Flannery's Reviews > Stray

Stray by Andrea K. Höst
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really liked it
bookshelves: aussie-ya-is-the-cats-meow, i-want-to-go-to-there, read-in-2011, read-on-kindle, readalong, swords-and-lasers, ya-space-quest-o-mine, young-adult-teen, wd-and-me, read-in-2017
Recommended to Flannery by: Chichipio
Read 2 times. Last read August 15, 2017 to August 16, 2017.

How useful would you be in an apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic situation? My best friend and I had a discussion about this for a while the other day. (Well, to be honest I have this discussion all the time.) While we obviously tally people’s skills up in the positives column, we were in agreement that two of the biggest advantages a person can have is their ability to just go with the flow and their tendency not whine or complain about things. The reason I bring this up is because the first third or fourth of this book is about a teenage girl, Cass Devlin, walking home from school and suddenly finding herself in a completely foreign place. As she walks around, the thinks about what is going on in a very logical manner. She thinks about where the sun is located, how long the days are, what kinds of wildlife is around, what she might be able to eat, how to actually make things from raw materials. Gosh, thanks for that Andrea K. Höst, because my reading partner and I were so excited to read about a character who actually thought about all the things a person should be thinking if they are somewhere they have never been before. I’ve read several books since I finished this one (as has my reading partner) and we’ve repeatedly said, “Ugh, Cass Devlin would never do something like this.” I also enjoyed her sense of humor about her entire situation and the new society she finds herself a part of.

The interesting thing about this book, and this could really be a positive or negative depending on the reader, was how it was very in-depth setup for the rest of the series. What this book needs is a kickass editor to contain the awesome. Here is a very scientific graph I’ve made for the occasion:

Too Much Awesome Graph

Wouldn't we all like to have that problem? I’d get overly excited if I were the author, too. It is clear that Ms. Höst has mapped out this world, its inhabitants, the powers, technology, and the history...and I was into all of it! At a point, while I never lost interest, I was looking for a little less description of every single power, its amplification, and the different spaces the teams went to. (this sentence probably makes very little sense but I don’t want to ruin the plot of the book for future readers) Several of the characters intrigued me and I wished we got to know a few of them more in depth rather than tens of them by name only. In the end, this book has the potential to be a five-star read for me if it was completely edited. (There were a couple affect/effect, hanger/hangar-type errors but overall, the writing was fun and there were very few errors for a self-pub) However, the final product as it is was quite enough to make me buy the remaining two ebooks in the series to see how it all pans out and definitely enough to recommend it to a lot of people.

Surprisingly, there is no concentration on romance, at least not in this installment of the series. There are a few hints and several possibilities but it was nice not to have that weighing down the plot. Instead of Cass wondering about what X or Y dude thinks of her, she actually wonders about how everything in the world works, how she might get home, and the ramifications of her choices. Crazy!

To the author, if you are reading this at any point (which you might be!), please write a survivalist or post-apoc novel! I will read it and love it. Until then, I'll continue with this series and enjoy those ones.

I never would’ve found this book without Goodreads. My pal Chichipio has an aversion to buying books that cost more than $5. Sure, I often yank his chain about this habit but this is it, Gonza, your REVENGE. I really loved this book, so thank you. (be sure to check out his much more informative review)
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Reading Progress

June 12, 2011 – Shelved
November 27, 2011 – Started Reading
November 27, 2011 –
November 30, 2011 –
December 5, 2011 – Finished Reading
August 15, 2017 – Started Reading
August 16, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-20 of 20 (20 new)

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Flannery Readalong with the Dub-D. (Wendy Darling!)

Wendy Darling Dude, what am I supposed to do when we're reading a book together but you send me another one I'm dying to read? *cries*

message 3: by Shirley (new)

Shirley Marr Flannery you are back! I am so happy I could strangle you. And you are back bigger and better than before. Only you could convince me that a self-pub with a daggy cover (if you are reading this Miss Author, I don't mean no disrespect) is worth a look. And it's Aussie. Noice. Your graph is also noice.

Nomes I frequently struggle with trying to fit too much awesome in, as well.

love the review Flann x

Flannery HAHAHA awesome

Wendy Darling I don't even need to write a review, I'm just going to post a link to yours. :D

Wendy Darling P.S. I love Andrea Host. I want her to get a book deal, she deserves one.

Nomes Wendy Darling wrote: "I don't even need to write a review, I'm just going to post a link to yours. :D"

I was thinking of posting links to your reviews this year myself, Wendy... much more time effective

message 9: by Andrea (new) - added it

Andrea "To the author, if you are reading this at any point (which you might be!), please write a survivalist or post-apoc novel! I will read it and love it."

Darn you.

I say, "Darn you!"

Because I don't write survivalist or post-apocalyptic stories. But you made me wonder what kind of post-apocalyptic story I would write.

And now I have some poor girl buried under the remains of Centrepoint Tower, and I think there are probably going to be aliens. Or zombies. Or natural disasters.

At the very least, a kitchen sink. I speak as someone who put a spaceship in her first high fantasy story.

But I have OTHER STORIES. I have three I was planning to put out this year - the girl vigilante YA, and the messing-with-Aristide book, and my over-powered mage needs to go kill her uncle. And there's the Egyptian God-Kings are Vampires and Britain is a sort-of Celtic matriarchy book which I've barely started! I do not have TIME for your post-apocalyptic story.

But I have a girl, trapped beneath the ruins of Centrepoint Tower...

Darn you.

Flannery Correction: You HAVEN'T written them. But you will, Andrea. You will. *taps fingers together* MUAHAHAHAHA

Wendy Darling Oh Andrea...pleeeaase write a survivalist story! I wants, I wants. I know karen brissette would want, too.

And aww, Nomes! *blushes*

message 12: by Andrea (new) - added it

Andrea *puts fingers in ears*
La la la la la
*picks name of main character..*

Wendy Darling Andrea, I can't tell you how many times Flann and I have talked about a book in the month or so since we read Stray and said, "Cass would totally be able to survive in this situation" and pooh poohing the character we were discussing. She could teach so many YA heroines about critical thinking and shutting the hell up when things were going wrong.

Also...I want one of those squishy chairs that cush around you when you sit on it.

message 14: by Andrea (new) - added it

Andrea It's funny - Cass doesn't think of herself as a good survivor. Just someone who "keeps going".

Squishy chairs. :) The things you can do with nanotech are endless. My fave is the 'yannar'. Oh, the horror movie potential...

Chichipio Ha, so this was the reason people were reading my review. They shouldn't bother, though. This one is great, and it has a graphic (you can rarely go wrong with one of those).

I think this was the first time I actively tried to push a book at people, so I'm really happy that you two (I'm including Wendy here) liked it. And I'm even happier that you're giving Andrea such a cool idea. Whether it becomes reality or not, cool ideas tend to permeate to other works, so we win either way.

Wendy Darling Chichipio's reviews of the two sequels are great, too, and definitely what persuaded me to read the book. (See how I talk about you like you're not even here? Eh? Eh? *pokes ferret*)

As I keep saying, though...we still don't know if Andrea can make a sandwich.


message 17: by Andrea (new) - added it

Andrea When making a vegemite sandwich, I suggest treating vegemite as a seasoning, not something to layer on thickly. Butter well, and then 'paint' streaks of vegemite through the butter. :)

Probably will call the post-apocalypt "And When the Stars". It's so cruel to give writers ideas.

Estara Okay, for everyone who has read this discussion to the end and is now wondering, and because the author isn't linking it herself and because I loved it, here's the link to the finished book (available in the same year! Hurray for new publishing!).

Flannery Thanks for that, Estara. I should have done it as well. It just completely slipped my mind:-/ GO READ IT, EVERYONE!

Estara Yes, I saw you were currently reading it - but October is just around the corner and like you I'm anxious that everyone should read it ^^.

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