Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Me on Stone in the Sky

Title: Stone in the Sky
Author: Cecil Castellucci
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (Macmillan imprint)

Abandoned and left for dead on a remote space station, no one expected Tula Bane to survive. Yet over time, she sound friends, family, and even love. When it's discovered that the desolate planet beneath the station is verdant with a rare, invaluable resource, aliens from across the galaxy rave over, including Brother Blue, the man who nearly killed Tula years ago. The man she has dreamed of destroying ever since. But Tula needs him alive to ensure the protection of the Human Wanderers who hitch from spaceship to spaceship. Without her leadership, they are as sure as dead. Mired in an intergalactic power struggle and town between two loves, Tula must tread carefully to save those in her care, and the lives of Humans throughout the galaxies.

Stone in the Sky, like its predecessor, explores what it is to be Human, what it is to struggle to find your place in the world and among the stars. It explores what home is, whether it be a person or a place, and how much Humans crave having a place to call their own.

It's been more than a year since Tula became the only Human on Yertina Feray again. More than a year since Brother Blue tried to kill her, again, when she threatened to expose his con. More than a year since she finally found her place on the station. But Brother Blue would always be a threat as long as he was alive, and now that he's returned, Tula's forced to fight back again. It's not as easy this time. She struggles even more than before, searching, waiting. She's still resourceful, still smart, still Tula. But this journey seems so much harder on her.

What was refreshing about the first book was the lack of romance. Years apart from Humans, Tula had no idea how to react around them, but they made her feel again. Made her feel Human again. She didn't want it, didn't want to be vulnerable again, but she still craved being around them. She wasn't as alone with them around. There's just as much romance here, but this time around I longed for it. Because the story continues, I wanted more of it. After the first book I wanted her to be happy, and she was, but that would never last. After Tin Star, only part of Tula's story had been told. The romance here makes me happy. Tula is torn because both give her something she's needed after years of being alone. Both make her feel. Because of the story, because of Tula, it works.

There's a lot to be said about the resiliency of Humans, about our ways of continuing on and coming together in times of great hardship. About how manipulative and sneaky we can be. Our greatest traits and worst flaws come together to show what imperfect creatures we are. This duology has been such a journey, it couldn't have ended better.

(I received an advance copy of this title to review from Raincoast Books.)

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