February 4, 2014

Latest Read: Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci

Here are the basics ...
Tin Star (#1) by Cecil Castellucci
Publication date: Feb. 25, 2014
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Category: Young Adult - Science Fiction
Source: Received from publisher (Thanks!)

Summary: 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. (Adapted goodreads.com)
My thoughts…
The good: Tin Star tells the story of Tula, a young girl trapped on a space station with aliens. She was traveling with her family and a whole colony of people on the Prairie Rose, a ship headed to a new planet. Their leader, Brother Blue, stops at a remote station called Yertina Feray, where he begins to take Tula under his wing. But as her inquisitive nature conflicts with his ulterior motives, he abandons her on the station almost-dead. She manages to make a life for herself as the sole human on Yertina and befriends other aliens, like Heckleck, who teach her the ways of alien life.

The author does a good job of world-building (or rather space station building?) as she describes the different classes of aliens, their language, bartering system and how they all manage to get by. It's a lot of favors and earning respect which isn't easy for Tula as a young girl. But as the years go by, and with the help of Heckleck and another alien Tournour, she finds some semblance of normalcy. A routine. It was interesting to see how Tula fit in and I was very intrigued by her relationships with the two aliens. But then three humans crash onto the station and it completely throws Tula. Instead of seeking them out, she finds herself avoiding them despite her curiosity. She starts questioning who she is and what she wants. She starts to think that maybe she could find a way off the station after all.

(Major) reservations: I never fully connected with the story. It was an interesting premise with characters I really wanted to know more about but it never quite gets there. It felt like someone was just telling me a story about a girl but I, myself, never felt immersed in her world. We only get to know characters and relationships at a superficial level. We get minimal background on the outside world and  Brother Blue, the catalyst for the state of Tula's life. Earth and the how's and why's of people moving to different planets does get touched upon but the explanation felt lacking. I wish there had been more dialogue and development between characters and more importantly, a deeper glimpse into Tula's head that would've allowed us to see more of her emotions.

Do I recommend?: While I do there think was a lot of potential with this novel and I could see it developing better with the next installment in the series, I don't see myself continuing on. It didn't quite reel me in the way I had hoped.

Happy reading!

1 comment:

  1. I'm fairly partial to books about aliens, if I'm being honest. But something about Tin Star just didn't appeal to me when I first heard about it! Based on your review, I think I wouldn't have enjoyed this one all that much either. But I do like that there was something unique about the world + even the relationship between humans and aliens in it!

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