What a fantastic fantasy world!
Kricket Hollowell has spent her entire life running from the Chicago foster care system. She’s no stranger to abuse and so she’s determined to stay clear of the system for the next few months until she turns eighteen and is free to make her own choices.
Trey Allairis was been sent to earth on a mission to bring Kricket home, but he never expected her fiery independent streak, or the hidden talents that would make the trip from earth to Ethar treacherous as hell, and full of nail-biting adventure.
Kyon knows the true value of Kricket, and is determined to claim her as his own. He’ll chase her across worlds to possess her talents because he knows that in the war to come, Kricket Hollowell will be the most valuable asset.
Under different stars starts with a bang. Amy Bartol throws her heroine straight into the action, and the character of Kricket responds with enthusiasm. She is feisty, independent and street-wise. This is one character who can truly ‘drive’ a novel! Every word of dialogue, every action and reaction is so adventurous, witty and passionate, you cannot help but fall in love with Kricket.
Admittedly, the sentence construction in the first part of the novel could have used a little more work, but the moment Trey and Kricket arrived in Ethar, none of that mattered. The fantasy world Bartol has created is nothing short of epic. What details! What imagination! From the prehistoric creatures to the Etharian rotations and societal tiers, this is a beautifully constructed, believable, fascinating world.
Romance, action, adventure, danger – this novel has it all and I can’t wait to find out more about how Trey and Kricket plan to realign the stars!
“Screw them,” she said to herself. “I’m going to make them respect me whether they like it or not.”
Razia is fighting her way up the ladder in the male dominated world of universal piracy. It’s a tough job and frustrating when nobody seems to take her seriously, despite the fact that she regularly outdoes the competition.
It’s tougher still when she has to juggle her second identity as Dr Lyssa Peate. Dr Peate may be more respectable than Razia in the eyes of the law, but she has more than her share of family issues.
When Lyssa gets winds of a secret pirate meeting, she’s not surprised. Her male counterparts are always trying to exclude her. But there’s more to the secret meeting than meets the eye. Razia teams up with sassy agent Lizbeth to uncover a massive plot that will have serious personal and career implications for both of her identities.
Oh, how I love Razia! She is feminist power personified and yet, in this installment of the Razia series, we get a deeper glimpse into the real Razia beneath the pirate facade. She’s vulnerable, a little tender-hearted and has a sense of humor to boot.
Usher has stepped it up in a big way in Alliances. This one has it all: the thrill of a dangerous investigation; the perfect amount of arrogance and sexual tension between Teon and Razia (when is she going to get it together?); a large amount of very realistic familial strife; the fantastical workings of a politically complete universe and; most notably, a fresh, funny and real friendship between Razia and Lizbeth.
The story is well paced and Lyssa’s character development is heartwarming as she finally comes to the realization that life it not all about her, and it’s okay to lean on someone every now and then.
This one is not to be missed!