Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Castellucci, Cecil. Stone In The Sky.

Castellucci, Cecil.  Stone In The Sky.  Macmillan/Roaring Brook Press  2015  311p   $17.99  ISBN 978-1-59643-776-0  ms/hs  Science fiction  E-BN        

Cecil Castellucci’s writing style is a thing of beauty in this sequel to Tin Star.  It is a plus if the reader has background knowledge before starting the new book, but it is not required.  What the reader finds in Stone in the Sky is a combination of descriptions of futuristic societies, well-developed characterizations of both aliens and humans, and, finally, a plot that is as believable as it is unique.  Tula Bane finds a niche for herself on space station Yertina Feray, and she has also found solace in her new alien friend, Tournour, for the many losses she has suffered.  Tournour is just one of the intriguing characters in Tula’s journey to avenge the deaths of her mother and sister and to assuage her grief and guilt at having to send her two best friends to the Outer Rim in Book One.  In Stone in the Sky, she finds herself continuing to battle against Brother Blue and the Imperium, the ruling body of the universe.  She must be smart about it, however, because Brother Blue is a charming, tricky despot who attempts to build new planets by using wandering humans, a breed of earthlings who left Earth with the hope of starting fresh.  What an imaginative reader finds in learning that Blue has no qualms about populating his new planets with the dead is a parallel to one of the worst atrocities in earth’s history, the Holocaust.  When a reader can make connections, learn new things, and examine recurring themes in a new setting, the result is powerful.  Castellucci accomplishes this with her writing.  Betrayal, love, rejection and other spicy ingredients swirl together in her new world.  It is easy to see how she has become an award-winning author. 

Summary: Tula Bane has lost a lot (in Book One) and now survives, surrounded by aliens, as the owner of the Tin Star Cafe on space station, Yertina Feray.  She must face her adversary, Brother Blue, the cause of her anguish and a threat to all humans.          

Science fiction                                             --Martha Squaresky

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