Stray-Touchstone Book 1 By: Andrea K. Host

The genre of the novel is a mix between science fiction and fantasy, easily appealing to those who like Ender's Game, 1984, and Fahrenheit 451.

Andrea K. Host

Andrea was born in Sweden, but raised in Townsville, Australia and currently lives in Sydney. She likes to spend time playing video games, reading, gardening, playing with her two cats Cinnamon and Pepper, and writing novels.

Her most prominent ambition is to possess a self-earning living, so she can spend more time writing and buy a property in the country where she wants to plant an maple orchard.

Stray is a book about Cassandra, a 17 year old from Sydney, who just finished her last final of high school when she walks through a wormhole to another dimension. She is alone on a new planet with nowhere to go, scared and alone. After weeks, two beings find and take her to civilization. She is tested on and these beings (later called Setari) call her a STRAY. The book is told by a first person point of view from a diary.


The primary conflict with this book is Cassandra's inner battle between trying to get back home and slowly becoming a Setari. She expresses her anger and disgusted thoughts on the reality of never coming back many times throughout the novel.

At the end of the book, Cass makes a very surprising choice by staying with the Setari instead of going home. This leads me to believe that the theme of the story is that sometimes the most obvious choice isn't always the right one, even when your heart tells you to do it.

There are many different vocabulary words in the book Stray. There's Setari, deep-space, stray, kasse, and Ionoth. A Setari is a psychic combat specialist on Ena that are trained from birth to defeat Ionoth. Ionoth are monsters that live in the deep-space. Deep-space is an area between dimensions that is filled with gates to other worlds. A kasse is 30 minutes on the planet Tare. A Stray is someone from a different planet that crawled through a wormhole to Tare.

One quote says "If a child is about to walk off a cliff, what is the point of saying that they lack wisdom and watch them fall?" (269). I think that this quote is trying to show that even when you tell someone that they can' do something, they'll still try to accomplish the task. At this point in the book, Cassandra is told many times that she is never going back home and she will have to become a Setari. She is very depressed by this fact and chooses not to believe it. It turns out that someone can take her home if she wishes. But on page 270 she says, "I can't go back to being me if I have to spend the rest of my life ashamed of myself." She now believes it is her duty to remain here as a Setari and protect the Tarians from the Ionoth. Cass decides then to remain at Ena forever. These quotes are ultimately what decides her fate; either going home and trying to forget that this ever happened, or staying on Tare, becoming a Setari, and then eventually become a resident of the planet.

There's only one main character in this book: Cassandra. The reason for this is that she is moved from group to group of Setari for training and only really bonds with one group called First Squad. In this Squad, there are 3 main characters who are all pretty different: Zee, Lohn, and Maze.

Zee-female with brown hair and eyes in her mid 20's who is very sassy and humorous, but when she's busy, she is very business-like and the others make fun of her for it.

Lohn- tall man with short, brown hair who is known as a flirt. He is very bossy and demanding; he doesn't like listening to others and what they have to say. Lohn is also in his mid 20's

Maze- Very burly man with a strong build and beard in his late 30's who is the leader of First Squad. He is a very capable Setari with many talents and is very nice and caring towards Cassandra. He lost his wife in action and is very sensitive since this event.

Cassandra- 17 year old female high school student who lives in Sydney, Australia. She is a very quirky and humorous

In my opinion, Stray is one of the best books I have ever read. I would recommend this book to anyone who has an imaginative mind since this book is pretty complicated and far out there. People who love sci-fi movies and shows would love this novel. Three words to describe this book would be Challenges, Loss, and Conflict because Cassandra faces many challenges in the book and she loses her entire family and way of life when she chooses to leave. I also said conflict because in the book there are many conflicts, internally and externally.

Andrea K Host's blog (Author Summary)-


Created with images by Unsplash - "night sky stars" • Thomas Depenbusch - "Australia" • nigelhowe - "Stars" • ZapTheDingbat - "Reading" • skeeze - "cat's eye nebula ngc 6543 cosmos" • ivanolambertucci - "background yellow floor"

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