Review: Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci

Written By: Kellie - Feb• 10•14

tin star

Series: Tin Star, #1
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publish Date: February 25th, 2014
Source: ARC

Rating: 4/5 – A surprise sci-fi hit that I didn’t see coming but will definitely be reading again.

About the book: 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. – Goodreads

Thoughts: I hadn’t heard about Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci until I was offered an ARC but I am so, so glad I read this book! I’ve always considered myself someone who likes sci-fi in my tv and movies, and fantasy in my books. Lately, I’m starting to think I just haven’t been reading the right sci-fi books. I really loved this one! Tin Star was able to offer the kind of sci-fi you don’t see on the big/small screen with complex aliens that are nothing like human beings, leaving the main character Tula to navigate a completely alien world.

Tula is abandoned by her people on a remote space station that is inhabited entirely by species that are nothing like us. She’s left for dead and has absolutely nothing to her name so things aren’t easy. The book, while fairly short, spans years, and it’s so interesting to see her learn how to survive in her new surroundings and deal with being literally the only human being for a good portion of the book. She’s a really great character and I can’t think of anyone I’ve read about who is quite like her. She isn’t your typical YA heroine by any stretch–she keeps to herself, she’s cautious and because of the situation she’s put in has to look at everything from an entirely different angle than I would. It was really fun to read!

I suspect the style of writing in this one wont sit with everyone. It’s a little choppy at times, although I thought it fit with the story. My only real criticism is that the writing was (only at times) way too tell-y. One line in particular actually made me do a double take, “Everything was so much larger and more interconnected than I thought it was.” Keep in mind that I read an ARC, so this might not be in the final version but it was hard not to raise my eyebrows at that one. Let me figure out for myself how the big picture connects rather than pointing out how great the plotting was.

The plot itself was interesting. At times it was a little slow, but I still really enjoyed it. I did find the romantic element to be a little forced (in one instance at least, something that came closer to the end was actually a great surprise, but I can’t talk about it without giving too much away). I suspected some of the plot twists but still really enjoyed how all of the pieces came together, and I really can’t wait to see what the next book brings and what the over all arc of the series will be.

Highly recommend for someone looking for a great science fiction read that comes with everything from aliens to intergalactic politics to a rickity old space station.

Purchase Tin Star
@Amazon (US) @Amazon (CAN) @The Book Depository

Second Opinions:
@Stacked Books
@Just One More Paragraph
@Book Reviews and More

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One Comment

  1. Thanks for the recommendation! I just finished reading Across The Universe by Beth Revis, so I’m on the lookout for a new SciFi book.

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