A copy was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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.
I think that Tin Star is going to be hit or miss with readers. I personally really enjoyed it but I can see elements that will turn off some other people–most obviously the pacing. Castellucci’s writing doesn’t have a sense of urgency for the majority of the book; some people might find this story with it’s slow pace to be dull. I, on the other hand, loved it. I felt the build up was slow yet really kept me captivated with the focus on interpersonal relationships and character growth. This quiet writing style felt dream like to me and truly mesmerized me from start to finish.
This book is science fiction though it really reads realistically. I felt that it could be a plausible future for our society and that the problems encountered could happen. Fans of action packed sci-fi will be disappointed if they walk into reading this expecting explosions. Tin Star’s strength is in the survival story and adaptability of the main character. Tula is the only human on an isolated space station; we explore this station with her and watch as she learns to incorporate herself with other species that automatically think poorly of humans.
I loved and connected with the cast of characters. Tula, the main character, was so easy for me to see in my mind and I had a very real grasp of her personality and life. She really reminded me of an older Newt from Aliens. Her sadness and desire for revenge permeated her actions as did her persistence and adaptability. Even though she found herself in situations that she had no knowledge of her instincts allowed her to survive under hostile conditions. I felt that she had a great head on her shoulders and her decisions were always made with thought.
The secondary characters were explored with depth and I felt that they had very unique personalities and dialog. No one felt side-lined to me, even the space station was detailed and felt like another character.
There is very little time spent on romance though I felt it was very well done. I felt the friendships were the really outstanding relationships; one of my favorites being between Tula and Heckleck (who I immediately adored). Their easy banter and unspoken understanding was very touching to me.
Tin Star was slow paced and focused on character development, personal motivations and relationships. I found Castellucci’s writing to be beautifully executed, her world vivid and characters endearing and realistic. Though I don’t think that this book will appeal to all science fiction readers I do think that anyone that can appreciate a survival story and growth of a realistic main character will enjoy it.