Buy Stone in the Sky
Special price $16.45 Regular price: $17.99
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Reviewer: Melissa on February 24, 2015
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
After escaping death for the second time, Tula Bane is now even hungrier for revenge. She spends most of her time in the Tin Star Café, her first legitimate business on the Yertina Feray – the space station she calls home. However, when someone inadvertently discovers that the desolate and abandoned planet near the station, Quint, has a large amount of a precious resource, the once sleepy space station becomes a major player in intergalactic politics. In the spirit of the American Gold Rush, aliens from all over the galaxy race to cash in – including Tula’s worst enemy. Fans of Cecil Castellucci’s writing won’t want to miss Stone in the Sky, the thrilling follow-up and conclusion to Tin Star, in which Tula learns that she needs to rely on more than just her wits to save her only home in the sky.
I read Tin Star for the first time when it came out last year, but it was so good that I had to reread it again just before I picked up Stone in the Sky. I just didn’t want to forget any of the details or the world nor the characters and their relationships. If you’ve read my review of Tin Star, then you know I loved it, and I’m happy to say that the last book in this duology didn’t let me down. And I’m pretty sure that if you loved the characters and world of the Yertina Feray, won’t be disappointed with where Castellucci takes Tula this time around.
Just like Tin Star, I found it impossible to put Stone in the Sky down, even though the later is a very different book. Whereas the first novel has a claustrophobic feel because Tula and most of the inhabitants of the Yertina Feray are stuck on the space station, wanting but unable to leave, the second feels much more open and not only because the space station becomes full after aliens and humans rush to cash in on the alin pollen on Quint. Once Brother Blue shows up on the space station, Tula Bane can no longer stick around. Instead she travels to various planets and moons, from space ship to space ship, hoping to find Caleb somewhere in the galaxy. Through her travels, Tula and readers are introduced to new alien species and additional members of species that she became familiar with during her time on the Yertina Feray. We get to see so much more of the world Castellucci brings to life, but at the same time, the foundation she gave us in the first book makes us comfortable and ready to explore it in all of it’s minutia. As the world is so different from ours in many ways, the foundation she established in book one was so important to prepare readers for book two. Moreover, unlike some series that seem extended just for the sake of selling more books, there is no gimmick here – just great storytelling.
Beyond the structure of the novel, I loved how Tula grows in this novel. She starts out in nearly the same place as she was at the end of Tin Star even though it’s been a year. However, the things that she goes through, the people and aliens that she meets, and the decisions that she makes over the course of Stone in the Sky change her in realistic ways. While her wily wit and the understanding of many alien species she developed in book one come in handy on her journey, she also learns that sometimes, you have to use bodily strength and force to get out of bad situations. She also learns what she wants and who is most important to her, which are the kind of things that readers of all ages will identify with, so even if they disagree with her choices, they can’t help but root for her. Just because I haven’t mentioned your other favorite characters from Tin Star by name, instead focusing on the new characters, don’t think that means you have to fall in love with new ones and won’t get your fix of the old ones. They are there, and just like Tula, they grow in ways that are realistic, and ultimately, satisfying. Which is, after all, exactly what readers’ want.
While I have always loved dystopian novels before reading Tin Star and Stone in the Sky, I never considered myself a sci-fi reader. Now, I’m not so sure. While Castellucci’s Tin Star duology will appeal to those who are scared off of hard sci-fi novels and diehard fans alike, the former – like me – may just find Stone in the Sky becomes their gateway into more space reads.
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