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Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci
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Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci is a YA science fiction about a new world where there is space travel to other planets and galaxies, there are space stations for layovers, and there are alien species from other galaxies that intermingle with humans. Unfortunately, there are problems in this new era. There is the usual good and evil issue. The evil one, specifically Brother Blue, is trying to take control of the world. Then there are those who are trying to make things right, specifically Tula. Tula was on a space ship, the Prairie Rose, with Brother Blue and other humans. They were traveling from earth to settle on another planet in the galaxy. Tula thought she was being groomed for a leadership position with Brother Blue. Then the ship made a stop at the space station and Brother Blue turned on Tula, attacked her and left her for dead on the dock. Tula found herself to be the only human among many aliens on the space station. Loneliness set in until she made friends with an alien called Heckleck . Heckleck taught her the skills she would need to survive. From here the story continued with Tula’s daily life until the day she found out that a new group was in control of world affairs. This news drastically changed Tula’s life and her future.

The author drew me into the story from the beginning because I sympathized with Tula’s plight of being abandoned and alone. Life as described on the space station was interesting but not depicted in great detail. Because it is written in a simple and compact style, I would recommend this book to the YA reader who doesn’t like to read long descriptive passages or maybe even to the reluctant reader in the crowd. The book doesn’t tie up all loose ends so the reader can look forward to the next book in the series.

ARC eBook provided by NetGalley ( )
  Rdglady | Nov 20, 2018 |
Wtf. ?Reads like a self-pub. debut. ?áI read the first third or so, and then skipped to the last (long) chapter, and didn't feel that I'd missed anything. ?áOnly then were things being explained that I already understood, only then did the things I predicted from the start finally come together. ?áThere were some interesting world-building ideas, but not near enough. ?áThe aliens were an awful lot like the ones on Star Trek - you know, if you wrinkle their forehead or give them spots, they're alien, even though they act just like humans? ?áEven if they claim to diss humans as an upstart pesky little race? ?á

I'd give it 1.5 stars, but since I didn't actually read the whole thing I don't feel that would be honest. ?áIt's possible I missed something. ?á
But, no, I'm not going to force myself to find out. ?áAnd I don't recommend you do, either.
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 5, 2016 |
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 (Tin Star #1)
Published by Roaring Brook Press on Feb 25th, 2014
Genres: Sci-fi, YA
Length: 240 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog
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.

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 ( )
  anyaejo | Aug 12, 2015 |
RGG: True space opera--one might feel like one is reading about the bar scene in one of the Star Wars movies. The main character Tula is three-dimensional, interesting, and engaging even if she misses the obvious--the truth of what is happening, the character who is in love with her. The prose is a bit clunky and the sexual interactions (not too explicit) seem a bit abrupt--although the interaction both male-female and female-female is laudable. Reading Interest: YA.
  rgruberexcel | Mar 11, 2015 |
Tula Bane hasn't been in control of her life at any point. Her dad is dead and her mother has fallen under the spell of the charismatic Brother Blue, so much so, that she's taking Tula and her younger sister into space to settle on an alien world. At first, Tula is excited because Brother Blue seems to have selected her to become one of his assistants, but when she notices that the seeds destined for planting on the new world aren't being reloaded when they reach an obscure space station, she makes the mistake of asking him why.
Brother Blue beats her senseless, leaving her for dead. Tula comes to in time to witness the destruction of her family when the colonizing ship is blown to pieces shortly after launch. She's alone and penniless on a station that's more an afterthought than anything of importance. It circles a mined-out planet. At first, she's numb, but it doesn't take long for her to figure out how to survive. This involves a bit of theft, some deceit and a growing skill in trading favors for bigger ones, in large part because of her friendship with fellow wheeler-dealer, an alien known as Heckleck. She also begins an interesting relationship with the station boss, an alien named Tournour. It's one she can't quite figure out until the end of the book.
When three teens, survivors of another space disaster, land on the station, Tula begins realizing that they may be her way of getting revenge for Brother Blue's betrayal and beating, but it's been quite a while since she's been around humans and this makes connecting with them challenging. The fact that each of them, Els, Reza and Caleb all want different things, not only from her, but in terms of revenge for having been betrayed themselves, further complicates her figuring out what to do and who to trust.
I like this story, but had to re-read the last two chapters in order to make up my mind that I did. There's serious room for a sequel, but it does work as a stand-alone. Tweens and teens who like unusual settings, science fiction and are okay with a slightly ambiguous ending will enjoy this book. ( )
  sennebec | Sep 25, 2014 |
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To the stars! To the stars!

We all make homes among the stars!
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There are few things colder than the blackness of space.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"Beaten and left for dead, fourteen-year-old Tula Bane finds herself abandoned on a space station called Yertina Feray after traveling with the colonist group, Children of the Earth"--

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