Book Review: Starganauts: Retribution by C. E. Stone

After reading C.E. Stone’s debut Starganauts last year, I anxiously awaited for the sequel Starganauts: Retribution and–let me tell you–it was well worth the wait! 

Before diving in, remember you can read my review of book 1 here and you can check out my most recent interview with author C. E. Stone here

Since this is a sequel, it is difficult to go into too many details without giving away certain developments in book 1. I will say that the title is fitting to the plot of book 2, and, like book 1, the sequel is rooted in biblical truth about God’s protection, grace, and redeeming love though set in a fictional dystopian universe. Kaity’s journey in this book greatly resonated with me, but to learn more about her character growth, you will have to read the book(s) yourself! 

My favorite quotes from the novel which highlight some of the big themes include:

  • “Was she simply unaware of her dreams and motivations, or was she living for something shallow?”
  • “I think I mistook foolish optimism for the Holy Spirit’s leading.”
  • “God often uses the wilderness to train and shape His greatest servants.”
  • “We don’t always get to choose what we want.”
  • “Will you turn from your selfish desires and accept my calling for your life? Will you live for me, instead of the idols of comfort and stability?”
  • “She’d lost sight of His goodness in her obsession with the negative.”
  • “Do not forget that God has a plan even when the odds seem impossible.”
  • “Truth is, we can’t live in ‘ifs.’”
  • “Only surrender would save her.”
  • “Failure need not define you….”
  • “For I shall work great good out of…evil.”
  • “God guarantees our salvation, not our ease.” 

I greatly enjoyed the amount of detail in Stone’s writing, but wished for more dialogue throughout the story. There is a lot of narration and “telling” versus “showing;” yet, I found myself on the edge of my seat throughout the book waiting to see what would happen next! I do also wish that the book had a glossary of terminology used throughout the book. At times, it was difficult to remember which titles belonged to which characters. 

Overall, I give Starganauts: Retribution 4 stars. I highly recommend the science-fiction adventure with PowerRanger vibes to adult readers who enjoy epic space battles and stories that share the gospel. 

Order your own copy of Retribution here! And remember to request a copy at your local library. 

Graphic provided by C. E. Stone.
Photo of Starganauts from @theunicornwriter93 on Instagram.

Published by Kayla E. Green

Kayla E. Green is a school librarian, speculative fiction author, and poet. When she isn’t writing, reading, or going on adventures with her husband, she loves singing loudly and off-key to KLove Radio, snuggling her dogs, and pretending she’s a unicorn. Her award-winning YA fantasy novella, Aivan: The One Truth, and her inspirational poetry collection, Metamorphosis, are now available through book retailers. Kayla also has stories and poems featured in various anthologies. Follow The Unicorn Writer's blog for book reviews, author interviews, writing advice, and more bookish fun!

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