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Book Review: Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci

Review of Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci

tinstarStarted: 11/24/13; finished: 11/25/13

Goodreads rating: 4/5 stars

my rating: Cool with a touch of AWWW

pages: 240

found: netgalley

I’m a lover of sci-fi but most of the books I’ve been reading lately have been contemporary (romance) and the occasional dystopia. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book but after reading the first chapter I was hooked.

The book is about Tula Bane, young girl, that is betrayed by the man she trusted most in her life, Brother Blue—a sort of preacher leading their pilgrimage to one of Earth’s new colony planets. After questioning him about some cargo being left behind she is beaten nearly to death.

She recovers only to find her ship, the Prairie Rose, destroyed leaving her without her mother and sister, without another human being anywhere. She’s trapped, alone and scared, on the space station they docked at. Humans are seen in less than a good light. She makes friends with an insect-like alien named Heckleck who teaches her how to survive on the station.

The years pass with Tula making a living as a petty criminal, always under the watchful eye of the constable, Tournour. That is until there’s a coup among the galactic government. Things start to change including the arrival of three new humans. It’s been years since Tula has seen any of her kind and it throws her into a tailspin. Conspiracies, deaths, losses begin to add up for her. Through it all her hatred for Brother Blue keeps her going. Her mission is to kill him at all costs.


I really loved this book. I loved the writing from the very first paragraph. It just grabbed me. The station is crafted and shared with such care to detail. I can picture all the different species that inhabit the place and can feel Tula’s pain and loneliness of being the only human there. Her friendship with Heckleck starts out tenuous but before long you can see that he does care for her and does his best to teach her to survive should anything happen to him.

And always in the background is Tournour, the chief constable, that Tula considers intrusive to her business. But there’s a lot about aliens she just doesn’t understand. I knew from the beginning that Tournour was looking out for her. He was always around to make sure nothing bad happened to her. I assumed he felt a fatherly affection for her until the end when another of his species explains how young Tournour really is. And then I got the twist of these two character that danced around each other the entire book.

I just loved the whole backdrop to the story and how the aliens mixed together, the portrayal of humans being low on the totem pole. The thing I found hardest to follow was Tula’s scamming with Els (one of the humans that crashes at the station). Maybe I was getting tired but the whole thing just fogged over in my mind. I didn’t know who to trust but I had a feeling it would turn out the way it did. Nobody was who they seemed at the station.

This book reminded me of all the reasons I love sci-fi but left me feeling like something was missing. Tula doesn’t get her revenge. I have heard through other reviewers at Goodreads I did learn there is a sequel in the making due out in 2015. I can’t wait to find out what happens.

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