Book Review: The Kricket Series by Amy Bartol

kricket series

I binged on this series and I have some good things to say and some not-so-good things. But first…

Plot (spoilers!): 

Our story first starts in Chicago, where Kricket is hiding out and staying under the radar from the Department of Social Services until she turns 18, as she’s an orphan that’s run away from her foster homes. She lives with someone else hiding out and working odd jobs here and there to make ends meet, but she’s living life. Then, some guys start following her and trying to kidnap her. There are actually two separate groups trying to catch her: one that wants to worship her and one that wants to take her to prison.

The group that wants to take her to prison succeeds in finally catching her, and they take her down a wormhole via a lake into another world. Along the way, she’s starting to realize that her parents play a role in everything going on: they were from this other world, Ethar. They were a Romeo and Juliet of the world, raised in opposing “houses” never meant to live. They ran away from Ethar and had Kricket on Earth, but both her parents died of pneumonia. It turns out that Kricket’s mother was a powerful priestess, worshipped by the Alameeda, the other group that was trying to kidnap Kricket back on Earth. But the Priestess are locked up, kept in cages, and bred for their female heirs, never meant to make choices for themselves. Kricket’s mother ran away from all that, but left a prophecy stating that a child born of two worlds and two houses would rule Ethar as Empress and one house would rule and one house would fall. Rafe, the house Kricket’s kidnaps (Trey Allaris et al.) are where Kricket’s father is from.

It turns out that Kricket is a soothsayer: she can tell when someone is not telling the truth. She can also see the future, though both her powers are still under-developed. Trey takes Kricket to the leader of the Rafe, Magnus, who wants to keep Kricket in the Palace to decide what to do with her. While there, they run into Kyon – the leader of the other group who was trying to kidnap her. So, Kricket shares the blonde hair of the Alameeda but the violet eyes of the Rafe. Kyon knows about Kricket’s mother and has been promised by the Brotherhood (the group that runs Alameeda) that Kricket is his. Kricket lives at the palace, getting accustomed to life on Ethar, with Trey and the Cavars (the Marines who captured her) watching over her, slowly falling in love with Trey. But Trey is engaged to be married and friend-zones Kricket. Meanwhile, Kyon and others are trying to woo Kricket, including Magnus. Magnus, in turn, decides he wants to marry Kricket. But Kricket and Trey confess their love for one another, and Try reveals he’s broken up with his fiancée. Magnus is forcing Kricket to marry him, but Kricket has a premonition. Kyon had been sent to prison by Magnus, but Kricket sees a future where Magnus comes into the party announcing Kricket and Magnus’ engagement and kills everyone, including Magnus, and kidnaps Kricket. She tries to stop it, but Magnus doesn’t believe her. Low and behold – it happens, but Magnus gets away with only minor wounds. Kricket tries to stab Kyon, but he’s taken back by the Alameeda and Kricket and Trey go into hiding.

Kricket, Trey, et. al. are getting to Skye, where they are hoping Kricket will be enlisted into the Cavars, assigned to Trey’s unit, and emancipated and free to marry (so she can marry Trey). Most of the book is spent avoiding the Alameeda who are trying to find them. They make it to Skye to find out that the Defense Minister has been killed in a coup. Kricket poisons the new Defense Minister because he’s going to use her as a scapegoat in the last murder. She meets someone named Griffin, who has powers like her, is half-Alameeda, but is a male, which is unheard of. He tries to kidnap her (who hasn’t tried?) but Kricket escapes him. However, she’s caught by the Rage and sent to jail, where Kricket is tortured and forgets most of the last few days. Before that though, she had a vision of the Alameeda attacking Skye and beginning the war on Rafe. Again, no one believes her. However, she’s eventually captured by Alameeda, who have some of the other Priestess with them, including her half-sister who is in love with Kyon. She escapes and finds Trey again, but the attack by the Alameeda on Rafe has already begun. Trey and Kricket rescue the rest of the Cavar group from prison, but Kricket is eventually re-captured by Griffin. Turns out that Griffin is part of a rebel organization run by Kricket’s father made up of Alameeda males with gifts. However, they’re protecting the true Empress of the prophecy, Kricket’s sister Astrid, who Kyon currently holds captive not knowing who she is. Griffin threatens Kricket, saying he’d kill Trey, if she doesn’t surrender to Kyon and swap herself for Astrid. She does this and Kyon takes her to his holding, the Sea of Stars.

In the third book, it’s a lot of Kyon and Kricket together. Kricket despises him, but gradually seems to fall kind of in love with him especially as she finds out how evil his father is, that he isn’t actually all that evil, and as he tries to take care of her. He teaches her to swim and drive and protects her from an attack. Finally, they go back to the Alameeda capital where Kricket realizes she needs to kill the Emperor, Kyon’s father. Kyon’s father wants to take over the world, but he wants to use Kyon and Kricket and then get rid of them so he can rule. Meanwhile, Kricket learns more about her father who didn’t die and the fact that he views Astrid as the real Empress and Kricket was a pawn to distract Alameeda on Earth, and if she remains alive he will view her as a threat to Astrid’s crown. Kricket makes a friend in another Priestess who can dip them into a shadow world where no one can see them. They make plans to escape back to Earth. Kricket works with Kyon to bring down his father, which actually works. He kills all the Brotherhood and then in his ego wears the crowns that Kricket designed that have braineating worms in them, which kill him, all on national television.

Griffin and Kricket’s father’s crew tries to kill Kricket and Kyon, but she sends Kyon away before they get to him and escapes with her Priestess friend back to earth. She sees Trey one last time (she felt betrayed by him because he wanted to protect Rafe over being/protecting her + she slept with Kyon) as his Cavar’s help protect them on their journey back to the Earth portal. She leaves a letter to her sister saying she’s not interested in the throne of Ethar, good luck, and that no one better follow her to Earth.

Thoughts:

I really liked the writing of this book. Really, I liked the pacing of the book. There is constant constant action, which you might have gotten from the summary because I can’t even keep it all straight. The first two books are wonderful with the action: just non-stop and it keeps you on your toes. It takes a bit to adjust to the language of the world, but it’s easy enough. I didn’t think the Trey-Kricket romance was all that forced and instant, though I suppose it does happen over a short period of time. I like Kricket’s trust no one and look out for myself and screw you all I’mma do it myself attitude. The writing is also really engaging and an easy read.

That being said…

By book three, I came to realize that Kricket was just too good and that there were hardly any female characters, and most of the male characters wanted Kricket. I like that she turns out NOT to be the prophecy, but everyone really thinks she is for the most part. I HATED the turn with Kyon. He’s a crazy psycho guy who is way too possessive, stalker-y, and violent. People thought Twilight was bad…Oh, no, no, no. Kyon is way worse and she somehow falls in love with him?! The 2nd book after all the action and romance that I thought was well-paced and written just stops. There’s hardly any action in the book – most of it takes place of Kyon’s island – and then just…REALLY?! She ends up with him!

I kind of like how she redeems it at the end. Kricket essentially saves everyone, says fuck you to all the men, and makes it back to Earth. She also does this with the new Priestess friend, one of the only other females in the entire series – and really the only other major female character. But that doesn’t really make up for having lots of hate-sex-that-turns-into-love with Kyon and her betrayal of Trey. I just didn’t get the shift at all in the third book, even if I thought it ended in a different way.

Rating: Book 1 I would give 4 stars; Book 2 I’d give 4.5 stars; book 3 I’d give 2 stars. It just totally fails and makes me really sad for how it worked out. :/ The cover art for the books is really pretty though!

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About ambfso

Currently in Portuguese language training. Next post: Sao Paulo, Brazil