To show you all that I took in everyone's opinions, below is the second draft. It includes the stakes, polishes up a few things and hopefully addresses the feeling some people got that it was for a Middle Grade audience.
As always, opinions are MORE than welcome.
The Cricket Project
Sixteen year old Lyra Altair, a genius by every measure, finds herself thoroughly perplexed for the first time she can remember. Stars don’t fall out of the sky and they most certainly don’t just disappear. But Spica, of the constellation Virgo, is gone.
Lyra approaches her father, the lead astronomer of SEAD: Space Exploration and Discovery. But her questions go unanswered and that is unacceptable. She follows her father to work and uncovers
America’s greatest kept secret.
SEAD has developed the StarCatcher - the ability to capture stars and use their energy to grant any wish desired. The more complicated the wish, the larger the star needed. Unless a person is within the perimeter of the SEAD building at the time of the wish, they never know their world has been altered.
AIDS ceases to exist and a war is brought to an end fairly for both sides. But when a terrorist group attacks the world’s largest hotels, the
United States’ government has no patience left. They’re going to force the countries which house terrorists to become US territories so the terrorists can be found and the planet will be one step closer to world peace.
The government insists everyone will benefit, but Lyra doesn’t feel comfortable having countries lose their sovereignty via a wish upon a star. She tries talking to her dad, but he pushes it off as the government’s problem, his interests are purely in science. So Lyra turns to the electronic genius of her best friend, Darren, putting both his freedom as well as her own on the line.
Their only hope is to reveal The Cricket Project and let the world decide what wishes are worth the price of a star.