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4.4 out of 5 stars42
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 20 August 2014
The books basically follow the main character after she is brought unexpectedly into a new and unknown world. She doesn't speak the language, she doesn't understand the society she's landed in, and she has to struggle to find her place and integrate with her new world. In addition, in a world full of people with psychic abilities, her own ability is a bit of an oddity, which brings sometimes unwelcome intense interest from the local authorities.

I really enjoyed these books. I liked the main character, and that's what carried the series for me. The books are very much about that character - don't expect the plot to advance quickly or to have non-stop nail-biting action. That being the case, you probably should read the sample and decide if you like the main character or not before buying.

One thing which I was unsure about when starting these books was the choice of a diary format. I've always struggled with books in this format, from Dracula onwards, because a diary entry is removed in time from the events it describes. That additional barrier between the reader and events often, I think, makes it hard to engage with the story. On the other hand, it does give more access to the inner thoughts and feelings of the main character / diary writer. As the main character was what sold these books to me, I think that this is a rare case where a fictional diary actually works.
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on 30 March 2013
I downloaded Stray [book 1 in the series] because it was a free read. I'm so pleased that I did. I loved this book - loved it enough to buy the sequels, which meant that it turned out to be not a free read in the end. I read all the books back to back and now that I've finished them I don't know what to do with myself. I got so engrossed in the story and characters, and am glad that an 'epilogue' was published to round things off.
Anyone who thinks that this is a book for young adults only need have no worries. I'm certainly not 'young adult', being in my mid-fifties, and would recommend the series to anyone. If it was aimed at the young adult market I can only say good because it meant that I was spared the gratuitous, often obligatory, sex scenes which many novels have.
I loved this series.
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on 1 July 2013
On starting this freebie - teenage girl walking home from school finds herself in a strange place and, apparently unfazed, decides shes on another planet and goes into survival mode - I thought I'd soon be giving up. But as it progressed I got hooked as it turned into a good, fairly traditional sci-fi.
So what was good? First, and sorry to be nationist, she isn't American but Australian (which explains how she has some bushcraft), shes got normal teenage reactions to many things but is intelligent with it (various references to poetry and philosophy show the Aus are giving a good education), its well written and sets well into an alien environment that resembles our own but differs in many details.
As I said, its quite traditional sci-fi involving wormholes, gates to other 'dimensions' (I never worked out exactly what these were), fighting off monster attacks ( again, I know the monsters existed as threats but how and why wasn't clear; and why were parties sent to kill them when they were known to regenerate and would have to be killed again?).
This is volume 1 and I'm not sure how the story will sustain for another two, but I will buy the next and see.
Overall it's a good try at showing how an intelligent teenager might adapt to an environment where language, ways of living and history are totally new and face physical and well- being threats. Some nice moral issues addressed as well.
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I received a complimentary copy of this book for my review. Hmmm this is a sci-fi/fantasy story written in diary format, which I must honestly say does the book no favours. Reading a story in the first person isn't for every reader, but for some books it is the right way to go. I believe it wasn't in this case. The story and concept are good, but the author drags out the self dialogue even when other people start appearing. I realise this is due to the language barrier but there could have been more dialogue between characters in the first quarter of the story. The story gets more colour when Cassandra, the main character, who has somehow managed to get lost on an alternate planet or plane of existence, starts interacting with other characters verbally. The facets of this sci fi are deep and are layered upon one another, I would love to go into detail but I don't want to reveal any spoilers. Actually my fingers are itching: Cassandra is put in the position of making a choice, go home and destroy her own world or the world she has come to know.This book would work well in non diary format, because the utopian ideas and creativity are clearly there to back it up. I enjoyed this strange little gem and will look out for more. If you enjoy reading beyond the end of our flat planet, give this one a try.Stray (Touchstone)
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on 13 September 2013
I thoroughly enjoyed this series, one of my all time favourite reads, even a year after reading it I'm still recommending it to friends! Please don't be put off by the now childish cover of the books, when I purchased them, the cover was much more appealing to all ages. I'm in my 30s and couldn't fault these books at all, still having dreams about the wonderful worlds and imagery created by the author. My 12 year old daughter was also put under the spell of such a lovely story. Give it go, you won't be disappointed x
The reason it lost half a star for me, was that the final book was not needed, but was a very happy ever after... Without any real action, but still great!
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on 23 January 2013
This was one of my free books that I 'bought' regularly. I read this and then bought the next two!

Cassandra Devlin walks home from school after her final exams and through a 'gate' into another world devoid of human life. She has to survive here before being found by others and taken to yet another world- this one has people and a more advanced technology than Earth and Cass has trouble adjusting to it initially.

This book is all about how Cassandra settles into this world- Tare- and how she tries to get back to Earth. I won't put any spoilers in, but a great read and once I'd bought all 3 books, I re-read them immediately.
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Cassandra "Cass" Devlin is 17 years old. On the way home on the day she finishes high school she walks though a wormhole to another world. Rescued from the deserted world of Muina and taken to the technologically advanced world of Tare where everyone has a nano-tech computes embeded in their brain, Cass discovers that nightmares are real and they want to destroy the world.

This story is an absolutely wonderful YA/Crossover science fiction/fantasy story that is told entirely in diary format from Cass's point of view. The diary format is one that is very hard to make work, but in this case it works perfectly in keeping Cass as the focus of the story - it explores her thoughts and feelings as she sees them. The science fiction element of the story is equally well done, with the world Cass is transported to being a very nice logical progression of current technology. The fantasy part of the story is terrific with gates being torn open into the fabric of the universe that let previous nightmares and memories come to life. The overall story is a fast, focused, believable adventure that is very hard to put down.

Kindle presentation is pretty much faultless, so much so that I forgot I was reading on the Kindle and just enjoyed the story telling.

Overall: 5 stars without any doubt whatsoever! This is the best Young Adult science fiction/fantasy story I have read a long while and I immediately bought book two in the series so that I can carry on following Cass's adventures. Brilliant!
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on 21 June 2014
This is part one of a trilogy and (as the author makes clear) the books don't stand alone but you have an entire volume to decide if they are worth spending money on. I didn't wait to finish the first book before choosing to buy the sequels and for me, it was money well spent.

Seventeen-year-old Cass is unexpectedly stranded on another world and has to try find a way to get home. The three books tell the story of her struggles in a place that is different from and yet similar to the Earth, with technology that is so advanced as to seem at times like magic.

The only clues to this book being self-published are the price, and the level of originality in the world building and the story-telling. This was not like any other book I've read recently and I loved watching Cass develop and grow and seeing how the people around her changed as they worked together and got to know each other. It felt like an epic journey from start to finish and the ending (in book 3) was truly satisfying.

There is a huge cast of characters and many settings: the glossary at the end of Book 1 is very useful. I wish I'd realised it was there sooner.

I recommend giving this trilogy a try by getting the first book. It's a substantial chunk of the story and will give you the chance to see if you want more.
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on 28 July 2014
A good read. Nice and simple. Lots of fun - had a great time. Good enough to read the whole trilogy! However there were plenty of grammatical errors and the plot was fairly simple.
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on 22 December 2011
Although I found the first 1/3rd of the book a bit hard going, once the character realises her 'talent' it gets to be a good read! I'll be buying the 2nd book!
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