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Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci ARC {3 Stars}

Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci is the story of a girl stranded on a space station during a time of great unrest in the galaxy. There are a lot of schemes and political intrigue taking place in the universe around Tula, but she spends most of the book isolated on an out of the way space station with no way of getting off and getting revenge. Tin Star has a plot and writing style that goes back to the classic sci-fi, but with a teenage character, therefore I think it might be good for sci-fi fans that want something a little different than all the action-packed, dystopian stories they’ve read lately ;-).

Note: I received Tin Star from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I read an ARC and some things may have changed in the final version.

Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci ARC {3 Stars}

Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci (Tin Star #1)
Published by Roaring Brook Press on Feb 25th, 2014
Genres: Sci-fi, YA
Page Length: 240 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
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On their way to start a new life, Tula and her family travel on the Prairie Rose, a colony ship headed to a planet in the outer reaches of the galaxy. All is going well until the ship makes a stop at a remote space station, the Yertina Feray, and the colonist's leader, Brother Blue, beats Tula within an inch of her life. An alien, Heckleck, saves her and teaches her the ways of life on the space station.

When three humans crash land onto the station, Tula's desire for escape becomes irresistible, and her desire for companionship becomes unavoidable. But just as Tula begins to concoct a plan to get off the space station and kill Brother Blue, everything goes awry, and suddenly romance is the farthest thing from her mind.

3 Stars

Strengths:

  • Tula is incredibly isolated as the only human on a space station for much of the book and Tin Star captured that feeling quite well. Tula has very few social interactions, spends a lot of her time looking down at an abandoned planet, and has to figure out all these aliens’ body language.
  • Speaking of aliens, there are lots of them! And lots of different kinds! While we didn’t get quite as much description as I would have liked, it was clear that the aliens didn’t just resemble humans in weird outfits. They are described realistically, to the point where they barely have “eyes” or “arms” and Tula instead just has to guess at what the alien equivalents are.
  • As I said above, Tin Star struck me as having a classic feel. It’s pretty slowly paced and was confusing at times because technology wasn’t always fully explained (why would Tula explain something that is common place to her). However, that lends to a real immersion in this life that Tula is dealing with.

Weaknesses:

  •  Tin Star has a crazy slow start. There is excitement right at the beginning when Tula is abandoned, but then she proceeds to spend a year just making do on the space station. Tin Star is a darn short book, but it honestly didn’t feel like it because it was a bit of struggle at times for me.
  • Tula is crazy isolated (she has one sort of mentor/friend who is an alien) for much of the book and she isn’t a very social person to begin with. I didn’t realize how much this would bug me, but I really wished she could have had at least one close relationship so that I could get to know her and another character through their dialogue.
  • I was happy that there wasn’t really a romance angle as I was reading and then BAM a romance was shoved in at the end. It honestly seemed to pop up out of nowhere to me. Gah, annoying.
  • I kept hoping epic things would start happening and Tula would get swept up in an awesome space adventure. It just never happened. By the end of the book, I sat back and went, well, what actually happened? Apart from a couple spoilery things (that really didn’t make that much of a difference in Tula’s day to day life), nothing has really changed for Tula. Tin Star felt very much like a setup book for the sequel, so hopefully the sequel comes soon!

Summary:

Tin Star is quite short, but due to it’s slow-pacing, it didn’t feel all that short. It has a classic sci-fi feel, with a very realistic portrayal of the isolation of space and the strangeness of being a human among aliens. I’m very interested to see where the series leads, but at this point I can only recommend Tin Star to those who have plenty of patience ;-).

3 Stars
Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

– Anya

 

 Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci

© 2014, Anya. All rights reserved.

Comments

  1. I downloaded the first 5 chapters of this (they’re free on Amazon) and might consider it if I like those, but it does sound a bit disappointing. I fine with a slow pace if there’s something else to grab my interest (Tula’s struggles as a human among aliens perhaps?), but ugh, the sudden forced romance and the sense of a setup does not appeal at all. I’m not good with series either and if the first book isn’t suitably compelling I’m not going to keep reading just to find out what happens next.

    • That’s an excellent plan! I suspect you might have some trouble with this one then, but you might as well see if the writing appeals :D

  2. Hmm, this book sounds like the kind of thing I would really enjoy, so I’ve had my eye on it… but now I’m a bit hesitant due to your 3-star rating. I mean, I know 3 stars doesn’t mean you disliked the book, but I’m looking for exceptional books to add to my ever-growing mountain I call my TBR pile! Hrrrrrrrmmm… Do you think this is worth picking up? The fact that it’s short kinda makes me think I still want to read it.
    Kelley (Another Novel Read) recently posted…Book Bloggery Week-in-Review (46)My Profile

    • Exactly, if you’re really excited about it, you might as well try it since it is short, but I don’t think many people are going to go ga-ga for it so there are probably better books to be on the pile :-/

  3. I thought this sounded pretty interesting when I first saw it, but I have been trying to make a conscious effort not to request sci fi books lately as I just don’t seem to be connecting with them at this point in my life. I like that the aliens aren’t human-like and that there are a few different “species”, but I just have no patient for slow books, so I’ll think I’ll probably skip this one. Great review!
    Natalie @Natflix&Books recently posted…Hyperbole and a Half (Book Review)My Profile

  4. Jenn @ A Glo-Worm Reads says:

    This book actually sounds interesting to me, but if it feels like it’s just a setup for a sequel, maybe I should wait for one?..lol Then read them as “one book”? Slow books are kind of irritating, but hopefully the next book isn’t as slow.

  5. Well, I’m glad you got to it before I did. The synopsis sounds mildly intriguing, but this is definitely not a good month for “nothing really happened” books or patience. ;)
    Kel @ No Cucumber Sandwiches recently posted…The Tyrant’s Daughter by J.C. Carleson eARC (2 stars)My Profile

  6. I really liked this one. Something about it the writing pulled me in even with the slow pace I was always interested. I totally agree it was a set-up for the sequel…which I think will have more action. Glad that overall you enjoyed this one :-)

    • I’m glad it worked! I think that I had trouble especially since I wanted to finish it in one day and that just didn’t happen. I’m excited to see what the sequel does :D

Trackbacks

  1. […] in the Sky by Cecil Castellucci is the sequel to Tin Star, but where Tin Star was lonely and introspective, Stone in the Sky is action-packed and addictive. […]

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