Regular price: $10.49

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Winner of four 2014 UtopYA Awards, including Best Book of the Year and Best Sci-Fi Book of the Year.

Kricket Hollowell never wished upon stars. She was too busy hiding in plain sight, eluding Chicago's foster care system. As her eighteenth birthday approaches, she now eagerly anticipates the day she'll stop running and finally find her place in the world.

That day comes when she meets a young Etharian soldier named Trey Allairis, who has been charged with coming to Earth to find Kricket and transport her to her true home. As danger draws close, he must protect her until she can wield the powers she cannot use on Earth... and he soon realizes that counting a galaxy of stars would be easier than losing this extraordinary girl.

Kyon Ensin knows the powerful depths of Kricket's gifts - gifts he'll control when he takes her for his tribe and leads the forces that will claim Ethar and destroy his enemies, starting with Trey Allairis. Now, Kricket faces the most difficult choice of her life: whether to wage a battle for survival, or a fight for love.

©2015 Amy A. Bartol (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,503
  • 4 Stars
    650
  • 3 Stars
    238
  • 2 Stars
    63
  • 1 Stars
    48

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,470
  • 4 Stars
    547
  • 3 Stars
    167
  • 2 Stars
    49
  • 1 Stars
    23

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,330
  • 4 Stars
    589
  • 3 Stars
    225
  • 2 Stars
    65
  • 1 Stars
    52
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Good setting, but annoying romance

I really enjoyed the worldbuilding that Bartol did in regards to the setting (I desperately want to know more about Ethar). And despite some of my frustrations, I plan on continuing with the series. The writing is decent, and the story can be intriguing.

With that said, there are two things that really bugged me about this book: 1) the romance, and 2) the tropes (specifically the ones that involve rapey dudes and overpowered female protagonists).

The romance was eyerollingly bad at times. It was very much like reading non-sexual purple prose. The romance felt forced (and perhaps it was, seeing as Kricket seems to have influence as a priestess). All the men seem to fall head over heals for Kricket, and it is very annoying. I would appreciate if Bartol could find a better way to advance the romantic plot. Also, Kricket hates most of the romantic suitors, and most of them are physically abusive and claim ownership over her.

I really disliked how stepping into this entirely new world Kricket was simultaneously exposed to leaps in technology and giant steps backwards for feminism. I just can't help but wonder what would have happened if Bartol would have been a bit more creative with the story's obstacles. The plot was overly-narcissistic with its main protaganist, Kricket. Barton has this big, beautiful world ready to explore, and instead the plot becomes so singularly focused on a ho-hum romance that it loses me as a reader. Kricket is said over and over again to be a perfect beauty, incredibly intelligent, able to (snarkily) hold conversation, etc, etc. Kricket is too perfect and it kills me a bit. An unflawed protagonist is a HUGE flaw for me in any story.

This book honestly comes across as some fourteen year old girl's romantic daydream, and that may be fine for some people, but for me I really insist on more from my books.

71 of 80 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

YA books are always a gamble. I lost on this one.

STORY (YA sci-fi romance) - Some YA books are among my very, very favorites (Hunger Games, The Selection, Contours of the Heart). Others, not so much. This book won multiple awards, but I don't really get it. Kricket lives on Earth, but she's not exactly human. Trey comes to rescue her and take her home, but so do some bad guys. There's conflict and romance, as you might expect. The concept, the characters, the setting were all good enough. I can't really put my finger on what was lacking, but the book was just okay IMHO. I know I'm way too old for the target audience, but so many books listed as YA are awesome. This isn't one of them.

PERFORMANCE - Good job, nothing remarkable.

OVERALL - No sex, cussing or graphic violence. I'd recommend this for females up to the age of about 20 who enjoy futuristic romances. Parents must be okay with making out and some mild sexual references. NOT recommended for adults, even if you like YA. This is Book 1 of the series and it can stand alone, though the ending was left open for much more to come. I don't plan to continue the series, however.


20 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Umm, your participles are dangling...

Short version: Different Stars is a sci-fi wannabe Blood and Chocolate (the werewolf one) with endless -ing phrases. The poor grammar has ruined the book for me, and I can't finish it.

Listen to the preview before you get this book!

Long version:

Reading this book is like volunteering for torture. Having worked as a composition teacher, I am completely distracted by the repetitive sentence structure. Writing this paragraph, I am mimicking the style of the book. Reading this book, English grammar seems to have failed (sic).

I've made it about 3 chapters in, and I just can't bear it any more. What began as an interesting introduction to an intriguing character soon devolved into a trite and stereotypical YA romance where the Handsome Jerk male antagonist is obviously going to become the Tortured Beloved despite his better judgement, etc, etc, and the heroine will be struggling mightily against her undeniable physical attraction to the beautiful jerk.

Sure, fine, whatever, I even enjoy that sort of thing in the occasional book. When it's well done. But the participles! The repetitive sentence pattern distracts from the story. I find myself listening to see how many participles it takes until another one dangles ("Moistening my lips, my heart pounds in my chest as I slowly trail my eyes over the massive form in front of me"--so, she moistens her lips with her heart?) This book has 4 1/2 stars, which speaks well for the story, but I just can't suffer through the style to get to the narrative.

Also, the age difference between the main characters (17-year-old girl with 25-year-old man) creeps me out. If they were 27 and 35, I wouldn't have a problem with it, but there is a lot more life experience between 17 and 25 than there is between 27 and 35.

So, friends, if you notice shoddy grammar and editing, you might want to skip this book. If you don't notice grammar, and you enjoy overwrought YA, go for it.

76 of 90 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not as good as the premonition series.

Any additional comments?

I had just finished reading the premonition series and was dying for something to fill the void of waiting for the next book in that series. I saw other reviews saying that this was just as good, but I disagree. I've listened to the first two books and still not loving it. The main character is too naive. Of course, every guy in the book is instantly in love with her and she unquestionably accepts the extremely strange things being told to her. (There was a bit of this in premonition, but not nearly as bad.) I didn't form any attachment to the characters. Part of that was lack of build up to the relationships, and part of that was the narrator. She made the three main guys who were supposed to be gorgeous sound like dummies. I kept picturing the three stooges in my head and couldn't take it seriously. There were also a lot of things that just didn't make sense in the earth-like world. (They have built-in translators so that it sounds like other languages are on the one they know, but then sometimes there are words they keep explaining the translation of - like hour, day, day of week. why? They have clothes similar to ours, but are amazed by a bra and underwear...; Supposedly this other world is much better at taking care of their world than humans, but all descriptions sound just as wasteful and disruptive to the planet; they make fun of her for not knowing that their anatomy is so different than humans, but seem exactly the same except placement of heart? of course sex works just fine between the species; She does understand how things on their world work, but can bluff through an interrogation about a fake marriage ceremony, etc) I can't take it. Could barely make it through the second book and won't be getting the third when it comes out. Should probably mention that I'm 37, so maybe that's part of the problem. This book is for a younger group, but 11-13 seems very young for some of the subject matter in this series!

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loooved this book

Great story and nice acting. Looking forward to the next book! Can't wait for it!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

It was fun

Cool story cool characters good reader new ideas and stuff I liked it alot not to heavy young people could read it too if they wanted

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Amateur and Superficial. Lacking in Credible Suspense.

Had some promise but dragged on and on to finally get to the planet. I thought the Narrators voice was absolutely a poor choice and big mistake. She was way too mature in tone for a character this young and youthful in attitude. It ruined it. An example of a perfect match would be in Matched or Delirium. All the names of the various male characters were very confusing. The dialogue was juvenile and silly, starting with Enrique. This negatively affected the credibility of the story. I got a kick out of the idealizing of Cricket and several other men's beauty, although repetitive. The emphasis on clothing style and choices was perfect for adolescent girls, I suppose, but kind of ridiculous coming from a 35 year old sounding female character. I am more looking forward to the reviews of this book, then to the second book in the series. I hope to have a few laughs.

14 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Fun but definitely has some flaws

So... There's a lot of problems with this one. I liked the story on a first listen, but afterwards a few things sink in.
I'm not normally a sci-fi fan, I like world building but I almost always hate the introduction of a bunch of tech and their tech names and the tech things they do. This one didn't bother me as much... until I thought about the whole translator in the brain thing they specifically mention. It's supposed to translate from alien speak (Etharian?) to English (and vice versa for the Etharians) but some words get through without translation? She hears 'swank' instead of 'party' for example, when they describe what 'swank' is it's clearly a party or a ball or a gala, so why wouldn't they just auto translate? If you're going to make a shortcut so your clearly not English (Earthling) speaking aliens and your 'human' can communicate, then you should definitely stick to the rules you made for it. That goes the same for all the tech, if you create tech with rules then you should 100% stick to the rules you created, otherwise... why?

Also... this futuristic society is very sexist. Yeah, there are huge leaps in technology and they live a long time (like, several millennia) but what good is that when the women of this world are delegated to second class citizens. Unless you're a priestess that is. You're treated higher than royalty but on the flip side you are a literal slave. You have special powers, but you're owned by the actual royals of the house.

Speaking of the House of Alameeda, who 'own' the priestesses... They're super Nazi-esque. Not just in their philosophy that they're the superior race and that they need to wipe out everyone else that doesn't share their superior bloodlines (like the other houses) but in their idolization of the features of the 'perfect race'. Blond. Blue Eyes. White. They are clearly the Aryan House, whether they're straight up called that or not. This world is, like, SUPER DUPER racist.

The romance(s). I like Trey. I have no issue with him as a romantic lead. Not a fan of Kyon, but that's not a surprise as the author has not given him any redeemable qualities. At all. But I have the feeling that at some point a triangle situation, so there's a huge challenge of trying to humanize the psychopath that has been created in this first book. Moving on from the impending triangle situation... The age difference. Trey looks like he's in his 20s but it's quickly established that they live A LOT longer than people and he's already 100+ years old (I think the trio of army guys that go to abduct Kricket mention that they're all at least a could of leagues old, and a league is said to be 50 years). She's 17. He's 100+ and trying to hook up with a 17 year old girl. Granted HE doesn't admit to his feelings for her until after she's turned 18... which doesn't make any sense why that would be at all significant in this situation since they've clearly established that in this world she's still a child because their legal age of adulthood is 20 'floans' (a year... another issue with the translator). Which, if you're going to live thousands of years, you'd think that your trip to adulthood would take longer than that of a human (in the face of 4,000 years, an extra 2 years of childhood seems utterly ridiculous). On top of that... Trey literally abducted her, like alien abduction. He took her against her will and then exposes her to all these super dangerous situations where she only has him to depend on... hello Stockholm Syndrome, nice to see you're alive and well.

Kricket is repeated spoken about like she's perfect. She complains that she looks like a Barbie before she's even abducted. The guys she's with continually talk about how beautiful she is, how perfect and little. She's super smart, so smart that it has to be mentioned (repeatedly) how incredibly smart she is and how she seems so much older. She's perfect, we get it. Even her ignorance of the cultures customs is adorable and endearing, they all love her for it. Everyone loves her. She's the best. She's annoyingly perfect because the author hasn't given her any actual flaws.

I am moving onto the second book as I don't like leaving a series unfinished... so hopefully some of the issues will be addressed.

There's no actual sex in this book, but there's a few rather obvious references to it and some situations that fall just short. There's swearing-ish since it's implied by the creation of alien profanity. It's an easy out of the swearing loop hole. It's not in there but the implication of the words are behind the made up ones.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Very formulaic but still entertaining

Stop me if you recognize this plot - tall, too skinny, big eyed and beautiful female protagonist (she doesn’t think she is beautiful, but everyone thinks she is drop-dead gorgeous) meets another tall and oh-so-beautiful bad boy that she shouldn’t even like but actually loves at first sight….blah, blah, blah.
Despite the cookie-cutter plot of this book I still found the overall story to be enjoyable. . Maybe it was just the right book at the right time but I will most likely listen to the 2nd book in the series.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great fantasy book

A new and original story of two different worlds, an orphan of one world left on earth only to be kidnapped and brought back to her real home. Good romantic side story as well.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Karen Beresford
  • 01-11-18

Excellent Start to Intriguing Series.

Would you consider the audio edition of Under Different Stars to be better than the print version?

Yes but I must say that as I suffer with my eyesight, reading gives me splitting headaches and detracts from the enjoyment of a book so I tend to only listen to the audio.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Under Different Stars?

I cant give details without it becoming a spoiler, so will just say it was the main character holding her own in an unfamiliar place.

What about Kate Rudd’s performance did you like?

I liked the fact that she put inflections into conversations.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

'Baw-da-Baw'!!!

Any additional comments?

Fantastic world building and original story. The characters are well developed and I'm looking forward to the next book immensely.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jummai
  • 06-26-17

Do yourself a favour and read this series!!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, I would recommend this book to everyone I know. Even thought at first I think a lot of them wouldn't think this would be their thing. I didn't at first, the first few chapters make this book seem like your typical YA novel but that is misleading.
Each book gets better and they are already amazing. Well book one is good, although it does have a slow and cliched start, book two is amazing and book three is heart-breaking. There needs to be a book four. It's such a beautiful read, money well spent.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Under Different Stars?

Can't think of a moment. But I loved the characters you really grow to love them.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I did listen to it in one sitting, then I bought the next one and NEEDED to buy the third but hopefully not last in the series.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-02-16

Wonderful

Really loved it. So different and original! I love that Kricket has such a strong personality and is so funny to listen to. Truly enjoyed it!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kindling Micky
  • 05-11-15

Unique, brilliant book.

Would you consider the audio edition of Under Different Stars to be better than the print version?

Yes, I've read both and listening to it just brought more to the feel of the story.

What other book might you compare Under Different Stars to, and why?

Any dystopian type book like divergent but there is more romance and I enjoyed it more for this factor.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

When Kricket and Trey are journeying through the woods after returning home from earth.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Sally R
  • 02-21-15

Good, needs more depth

I did enjoy this, however I felt there were unanswered questions. why doesn't Kricket ask where this new world is and why does she accept it without having much agony over losing her human friends. it wasn't greatly believable however I will listen to the next book as its an easy listen.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jas P
  • 10-03-15

Beautiful Narration Good Story

Kate Rudd has a beautiful voice, and does a wonderful job with the Narration of this book. She does a wonderful job of easily distinguishing each of the characters (both male and female) making this an easy story to listen to, and adding an extra level to the story as its told.
The first in the Kricket series is a somewhat interesting story. It starts off a little slow, before picking up pace.
Bartol describes her worlds beautifully, giving you real perspective and depth even when on Earth. It's when you get to Ethar though that you truly get to understand how well she writes.
She has done a good job of covering her characters as well, plausible explanations for their size, what has happened on their world and various other things that I won't cover so as to not give too much away.
Whilst it may appeal to some older Sci-Fi/Fantasy readers, this will mainly appeal to YA readers due to the relationships between the main characters, Kricket, Trey, Kyon and even Jax and Wayra. The unfolding love story between Kricket and Trey is more suited to a YA audience for the way it is written.
The only other annoying aspect of this story, is that people (well main characters) seem unable to die. Every time you believe that one of the mains is about to die, someone or something miraculously saves them.
If you are a fan of Twilight, or Hunger Games, (and generally I HATE making comparisons), then you will most likely love this.
I did at times get a little lost in the overly gushy young love between Trey and Kricket, but the background Sci-Fi story of civil war between Alameeda and Rafe clans (and others) as well as Krickets continuing growth as something powerful and unique in this new world, more than keeps you interested.
This story is well worth listening to, and with the exquisite narration of Kate Rudd, it is even more so.