By Cecil Castellucci
Available now from Roaring Brook Books (Macmillan)
In the future of TIN STAR, humans are not the dominant species. In fact, they're pretty low on the totem pole and mistrusted. Tula is part of a group of colonists, heading out to start human planets and raise the interstellar power of the species. Then she's abandoned and left for dead on a remote space station.
I loved TIN STAR from beginning to end. The science fiction setting is used wonderfully. The station is isolated and subject to mechanical and other problems. It's populated by a variety of alien species, each with their own culture. As Tula explores the station and encounters more people, she starts to realize everything she never knew. TIN STAR is a glimpse at an expansive universe with complicated politics. The status of humans is merely the tip of the iceberg.
Tula's used to sticking with humans and has to find a way to fit in and make money if she wants to survive. The other inhabitants of the station are sympathetic to her abandonment, but they aren't just going to let her freeload. Tula starts off simply wanting to escape the station and revenge herself on the man who beat her half to death. But things start becoming more complicated as she forms bonds with others on the station - and when another group of humans becomes stranded. Tula must decide on her priorities.
There is romance in TIN STAR, though it is rarely a focus. I did, however, truly love the romance and wish that there was more time for it to be explored. I understand that it wasn't the focus of TIN STAR, but I would adore a sequel. I know I've been clamoring for more standalones, and now that I've got them, I keep falling in love and wanting sequels. TIN STAR tells one heck of a story about a teen girl stranded in space.