After years trapped on a space station, seething with fury, a girl gets the chance to broaden her horizons.
It’s been one year since Tula shipped the only two other humans away from the Yertina Feray Space Station, hoping to save their lives (Tin Star, 2014). Tula’s been on the station for years, craving revenge on the charismatic human sociopath who tried to murder her, left her for dead and blew up the spaceship carrying her family. Living with extraterrestrial species and running her own shop (selling sweets, salts and waters) is tolerable, and an ET named Tournour loves her, but this can’t be her real life. Castellucci’s well-structured plot includes an unexpected gold-rush–like bustle on the station (because a valuable plant suddenly blooms on the planet below); escapes, travel and reunions for Tula; a government to fight; and a caste system to erode. However, continuity’s a problem: A key event from Tin Star has changed during the gap between books. The change is acknowledged but never explained, and its nature shifts illogically even within this volume. Prose is often leaden (“In that moment, my heart broke”), repetitive or awkward (“I fumbled along this path of trying to grow up and I didn’t know how to come of age”), with much forced narrative interpretation.
Thoroughly original outer-space scenario wrapped around clunky prose. (Science fiction. 13 & up)