Stray: Touchstone Part 1

Stray: Touchstone Part 1

by Andrea K. Höst


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780980878998
Publisher: Andrea K Hosth
Publication date: 03/21/2011
Pages: 278
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.58(d)
Age Range: 16 Years

About the Author

Andrea K Höst is an Australian writer of fantasy and science fantasy.

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Stray : Touchstone Part 1 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 74 reviews.
Sascha_Q More than 1 year ago
I was worried by the swearing and multiple exclamation points at the opening of this book, but the rest of the text had an interesting story in a very creatively-built world. I haven't yet read the sequels, but I will! The ebook had excellent formatting and the writing was of high quality! I recommend this lovely book from an independent author.
Katya_Sozaeva More than 1 year ago
On her way home from school after her final tests, Cassandra Devlin walks into another world. She has to learn to survive with very little on this new world, but after a month she is discovered by some people. Forced to learn their language and accommodate to their culture, Cass also learns that they use psychic powers to fight monsters that come out of other "dimensions," the dreams - or nightmares - of the places that are being shadowed. Written as a diary, "Stray" was absolutely riveting. I was impressed by the realism that was injected into this book - something that is usually not found in a fantasy novel. You don't usually hear about the blisters that form on the feet of a person not used to walking for the entire day, or the problems of what to do with a distinct lack of toilet paper, or how to make tools when you don't have any tools to start with. The characters are all well-defined and I was completely engrossed with the story. Fortunately the 2nd book (this is a trilogy) called "Lab Rat One" is available, and the 3rd book is due out December, 2011. I highly recommend this story to anyone who enjoys a good book - even if fantasy is not your normal genre, you should find this book entertaining.
chbrown21 More than 1 year ago
Read this series from the beginning and enjoy some fun summertime relaxation
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Part one of my favorite series. Stray is an awesome book where you can really relate to the main character. Written in dairy format Stray is a book I have enjoyed reading many times. Hope B&N starts selling the rest of the series soon! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is super thick and super good to read
Natasa-WMYB More than 1 year ago
This. Is. AH-MAZING. Don’t get me wrong; Stray has some flaws and it’s not perfect but as it is it’s an awesome and original read that I wish was better well known in the young adult genre. I have to say that it had me from the first line; it’s a really cool opener that immediately made me love it. Stray is a mix of fantasy/sci-fi and, unusually for YA, has no romance. There’s a hint of one that will be developed in the sequels but nothing overt. I like YA that at least has a romantic subplot otherwise I’m not likely to be interested, but I barely noticed it wasn’t there until I finished reading. Just goes to show how riveting the plot is :) I won’t give anything away but I’ll just say it’s amazing and just dang! awesome. Even though I found the ending abrupt and slightly anti-climactic, I like the fact that it isn’t a money-grubbing cliffhanger that urges the readers to buy the next book immediately. It shows the author respects her readers enough not to do that. Another thing is that I like how Cass describes herself as plain-looking and, surprise surprise, she actually is! It’s not one of those cases either where the heroine is too stupid to realize that everyone knows she’s beautiful except herself. Also, her character is very relatable and I was able to connect with her pretty early on mostly because she’s one of those characters who isn’t self-absorbed in her own puddle of angst. There are more important things to do like being badass and saving the world. The writing style is conversational and flows along pretty well, making it very easy to visualize the world as it’s described to us. Plus, verrrrry few infodumps! :D The few times they do appear they don’t detract from the story because they’re circumstantial. There’s even a helpful appendix at the back for character names and other terms so you can flip to the back in case you forget anything. I don’t have that much to criticize. I guess the one thing that stands out is how everyone Cass meets is reaaaalllyyy good looking, and she even describes it as a “job requirement”. It’s a bit annoying because here’s yet another Twilight-influenced story where there are no average-looking people to be found. It kinda makes us ugly people feel a bit left out, you know? But other than that, Stray is amazing and is from now on near the top of my recommendations list for YA fantasy. Four stars from me!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nice and long 674 pgs plus glossary and character list Wow just wow this is amazing could not put it down
SharonGerlach More than 1 year ago
This book captured me from the first paragraph, and I read straight through the whole series in a weekend. Told in diary form - which works extremely well for the subject matter - Cassandra Devlin chronicles her displacement from her own beloved Earth to a new planet after walking through a wormhole. The main thing I really loved about this story is that Host is not afraid to let her character have faults. There are times when Cass is whiny or grumpy or despondent - and appropriately so. I'm also totally fangirling over Kaoren Ruuel and his oh so delicious aloofness. Host realistically portrays a new planetary system with sometimes conflicting governmental structures through Cass's 17-year-old eyes. In other words, not too cumbersome, but with surprising depth and thought. And Cass's whole bewildering experience of interface implantation, learning a new language (and being the only one who knows English), and dealing with the social status of being a "stray" is expertly drawn. This whole series is a must-read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just wanted to say great work andrea!
Anonymous 8 months ago
Loved all 3 books in the series, and the bits of indulgence she published as companions.
Scoshie on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Very nice sci-fi fantasy story about a teenage Australian named Cassandra, that while walking home turns a corner and ends up on another world. Well written and funny. Done in a diary form it was an excellent way to spend an afternoon in the sun
LaRay on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Received through LibraryThing Member Give AwayI chose this book because it was about a normal person being unexpectedly thrown into a different world. I wasn't sure how I would like the strict "diary/journal" format, but it was likely the best way for this story to be written. I was able to learn as Cass did which made me feel more emersed in the story than what sometimes happens. I often found myself as frustrated as I imaged Cass was at her lack of knowledge, but instead of being a distraction it made the story more realistic. I am really looking forward to getting my hands on the next installment.
madamediotte on LibraryThing 10 months ago
A thoroughly enjoyable novel, in a "I can't put this down until the end" way. A truly original and refreshing perspective, The characters, especially Cassandra, have a lot of depth and are suitably intriguing. I really felt for them and was moved almost to tears at one point. A truly amazing sci-fi/fantasy novel that I highly recommend!
alanbethcam on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Starting the book with the F-bomb almost insured that I wouldn't read it. Once I got past that unpleasantry, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The characterization was such that I really felt like I was seeing everything through the main character's eyes. I thought the diary format would get tedious, and while it came close during her trek through the wilderness, its consistency helped maintain the perspective.
MrsFlicker on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Andrea Host effectively uses a diary format to bring science fiction to young adult readers. Her use of computer interfaces with the brain and the concept of planet ¿jumping¿ is done in such a way so as to keep young readers going in a sense. The ideas she presents and the plot that she constructs are en vogue enough with this virtually-active, computer-minded generation. Her story of Cassandra¿s trials and tribulations were involved to the point to keep an adult reader reading. This, mixed with the science-fiction aspects of the story will surely keep younger readers reading and asking for more.
TBRetc on LibraryThing 10 months ago
This is a story about a young Australian girl who accidently stumbles into a portal and ends up in another universe. It reads as her diary. I enjoyed the character of Cassandra and didnt find the writing hard to follow at all. There is a lot involved- a new language, new characters, different worlds... but after awhile I got used to it. I really enjoyed this story and thought it was a unique entertaining concept. I will definitely read the next one!
asigg44 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I won this book from the Member Giveaways on Library Thing.This was an interesting fantasy book about a girl from Australia who accidentally walks through a door to an alternate universe. She is a writer and logs all of her experiences in a notebook that she has with her. She finds an abandoned city and sets up camp there, only to be found by human military from another planet. The book is mainly about what happens to her as she is brought to this other planet and is given a series of tests and injections to make her able to communicate with this society.She learns that the people in this military have special abilities and finds out that she enhances these abilities whenever someone touches her. She is being placed as part of their training and experimented on. This is actually a pretty good book. I'm not a huge fantasy buff, but all in all, I did enjoy this book. There are a lot of names to have to remember and some good interaction, but most of this story is written in first person as if the girl were talking to you. I will be looking for the second book in this series
avry15 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
*I won a free copy of this e-book in a LibraryThing Member Giveaway*The story of this book concerns about other worlds or other planets. It's a bit wonderful that the author manages the act of suspense and thrill and making the reader think along where the protagonist of the story really is. The story is engaging and thrilling in a sense that other planets appeals to readers so much, it's wonders and its truth.All types of readers could really relate to this one as Andrea K. Host beautifully crafted to infuse romance, adventure and sci-fi..the characters are funny, outstanding, remarkable and have really well-defined characteristics. the story is all about human choices and surviving..i can't wait to read the next sequel.synopsis:On her last day of high school, Cassandra Devlin walked out of exams and into a forest. Surrounded by the wrong sort of trees, and animals never featured in any nature documentary, Cass is only sure of one thing: alone, she will be lucky to survive.The sprawl of abandoned blockish buildings Cass discovers offers her only more puzzles. Where are the people? What is the intoxicating mist which drifts off the buildings in the moonlight? And why does she feel like she's being watched?Increasingly unnerved, Cass is overjoyed at the arrival of the formidable Setari. Whisked to a world as technologically advanced as the first was primitive, where nanotech computers are grown inside people's skulls, and few have any interest in venturing outside the enormous whitestone cities, Cass finds herself processed as a 'stray', a refugee displaced by the gates torn between worlds. Struggling with an unfamiliar language and culture, she must adapt to virtual classrooms, friends who can teleport, and the ingrained attitude that strays are backward and slow.Can Cass ever find her way home? And after the people of her new world discover her unexpected value, will they be willing to let her leave?
Hongske on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I absolute loved this book. This is a very well written story in first-person-perspective, reminiscent of Arthur Conan Doyle's style in the Sherlock Holmes stories. I don't usually like journal-styles, but this one really pulled me into the story and was hard to put down. You empathize with the characters, especially Cass, as they amble along the story. The descriptions of the different settings made me feel like I was experiencing the story myself, and the futuristic world she eventually finds herself in is rather realistically written: I could imagine being in a world like that (could even imagine our world evolving into that). You can almost feel Cass' emotions as she goes through her adventure: When she got frustrated I wanted to throw things around and when she was overjoyed at learning something new I felt like jumping. All in all, a brilliant read and I'm looking forward to reading the next part!
Amanda_R on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I really enjoyed Stray:Touchstone Part 1. When I ws at the last page, I was wishing that I had the second one in the series already. Cass is a teenager that wanders into a different world on her way home from school one day by going through an invisible gate. For weeks she is by herself then she is discovered by the Taren Setari. From there her life changes even more as they realize she enhances the abilites that the Setari have. It's more science fiction than I am used to but I enjoyed it.
Mimu on LibraryThing 10 months ago
As soon as I started reading this book I found it very hard to put down. I absolutely loved the way Cassandra, the main character, wrote her journal. I could relate to her hopes and dreams of finding a way home but also the utter urgency of survival, especially early on in the story. The themes of transition and finding out who you are under adversity gently flowed through the book. The supporting characters were well written and I will be interested to see how they are fleshed out in the sequel. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to seeing other stories written by Andrea Host.
carod on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Stray: Touchstone Part 1 by Andrea Host is a YA science fiction novel. Cassandra Devlin, an 18 year old Australian high school student just finishing her last exams, wanders through a "gate" or wormhole on her way home from school and finds herself in a strange forest. She walks for days, trying to survive and figure out where she is. Eventually she finds an abandoned village and works to make herself a comfortable home. She is rescued by "psychic ninjas" or Setari from the technologically advanced planet Tare, and there her adventures really begin. I enjoyed this book very much. It is written in the form of a diary, which allows you to stay with Cass and learn about what is happening as she does. You get to understand and appreciate her as a character more and more as the story unfolds. Initially, I found her almost too calm, much like Alice after she tumbled through the rabbit hole. But she admits after the first few entries that she hasn't been describing all her emotional meltdowns and fears as they happen. This made the character even more believable. The author cleverly makes Cass a SF & F fan and an online gamer. This allows her to make educated guesses about what has happened to her and to cope with all the new things she encounters. It gives her a language to describe what she is experiencing. Spider Robinson is another author who has used this device well and Host's writing reminds me somewhat of his work. There are also many cultural references which add richness to the story, and which Cass uses to cope with her surroundings. There is a very useful glossary as well as a dramatis personae in the appendix. This is especially helpful to understand the Australian and gamer slang as well as the invented language. There are many characters who are sometimes referred to by first names and sometimes last names, which can be confusing. However, one of the things I enjoy about SF & F is world building which includes invented language and mythologies. Host's world is rich and interesting and full of mysteries that keep you wanting to read and learn more. I became so involved in Cass's story that I had to download the sequel as soon as I finished this book. Sadly I have to wait until December for the final book of the trilogy. I highly recommend this book for YA and adults who enjoy SF & F. Some strong language but no other content that would be unsuitable for younger readers.
jwitt33 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I got this book free of charge from the Library Thing Early Reviewers Program in exchange for my honest review.From Goodreads: "On her last day of high school, Cassandra Devlin walked out of exams and into a forest. Surrounded by the wrong sort of trees, and animals never featured in any nature documentary, Cass is only sure of one thing: alone, she will be lucky to survive."I was really excited to read this book based on the premise alone - a girl is walking home from school and turns the corner into a whole new and completely different world. I wasn't disappointed! The book is very interesting, and I liked it very much. The world Andrea Host created was amazing - the detail, the people, even the environment were like nothing I had ever read before. The heroine, Cassandra, was a very strong 17-year old with a good sense of humor and a good sense of right and wrong. She was dealing with the total unknown but she did the best she could to deal with her current circumstances without giving up her dream of finding her way back home. The book is set up in a diary style, with Cassandra recording her day to day life in her new surroundings, which I wasn't sure about at first, but which worked perfectly for this book. The descriptions of her feelings, the people she met, and the things she did were spot on. The only problem I had with the book, and the reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5, was that some of the descriptions of the computer heavy age she found herself in were just too much all at once. Before I had time to understand one thing, a new one was being described, and then another, etc. Even without understanding everything, I was able to follow the story, it was just a bit frustrating at times. If I understood computers more, this probablly wouldn't have been as much of a problem, but even without understanding everything, I was able to follow the story quite well.One other little problem I had was that I was sent the e-book to review, and the Glossary of mostly "alien" terms was an Appendix at the end of the book, so I couldn't refer to it as I read. It would have helped if this had been at the front of the book so I could review them before I started reading.Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and I am looking forward to reading the second book in the series. Fun quotes:"My watch says 6 pm. It should be full light, but the sun's fading fast, so I'm not even in the same time zone. An hour or two ahead would put me where? New Zealand? How far ahead is New Zealand? Of course, having been raised on a diet of Doctor Who, Buffy and Stargate, I've no need to stop at New Zealand. I could be in an alternate Australia, any part of the planet at any time, or a different world entirely. Or in a mental straight jacket, giggling.""I'm out of tissues for toilet paper, too. History notes just aren't ... up to scratch."
Ksiddall More than 1 year ago
Great story with a fun teen narrator When Cassandra Devlin left school on her final day of classes she thought she was headed home to prepare for a night of partying with her fellow graduates. But somewhere along the way she inadvertently traveled through a gateway away from Earth and onto another planet. Alone, lost, and without resources other than what she had in her school backpack, she located a waterway and followed it downstream in hopes of finding civilization. Instead she came to a strange, deserted community constructed of blocky, white stone buildings. Surviving there a month, she is discovered and rescued by a pair of young, black-clad soldiers (Setari) and taken to their home base, KOTIS, on the island-city of Konna, on the planet Tare. There she receives medical attention and is implanted with a device that helps her understand and learn the Taren’s language. She is what they call a “STRAY,” and she’s not the first one that’s been found. There have been others. Throughout the story, Cassandra expresses her desire to return home, but as she tries to figure out how to accomplish this, she is developing relationships with her rescuers and becoming embroiled and invested in their fight to save their world from destruction by the horrible creatures, the Ionoth, coming through the ENA. Her Setari friends believe that should she breach the ENA again to return to Earth she may draw the attention of the Ionoth and cause them to attack Earth just like Tare. Told in first-person in the form of Cassandra’s diary, author Andrea K. Höst has developed an imaginative and compelling storyline in an interesting world. Familiar yet very different, the planets of Muina and Tare, and the concept of the ENA remain mysterious to the reader even at the completion of this first book in the Touchstone series. (The ENA is defined as “a dimension connected to the thoughts, memories, dreams, and imaginations of living beings,” however, it is a very real and scary place in the novel, filled with shadowy locations and dangerous creatures. There are also a multitude of characters introduced (so many that there is a list of characters included at the end of the book.) While I enjoyed Stray, it took some effort to keep reading; the story develops slowly. Many of the characters are only superficially sketched out right now but I’m guessing some will become more substantial as the series progresses. I will definitely be going for the next book in the series, “Lab Rat One,” soon.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago