Title: Sea of Stars
Series: Kricket, Book 2
Author: Amy A. Bartol ♥ @Amy_A_Bartol
March 31, 2015
Genre(s): Young Adult ♥ Paranormal ♥ Romance
Summary from Goodreads: 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.
Average Goodreads Rating (as of 02/25/2015): 4.41
- We loved Book One, Under Different Stars! You can read our flails about it here. To find out what we thought about this title…
**SPECIAL NOTE:** An eARC of this title was provided to both ladies by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review in any way. All thoughts, quotes, and opinions will be of this version and not of the published edition.
♦ Initial Thoughts and Rating ♦
Ana: 5 *OMG, I can’t believe she did it again* stars!! Amy Bartol sure can write!! Seriously…her stories just keep getting better! This book is filled with action, danger, romance, swoony moments and even a bit of humor. It has everything you could want in a story and the best part is that there’s more to come! It definitely did not feel like the second book in a series – there was no filler here, just pure action and storytelling. I loved it!
Christina: 4.5 stars! I don’t know how I’m always surprised by the stories and characters that Amy gives us time and time again, but I am. You’d think I’d be used to it by now, but she always finds new ways to shock and surprise me! Packed with loads of action, heartfelt emotion, some rather heated scenes (yeah, you know what I’m talking about), and time with all our favorite characters and a few new ones, Ms. Bartol took us on one hell of a ride with this sequel of her second series. I’m wholly on board for all the adventures that await us in the next installment, Darken the Stars.
♦ Characters ♦
Ana: Before I start, just a quick reminder that Trey is MINE!!
OK…now let’s talk about these characters. Kricket and Trey are wonderful together. She’s grown so much since we first met her and certainly keeps him on his toes. Kricket is a strong character who’ll do anything to protect her people…no sacrifice is too big. But she’s also a girl in love and that can be tricky for someone who’s used to just taking care of themselves. Trey has his hands full, both with his duties and with Kricket. He’s fighting a war and he’s learning what it means to be in a relationship at the same time. His need to be in control wars against his need to let Kricket in and let her take risks. And that push and pull makes him much more human. Their chemistry is strong and, in this book, we’re treated to some wonderful romance as their relationship progresses. The swoon level is high…and chapter 10 begs to be reread!
Once again, I fell in love with Wayra and Jax. These two care so much for Kricket and Trey and, even in these trying time, are able to keep their wits and their humor. Kyon is still evil but somehow, in this story, we see a softer side to him. Thankfully, his crazy shone through too or else I might have been in danger of liking him! *shakes head* I can’t believe I said that out loud! Anyway, we also meet a new character in this book, Giffen, and I’m not sure if it’s right or wrong, but I’m intrigued by him…even if he wants to use Kricket to meet his own ends. And, this right here is what makes Amy’s writing so amazing…she can make you like characters you know deep down you probably shouldn’t. It’s a crazy talent…and she hooks me every time!
Christina: If you know anything, know this: Ms. Bartol is magically gifted with characters, giving each person, even non-consequential secondaries, unique-to-them personalities, traits, and dialogue. It truly amazes me how each individual stands apart from the group and shines as an singular character all while being one large part of this cohesive unit that makes up this book cast, all dependent on each other, too. It’s sorcery of some sort, I’m convinced. We reunite with old characters– Kricket, Trey, Wayra, Jax, a few other Cavars, and Kyon– and meet new characters as well. I like that for the older characters, the author built even further on them, giving them more depth and more growth as the novel progressed. For the new people, I think she gave us enough to pique our interest and make us anxious to delve a little further into who they are and what makes them tick. There were also a few special new characters tucked away at the end too, and I totally need to know where the author plans to go with this! I don’t want to go more in-depth because then I’d start bordering on spoilery things, but rest assured that if you love anything about this book, it would definitely be the characters Ms. Bartol puts in it… even if you only love to hate them. (This is the part I’m struggling with. I know I’m supposed to hate the bad guy, but Bartol is a tricky tricky lady and always makes me have a traitor heart. If loving Kyon is wrong, I don’t want to be right all the time. Just most of the time. Like, 98.764232% of the time. Does this make me a horrible human being? Oh man. I digress…)
♦ Plot, Pacing, Setting ♦
Ana: This was a fast moving story. There were lots of twists and turns and I have to admit that I didn’t see many of them coming. I was on the edge of my seat, unable to put the book down through most of the story, wondering what was going to happen next. The world that Amy has created is unique and intriguing. There’s so much to explore and so many things to learn about Ethar and it’s people. This book allows us to see behind the curtain and experience things that we can only imagine (and hope will become real in the future).
Christina: Good gracious, I’m finally allowed to take a solid breath, but only after I’ve finished. This book started with a bang and it didn’t let up a smidgen throughout, even as I reached the last line and kept trying to swipe to the next page on my kindle! I loved being back on Ethar, and I’m always left with a gaping sense of wonder at how Bartol creates all these lush, detailed worlds. Like, seriously, how does her brain come up with this things? Witchcraft, I’m sure. (Not really, though. I’m totally joking. Ms. Amy is such a lovely person.) But to read her novels is to fall headfirst into a new world- a new planet and universe in this scenario- and become completely immersed in its potent atmosphere. Her talent is apparent in the world she creates and the people she fills it with, you can bank on that. Lastly, the plot of this story was one that built further on the plotline that Bartol laid out for us in the first installment, except she increased the stakes and made the trajectory course rife with unexpected complications and whole new array of dilemmas. Holy action, Batman!
♦ What We Loved ♦
Ana: The story. The characters. The adventure. The romance. I loved the character growth and continue to be amazed at Amy Bartol’s ability to create characters that you can’t help but love. I enjoyed being surprised by the twists in the storyline and loved that Kricket is a sassy, smart, kickbutt hero…one that anyone would like to have as a friend. And, of course, I loved the love. My heart beat at double speed as I witnessed Kricket and Trey grow closer and somehow manage to share caring moments during this crazy, unpredictable, time.
Christina: The short and sweet of it is that I loved everything. Bartol writes complex characters that I love, love to hate, and bounce between love and hate all the way. Her heroine is badass. Her hero is badass. And the hero’s friends are badass… and hilarious. See where I’m going with this? But, really, I must admit that I really liked getting to see Trey and Kricket tackle and act on some of that crazy chemistry that has been brewing between them since the first novel. There’s a party in Trey’s pants and we’re all invited, but especially Kricket! Hooray for Chapter 10, y’all!
♦ What We Could Have Loved More ♦
Ana: I’m not sure there’s much I can point to that I didn’t like. But, I guess I need to find something so, here are some examples…I hate that it wasn’t long enough. I hate that my kindle said I was at 95% and suddenly it was over. I hate that I have to wait for the next one. And I hate that I had to send Amy this tweet…
…but, hey, she had it coming!
Christina: Dude. I agree with Ana! When I got to 95% and the acknowledgements started, I wanted to cry! I felt… frustrated that my kindle was a lying liar that lies. That was cruel and I needed more, at least that last 5% more. Aside from that, however, I would’ve loved maybe a few down times between all the waging war and assault and being on the run, just so my heart could catch up with the breakneck speed of the book. I mean, there was a few moments of rest, but the danger was always present and I think my heart and lungs could’ve used a bit of a reprieve from the awesome onslaught of action. Blessing and a curse, because while the book moved, it really moved and I was so busy swiping the pages, the ending pounced on me in a sneak-attack and I wasn’t ready for it to be over.
♦ Rec It? ♦
Ana: YES YES YES!!! This series is fantastic. If you love paranormal stories and romance, you can’t do any better than Amy Bartol books. And this series gives you the best of everything – adventure, an amazing world and characters who burrow into your heart from the very first time you meet them. So, get that one-click finger ready and start reading this series now!!
Christina: Um, if you’ve made it this far without running to add it to your TBR, I’m assuming you cheated and jumped down here first. (In which case, HOW DARE YOU?! Okay, not really, but I wrote some pretty compelling stuff so go read it?)
Yes, I definitely am recommending this book, as well as the first installment. This is absolutely a series that you should consider investing a little time in. Ms. Bartol delivers the awesome yet again. You can always count on her for a sure thing. (Heh. Not like a shefty boosha, though. She’s not that type of lady.) Now one question: when do I get more?
♥ A very special thanks to 47North and NetGalley for providing us with an advanced copy of this title in exchange for our honest review.