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Tin Star [Hardcover]

Cecil Castellucci
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: 10.02
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 233 pages
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (25 Feb 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596437758
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596437753
  • Product Dimensions: 21.7 x 14.9 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,553,577 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Story 26 Feb 2014
By Steven R. McEvoy TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Every book I read by Cecil Castellucci impresses me more than the last. I have read each of her book multiple times and often go back for a quick reread because I enjoy them so much. This one even more so.

To journey to the star's is something humans have dreamed about for generations. Unfortunately once we got there we were considered a minor species and Earth Gov retreated back into an isolationist stance. But for Tula Bane, aboard the Prarie Rose, is a young woman journeying to a new colony called Beta Grande with a group called the Children of Earth. Led by the unequivocal and charming Brother Blue. The novel begins with Tula being beaten unconscious and abandoned by Brother Blue for asking too many questions. She is abandoned on the remote station the Yertina Feray, there she is helped and becomes partners with Heckleck a soft of giant alien beetle and strange aid from a Loor, the constable on the station Tournour.

Tula Bane is a no-nonsense type of girl. She is learning to do what she must to survive. She is the only human on a remote space station with no way to get home and no way to move on. She is stuck grieving for her lost family and for being betrayed and abandoned. When a trio of humans about her age arrive and immediately start offending everyone on board she is torn between the life she has built on the station and the need to communicate with her own species. The book has a number of twists and turns many leaving you hanging.

I must state I loved the book and have already read it twice. I reached out to Miss Castellucci upon finishing it and have confirmed there is a second book coming in 2015. This was one of my favorite reads in 2013 and I highly recommend it!
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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alternate Reality with a Kick-A** Female 26 Feb 2014
By L. B. Taylor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
* I read this book while it was made available to me through Net Galley, it was given to me for an honest review.*

Set in the sometime distant future, TIN STAR is the tale of a work relationship and friendship gone wrong. At the opening of the story, Tula Bane is near death's door. Her leader, Brother Blue, is to settle select planets with human colonies. His goal is to bring human culture to the stars making trade possible with other alien planets. At the same time the colonists would still manage to keep to themselves. This was a promise he made known to Tula Bane and the others, making everyone feel special in their own way.

They were temporarily living on the space station Yertina Feray. Then Tula witnessed something she should not have seen. And Brother Blue beat her up and left her for dead.

Unfortunately for Tula, most of the alien cultures found humans abhorrent. So when Heckleck, an insect-like species, saves her life in exchange for her to run errands for him, Tula is leery. "I barter things for things and favors for favors." But a bond is formed.

And yes, I thought of Star Wars. And Soylent Green. And Star Trek. And little bits of Starman; when a human meets an alien and forms a relationship. So you get my drift. Besides Heckleck, Tula also formed an odd friendship with the local constable, Tournour, a 'Loor'. His species was probably the closest in human appearance with the exception that they had antennae and no eyebrows.

And curiously, because this is not the type of genre I normally read, I enjoyed Tula's story. Written in first person tense and something I normally don't favor, it actually increased my interest. I felt I was right along side of her when things played out. Tula became 'the errand girl'. And it kept her busy.

Over a period of several years Tula slowly grows up. All along, believing she was meant to seek revenge. Her goal? She would kill Brother Blue. She learns the ins and outs of how to barter with the other-world cultures. And if nothing else, she earns the respect of those same aliens who despised her earlier on.. She also manages to meet a few other humans close to her in age. The problem is, who can she trust?

You will find both action and adventure within the pages of this young adult sci-fi story. There are some minor grammatical mistakes but nothing that diminished my enjoyment of TIN STAR. Be aware that there is definite room for a sequel or perhaps the author will make this into a series.

Pure and simple, this story entertained me. I look forward to the next episode in Tula's life.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stranded in space 25 Feb 2014
By Liviania - Published on Amazon.com
In the future of TIN STAR, humans are not the dominant species. In fact, they're pretty low on the totem pole and mistrusted. Tula is part of a group of colonists, heading out to start human planets and raise the interstellar power of the species. Then she's abandoned and left for dead on a remote space station.

I loved TIN STAR from beginning to end. The science fiction setting is used wonderfully. The station is isolated and subject to mechanical and other problems. It's populated by a variety of alien species, each with their own culture. As Tula explores the station and encounters more people, she starts to realize everything she never knew. TIN STAR is a glimpse at an expansive universe with complicated politics. The status of humans is merely the tip of the iceberg.

Tula's used to sticking with humans and has to find a way to fit in and make money if she wants to survive. The other inhabitants of the station are sympathetic to her abandonment, but they aren't just going to let her freeload. Tula starts off simply wanting to escape the station and revenge herself on the man who beat her half to death. But things start becoming more complicated as she forms bonds with others on the station - and when another group of humans becomes stranded. Tula must decide on her priorities.

There is romance in TIN STAR, though it is rarely a focus. I did, however, truly love the romance and wish that there was more time for it to be explored. I understand that it wasn't the focus of TIN STAR, but I would adore a sequel. I know I've been clamoring for more standalones, and now that I've got them, I keep falling in love and wanting sequels. TIN STORY tells one heck of a story about a teen girl stranded in space.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An OUT of THIS WORLD Experience 25 Feb 2014
By Dii - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
What started as a promise of a new beginning on a distant planet for Tula Bane and her family turns into a nightmare of death, destruction and brutal deceit at the hands of a man Tula had once trusted with her life. Stranded and alone, the only human on an alien space station, Tula learns to survive by any means from Heckleck, an insect-like creature. Driven by the need for revenge, Tula yearns for the day she will see Brother Blue again and he will pay for the pain he has caused her. A career petty thief now, Tula feels the ever-present and watchful eyes of the law on her. Everywhere she turns, there is Tournour. Talk about cramping her business style! After years of never quite fitting in, being the only human around, her life becomes a little more complicated as three humans come aboard. Will they be friend or foe? Is Tula attracted to one of them in a romantic way or will she discover someone else may be the one for her?

Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci is an “out of this world” addition to the Sci-fi genre, filled with intrigue, aliens and truly creative writing! I wasn’t just reading about the interior of this space station, I was moving along inside of it, “seeing” the different alien species through the words of this detail oriented author! Trust me they go far beyond “little green men!” Cecil Castellucci did not stop at building a fascinating world and populating it with diversified characters, he took us inside their minds and hearts, particularly Tula’s, whose loss and “aloneness” can be painful at times. No wonder she finds trusting difficult! Well done with strong characters and vivid backgrounds, this fast-paced fantasy is definitely a keeper and a great addition to the YA Sci-fi genre!

I received an ARC edition from Roaring Brook Press in exchange for my honest review.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Layered Slow Burn 25 Feb 2014
By Talvi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Tin Star is a book that will stay with you a long time after you've read it. A mature young adult novel, exploring themes of isolation and loneliness, with a fascinating world, well built, but with a distinct alien feel. The old west settlements of the US are given a new science fiction setting, with aliens replacing indians and with the settlers this time at the disadvantage to the indigenous species.

The story follows the daughter of a colonist whose mother is following a nearly cult-like leader charting a ship to a new planet. She questions anomalies about the trip when they are at a lay station, is beaten and abandoned for dead in the refuse by that leader to silence her, and must find a way to survive as the lone human with no resources or money. Most would fail but she is resourceful, and with both luck and intelligence, she finds a place for herself in the bowels of the station, living on a diet of a future revenge. Then more human colonists show up, politics of the human colonies become very important to the alien politics, and she will have some tough decisions to make about her allegiance to the humans or to the aliens who raised her.

This was very much a retelling of True Grit - a girl who has to learn to survive on her own, her revenge, and the strange characters she must con or bully into helping her. The author resists temptation to spell anything out easily - the writing is subtle, gentle, and smooth despite the harsh subject matter and dire situation of the heroine. But this is also a superbly built world - a mining station next to a depleted world on the edge of traffic lines, trying to survive with little resources.

There is no sappy romance here (though there is a love story at the heart of this novel) and the protagonist is smart and doesn't make stupid errors in judgement or action. Yet she isn't thriving either - she survives as a curiosity on the fringes of the other alien species, using a talent for perception/watchfulness to quickly adapt to situations and save herself from starving.

I highly recommend this book - it's exactly what the YA genre is starving for - intelligence, subtly, and a richly layered world and thoughtful plotline. It is not a perfect book, and those who want action from their sci fi will probably not enjoy this slow burn plot.

Received as an ARC from the publisher.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tin Star. 25 Feb 2014
By Jackie Burris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Read from December 03 to 26, 2013

Book Info
ebook, 240 pages
Expected publication: February 25th 2014 by Roaring Brook Press
original title Tin Star
ISBN 1596439149 (ISBN13: 9781596439146)
edition language English
other editions (2)
Source:Netgalley EARC

Book Buy Links


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.
My Thoughts

The story of 17-year-old Tula Bane spans a period of several years and starts when she reveals that she knows something she was not supposed to with the end result of her being beaten, left for dead and then abandoned on the remote space station of Yertina Feray. The only human amongst the multitude of aliens who inhabit the space station Tula luckily is found, revived and healed by the station’s doctor and later on befriended by the sole Hort named Heckleck who not only helps her by giving Tula employment but teaching her about the other alien species as well.

Soon the pair have a thriving business between them, making both Tula and Heckleck enough to live on as well as giving them both at least one ally to count on amongst the others who live in the underbelly of the space station.

I thought the book was a bit slow paced and then it became a bit rushed when action started to happen, Tula is the main character and allowing us to see everything through her eyes the entire book makes it fairly narrow in scope but at the same time since she stated from the beginning her knowledge of the rest of the world was limited this makes sense, also when things change and she finally has other humans living on the space station it becomes very obvious that Tula has become more of an “alien” herself as she does not really know how to interact any other way anymore.

The way in which Tula adapts, while fighting not only the loneliness that comes from being the only one of her kind but the depression of losing her mother and sister, is a testimony to the resilience most humans are capable of but never utilize since their lives follow a logical orderly path.

Not a fan of the ending, there was no true resolution but since this seems to be the beginning of Tula’s adventure it may prove that someday the intrigue that she has uncovered will be dealt with later on in another book.

Not a bad beginning to a series but not really something I am wanting to pursue further as it was not exciting enough to want find out more about what happens and there are too many other books on my wishing to read list that are waiting for me to dive into. I found myself torn while reading and kept putting this book down within a 20 day period and finding something else with the pace and action to keep me enthralled from beginning to end so apparently Tula Bane’s story was not for me after all.

[EArc from Netgalley in exchange for honest review]
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