Life being what it is, I just haven’t managed to write up any kind of review for either Lab Rat One or Caszandra, the second and third books in Andrea K. Höst’s Touchstone trilogy. Today, I added comments to my Goodreads entry for the epilogue to this trilogy, so I thought I’d better say something here before posting that.
The bottom line is that I really loved this trilogy. It’s quick and pacey and has an engaging protagonist in Cass. I love a science fiction mystery, and there’s a lot of that in these books, which made me very happy. It’s also a good coming-of-age story that manages to touch on a bit of teenage angst (and every teenager has some) without dwelling on it. Instead, Cass is both realistic and at times self-deprecating and I really liked her for both those things.
I had been planning to read these two books alternating between the Liaden series, reading one of one, then one of the other and so on. Instead, I read straight through, buying Caszandra as soon as I finished Lab Rat One (or possibly a bit before) and then the Gratuitous Epilogue as soon as (or before) I finished Caszandra. I had to keep going and I had to know how it ended. Also, what happened after it ended.
This is really one story cut into three books, which means that there is next to no recap on previous volumes when you get to the next one. That’s fine if you’ve got a good memory, but I don’t, so if you’re like me, I recommend having all three books (and the epilogue) ready and waiting and keeping right on reading.
There are a few formatting errors in these self-published books, but they are very few and don’t interfere with the story. I am most impressed with Andrea K. Höst and I am sure I’ll be reading more of her books. In fact, I bought her latest, And All the Stars, on release day and I’m looking forward to reading it.
I hope that gives you a good idea of how much I really enjoyed these books and highly recommend the series. The first one is Stray and you need to begin there.