Review: Stray by Andrea K. Höst

Stray by Andrea K. HöstTitle: Stray
Series: Touchstone, #1
Author: Andrea K. Höst
Publisher: Self Published
ISBN: 9780980878998
Tags: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Hearts: ♥ ♥ ♥

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?

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From one moment to the other Cassandra, aka Cass, is somewhere else. Not in another city or another country, but in a completely different world! All by herself, without food, water and shelter. All she has with her are her school uniform, some books and the clothes she’s wearing. Not really helpful to survive in the wilderness…

Full of courage she goes on her way to hopefully meet some people, or something similar to them. She looks at what plants the animals eat and what they ignore and then tastes some, to see if it’s also suitable for humans. Unfortunately, she soon discovers that not all plants are meant to be eaten by humans.

Another issue are the nights, the place where she is now has cooler nights than what she’s used to. Luckily there are plenty of ferns that she uses to weave a thin blanket, which helps somewhat. Then there are the wild animals, very different from the animals on earth! She fervently prays  each night that they leave her alone, especially after she saw the huge cat on the other side of the river!

After walking for some days she arrives at a deserted village and decides to make this her temporary camp. Perhaps people will come here somewhere in the future! It also might be useful to start preparing for winter, if she’s still there by then. Unfortunately she gets sick and while the mysterious moonlight coming down from the full moon helps her a bit, but she continues to keep a high fever. Until one day, two young humans appear for her. A man and a woman, who take her to Tare, another world. A world that is far more advanced than earth and where the people have powers. They want to use her new-found power in their fight against fear-inspiring monsters…

First of all, I really love the cover! It is very beautifully drawn and that is what attracted me initially to this book. I just did not expect it would go towards SF, I was thinking more of a fantasy story. Normally I’m not so fond off reading SF, but this story is a huge exception ;). It was very fun to read and what an intriguing world! All these powers! And then there were the Ionoth, who are very creepy monsters. Everything was so detailed and believable! I could really imagine that a world like that existed!

I was only very confused by all the different powers the people have and I still do not fully understand how the spaces work. There is a glossary, but as my loyal readers know I’m not really a fan of those, because when you read an eBook it takes more time to switch between the story and the glossary ;). Add to that, the fact that the story is written in diary form and Cass does not always tells things chronological and you have a very confusing me, who’s thinking WTF is going on here?? Although it’s explained later, I still don’t like losing the thread of the story.

Cass is not your usual YA heroine. She nags and does not seem to develop deep feelings for her “saviors.” This was very refreshing to read. How she behaves when she’s all alone in the wilderness is very impressive. Okay, she admits she cried occasionally, but who can blame her? However she remains just a little too trusting and undergoes  all tests always without grumbling. After a while wouldn’t you start making some ruckus? Especially if you’re treated like a “lab rat” ? Oh well, that’s simply not her character, although I hope she spices a bit up in the second book 😉

Overall rating 3 hearts. I wanted to give it 4,  but the story was sometimes too confusing for me to follow it, so it’s rounded down. It is a very innovative and interesting book to read and I’m definitely looking forward to the next in the series! Which hopefully has some romance in it, because although I did not miss it in this book, I would find it more fun to read about it in the next one;)

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What did you think of it? Please leave a comment 😉


  1. Stray
  2. Lab Rat One
  3. Caszandra

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I'm a student, avid reader and love to read books with shifters in it ;)

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