Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci
On their way to start a new life, Tula and her family travel on the Prairie Rose, a colony ship headed to a planet in the outer reaches of the galaxy. All is going well until the ship makes a stop at a remote space station, the Yertina Feray, and the colonist’s leader, Brother Blue, beats Tula within an inch of her life. An alien, Heckleck, saves her and teaches her the ways of life on the space station.
When three humans crash land onto the station, Tula’s desire for escape becomes irresistible, and her desire for companionship becomes unavoidable. But just as Tula begins to concoct a plan to get off the space station and kill Brother Blue, everything goes awry, and suddenly romance is the farthest thing from her mind.
Tula and her family are a part of a cult-like group, brainwashed into following Brother Blue. So when Tula questions him, he leaves her behind on a remote station, as her family heads off to a new colony. Tula is filled with thoughts of revenge. Even when she meets other humans after years of being the only human on the station, and falls for one of them, she is still motivated by revenge and justice.
Tin Star is a dark, science fiction novel that I continue to think about even weeks after finishing. It’s a character-driven story, full of mystery, intrigue, romance, and heartbreak. Tula is a strong, no-nonsense young woman who was forced to grow up too quickly. This stark coming-of-age story is set on a desolate station that adds to her bleak future and loneliness. Yet she soon makes the best of her situation with the help of some unlikely alien allies. I thoroughly enjoyed this inspired tale.