely recommend this series to anyone who likes sci-fi, young adult novels. The story is fast-paced and pretty light in terms of content, but very entertaining. I look forward to getting my hands on the next installment in The Kricket series.
Sarah Emily Lelonek has a BA in English Literature from Kent State University. She is currently enrolled at Tiffin University in their Master’s of Education program. She enjoys traveling and gaming while on breaks from working on her novel.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by 47North. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.