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Stone In The Sky Blog Tour

Today I have a very special post for y’all! I recently had the chance to read Stone In The Sky y Cecil Castelluci for the blog tour, and today I have both a review AND an interview to share. I definitely recommend this series, especially if you enjoy sci-fi.

About The Book:

hocIn 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.

My Review:

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*spoiler free*

Second books don’t always live up to their predecessors, but this definitely wasn’t the case for Stone In The Sky. I enjoyed the first book, Tin Star, but the sequel completely blew me away!

Tula Bane is a great main character. She’s brave and easy to understand and connect with. The entire cast was very well-developed, and I felt like I understood each character and their motivations.  I rarely read sci-fi and I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the aliens, but the author pulled it off really well.

There is a love triangle between Tula and the two love interests: Reza (a human) and Tournour (an alien). I love how the romance managed to remain an important element of Tula’s life without taking over the plot. Tula knew that she was strong enough without a man by her side, which was great!

One of the things that most impressed me about Stone In The Sky is how unpredictable it is! I never knew what was going to happen next, which is an amazing feeling to have while reading. At any moment, anything might happen. Alas, I cannot say anymore for fear of accidentally spoiling something.

The one issue I had, really, was the ending. It all happened so fast! Overall, Stone In The Sky was a great book, though, and I definitely recommend it.

Interview:

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Cecil Castellucci is an author of young adult novels and comic books. Titles include Boy Proof, The Year of the Beasts (illustrated by Nate Powell), First Day on Earth, Rose Sees Red, Beige, The Queen of Cool The Plain Janes and Janes in Love (illustrated by Jim Rugg), Tin Star and Odd Duck (illustrated by Sara Varon).

I love the concept behind Tin Star, and Stone in the Sky. Could you share a little bit about what inspired these books?

The seed of the idea for the series was inspired by the film Casablanca and old gold rush era Western movies.  With Tin Star, I was thinking a lot about people trying to flee from a terrible invading force and being sort of stuck in limbo in a place.  Using those Vichy politics from WWII kind of laid a framework for the Imperium and the tricky situation that someone like Tournour finds himself in.  I also wondered what it would be like to be leave home to never return.  I often find that in sci fi books, we the humans are the center of the galaxy.  I wanted to explore what it was like to be the alien.  Tula has to shed her humanity in order to survive but ultimately its her humanness that is going to save her.  As for Stone in the Sky, I was interested in having the map change.  A gold rush certainly makes a place that was previously ignored the center of attention.

Tula was such a great character! How do you think you’re~similar to/ different from her?
What would you do in Tula’s situation? 

Thank you!  I think I’m similar to her in the sense that I am a terrible fighter. Would totally lose in a hocht.  But I would probably be able to endear myself to a few aliens because I’m a bit social.  I think she had a good thing when she hooked up with Heckleck to run errands with him.  I would follow Tula’s lead.  Then again, I don’t know that I would have survived Brother Blue’s beating.  I think Tula is a bit grittier than I am.  She’s made of tough stuff.  I think what I love about her is how she adapts to survive and also how big her heart is.

Where do you like to write? What does your writing routine look like?

I switch up where I write.  Depending on where I am in the process, I will either sit in my house on my porch in the sun. (sorry, Canada!  It’s very sunny here in Los Angeles!) But I go stir crazy being all by myself, so a lot of times I go to a café and work with a bunch of friends of mine who are writers as well.  We kind of keep each other real and on target by being together. I don’t have a set amount of time or a word count that I have to reach each day. I just try to get it done. And I like to set deadlines for myself.

 

 

{Blog Tour + Review} One Wish Away by Kelley Lynn

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About The Book:

Be careful what you wish for…

Lyra has always been ahead of the curve. Top of her class in school, a budding astronomer, and with a best friend like Darren she barely has time to miss the mother who abandoned her family years ago. She’s too busy planning to follow in her father’s footsteps, and to become the youngest astronomer at Space Exploration and Discovery.

When a star goes missing Lyra is determined to get to the bottom of it only to discover her braniac dad is the mastermind of a top-secret government experiment. They promise to build a perfect world, one galaxy at a time, but with every tweak of the present, a bit more of the future starts to crumble.

Lyra has to go undercover to reveal the truth and let humanity decide if the consequences are worth more than wishing on a star.

Review-3.5 stars

pink4Have you ever wondered what would happen if all your wishes could come true? Lyra’s scientist father has invented a machine for the U.S. Government that, by harnessing the energy of stars, is capable of actually granting wishes. This is such an awesome concept, and it’s the one that hooked me on One Wish Away initially, and I’m glad I did pick up this book!

The novel begins with Lyra celebrating her win at an academic decathlon with best friend Darren and the rest of her team, and then promptly embarrasses herself on state television. Lyra is the sort of person I think I  would love to be friends with. She’s a strong heroine: nice, funny, and intelligent. I love reading romances that start out as friendships, and I definitely ship Lyra and Darren as a couple. They were really funny and rather awkward together, which was fun to read about!

My favorite character is Lyra’s dad, the scientist. He’s pretty forgetful, and always absorbed in his work, which could have easily been left at a stereotype but instead the author made him an interesting, if socially awkward, character. You could tell that he really cared about his daughter, even if he wasn’t always around for her, which was one of my favorite aspects of the book.

I liked the idea of a wish machine, but I’m not so sure about the execution of the idea. I found the initial explanation of the idea to be believable, but I didn’t quite believe a few of the other decisions that the scientists, the government, and Lyra had made (for example, the scientists did whatever the government said and never questioned any of the flaws in the plan). Still, the explanations for the machine/ science aspects were well-written and explained, which made this less of a problem for me.

The ending was the one part of the book that really bothered me. I had thought that One Wish Away was a standalone until I reached the last twenty pages and realized there was no way everything could be wrapped up that quickly. This novel, quite literally, ended in the middle of a scene and I was left with no idea about what had just occurred. Hopefully there is a sequel, so I can see what happens next…

Overall, this is a pretty good book, and I would recommend it  especially to those who have read previous books by Kelley Lynn. One Wish Away has a good mix of sci-fi, romance, and contemporary elements that will definitely appeal to YA readers. A lovely cover, with a story to match!

About The Author:

Eventually the day came when the voices in Kelley Lynn’s head were more insistent than her engineering professor’s. So instead of turning to her Thermodynamics book, Kelley brought up a blank page on her computer screen and wrote. Somewhere along the way she became a Young Adult author.  You can find Kelley hanging out at her blog, titled in her name, as well as the group blog she shares with her fellow critique partners, Falling for Fiction. Kelley is a member of the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators.

 

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