Book Review: Stone in the Sky

Posted February 23, 2015 by Kara in book review, Kara / 0 Comments

Book Review: Stone in the SkyStone in the Sky by Cecil Castellucci
Series: Tin Star #2
Published by Roaring Brook Press on February 24th, 2015
Genres: science fiction, young adult
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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three-stars

In this thrilling follow-up to Tin Star, Tula will need to rely on more than just her wits to save her only home in the sky.

After escaping death a second time, Tula Bane is now even thirstier for revenge. She spends much of her time in the Tin Star Café on the Yertina Feray—the space station she calls home. But when it's discovered that the desolate and abandoned planet near the station has high quantities of a precious resource, the once sleepy space station becomes a major player in intergalactic politics. In the spirit of the Gold Rush, aliens from all over the galaxy race to cash in—including Tula's worst enemy.

I don’t think I have ever been more conflicted when it comes to rating a book. Also, you should know, I felt this way about the first book in this duology as well. I love the story and the world-building, but I HATE the writing. After about fifty pages, I get used to it, but I never really liked it. The subject-verb agreement is atrocious, and with this many mistakes I have to think it is deliberate, and I don’t understand why. With a brain that is tuned to seamless grammar, I cannot handle it. There is also some tense switching from past to present which I do think is a stylistic thing but it’s super awkward for the first fifty pages and it kept yanking me out of the narrative.

And then there is all the flashbacking and recapping that goes on in the beginning that’s like super obvious and infodumpy and isn’t done in a really skilled way which also bothers me.

But once you get past all the technical issues–if you can–this is a duology that is inventive, unique, and sorely needed for young adults. There are very few deep space books with actual aliens, and issues that might arise if Earth becomes inhabitable. There are different species, different politics, the world building is well thought out, and a good majority of the books takes place on a space station where all these different aliens live.

The plot itself is pretty straightforward and simple but still really unique because of the situation it takes place in. And there is a love triangle. BUT WAIT. One of the corners of the triangle is an alien of a different species. As in, he is not human. He has antennae on his head.

It’s very easy to get immersed in this world and its characters.

That said, I wish there was a bit more depth. I feel like there could be more atmosphere, more imagery at the sake of the book being a little longer. And I was disappointed in the way the book ended. I just thought the big showdown would be more…just MORE. It was so abrupt, and after all the building up and the tension I expected a longer fight, IDK, just something. It was too simple, too pat.

Originality wins out though. Taking risks with your story arc wins out. Despite its flaws, I really enjoyed it and I know it will be memorable for a long, long time.

kara

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