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4.5 53rd re read Still just as good It totally needs to be a Japanese TV series. Oh my gosh this book is driving me bananas Ruuel this and Ruuel that and waking up thinking of Ruuel and what is Ruuel doing I swear that his name is mentioned at least every other paragraph of this book I know the author wants us to realize that Ruuel is important but this is ridiculous, even for a teenager This review is going to be full of complaints wrongly or not Another thing that I m tired of is the constant headaches and falling asleep Then a long inner monologue about Ruuel, falling asleep, a dream, a headache, repeat, repeat, repeat If about 1 3 of these scenes were taken out and about 1 2 of the thinking about Ruuel, I would enjoy the book so much The plot was a good one when it wasn t bogged down with sleep, headaches and Ruuel The ending was good, so with the hope that the next book won t have the same problems I will be requesting it from library. July 2018 Love, love, love This world has grown on me so much I really appreciate how the first book is this narrow story of Cass learning about her new world, and once she becomes comfortable and accepts her place in it, the world widens Kolar Muina The Hidden War it s impressive stuff And because of the groundwork laid in book one, she also has of a support system in place to help her face everything I mean, it s Plotting 101, but it s also good writing AND THE CHARACTERS Cass, and Ruuel and Maze, and First and Fourth Squads in general, are so great They really do illustrate the balanced squads the Setari aim for I love how they bounce off their world especially the upheavals in their world in such a fundamentally human way, a way that reveals the decency or ego or nastiness that was always there Look at one thing that comes out of it that scene with Ninth and the watch where Ninth gets sent back to Tare to be reformed, which apparently was always necessary, but that Fifth and Seventh don t The powers that be know that Fifth and Seventh have an attitude problem but that they re effective, and it s not that the new kid on the block is exposing massive institutional problems that these smart people with their Sights should have seen long before Cass shows up It goes a long way to making Cass part of the world instead of this super special force that comes along and changes it It gives the world a weight and a centrality that do so much to make it real.And the way Cass thinks about everyone, and her place among them, and her relationships with them She likes Ruuel because he doesn t hesitate to criticize her She thinks Maze treats her like a little sister and is surprised, later, to find that people have seen that differently And there are all these little moments that are PERFECTLY in character and make me so happy Ruuel being woken up to get her from the bottom of the pool the way this scene is written is TOP NOTCH Ruuel being tough on Fourth in training to stop them from thinking about the show, which is the same tactic Mara uses on me when she thinks I m fretting, thinks Cass the diary format dovetails with her voice SO WELL the way every so often Cass takes a step back to really notice who she s hanging out with, like when Nils and Ruuel come to escort the intrepid girl reporter out and Cass notes that the girl is totally unfazed by six foot something, black suited, uber dangerous psychics Ruuel being the clutchee lol during the dreams I shouldn t laugh those dreams are disturbing in a really good way Ruuel and Taarel going through Sights training, with the Kalrani s commentary notice a theme here Like Melissa said in her review of the series, naturally, I am completely in love with Kaoren Ruuel He s such a specific, compelling character from the moment he first shows up, when he uses Symbol Sight to interpret Cass s lab rat t shirt He s so entirely himself and at the same time demonstrates why the stereotype persists he s grim and broody and keeps to himself, but it s because of Place and Sight Sight, which grounds his character It also allows me to really believe that he and Cass can make a go of it, considering how abrupt their relationship is because that physicality is established as so meaningful in advance.And because Ruuel is so specific, he moves beyond that wish fulfillment type and becomes part of the even better wish fulfillment of finding someone whose flaws exactly complement yours IT S JUST SO WELL DONE And then there are Lohn and Nils and Zan and Mara and Mori and Glade and Taarel and Eeli and Els Harel and I JUST LOVE EVERYONE Except for Fifth, Seventh, and Ninth Squads, I guess March 2013 This one is initially the same old, same old, predictable story, but the dream revelation shook it up quite a bit Interestingly, the writing is strongest when Cass is afraid She comes across as human, as less of an impartial narrator of a strange world I really liked those scenes they were exactly the right sort of disturbing and I loved the leak Way to break it up And I predicted that final scene, although its swift progression, as it were, surprised me a little And what is that ending Hint it s not an ending at all Off to purchase Caszandra immediately. Ahhhhhh THAT ENDING 3 3 3 3On to Book 3. 5 5 5 stars A This was a great instalment in the Touchstone Trilogy We learned about Cassandra s psychic talents and the ongoing war against the lonoth and massives The mystery of the planet Muina and various evil goings on was expanded I really enjoyed the further development of Cassandra s character as well as those around her I found her obsessing over her love interest really annoying but the context of an 18 year old it was probably a pretty accurate representation of what she would put in her diary Thanks to Goodreads Reread function I no longer have to mark in my review that this is the millionth time I m reading this10th Read 03 07 17I m not sure if I should continue to include the times read in the body of my review or not, thanks to the lovely new re read function.9th Read 12 16 168th Read 09 28 167th Read 07 07 166th Read 1 9 16I seriously read this series entirely too much, it s a weird comfort food thing, when I m sick or melancholy or bored This is a new record for me though, I don t think I ever read an entire series again in less than 3 months That s just weird, even for me I think because this series and H st s writing in general is so intricate and complex that it never gets old 5th Read 8 18 154th Read 5 31 153rd read 03 03 152nd Read 08 28 14Original Read 02 7 14 My favorite thing One of the newly introduced secondary characters is named Inisar Can I just say that I have been called this so many times that I burst out laughing and had an immediate connection with this guy I so wish he had a bigger role in the story though he may yet in Book 3 I enjoyed this second book in the Touchstone series almost as much as Book 1 Cass is the kind of person who rolls with the punches She doesn t make a big fuss except when she really has to, and even then, she isn t throwing a hissy fit I really kind of wanted her to throw a hissy fit at one point granted, she almost did, which is saying a lot for her I also wanted her to start taking agency in her story, instead of passively going where pointed She did this once in a big way, brilliantly, but I wanted But you see I still gave this story four stars because, frankly, my preferences are my preferences Who am I to ding an author for writing a character who s true to herself And Cass is true to herself, and she s a very like able self And man, things just keep happening in this story, and her powers just keep changing and building andwhew That poor girl is best friends with the medical peeps, and not because she likes them.I am holding out hope that Cass is going to start taking charge of her life, or at least taking a active role, in the next book Also, loved the romance line that Cass had an internal fight against herself rather hopelessly for the whole book yeah for slow burn romances SoLab Rat Oneshows how Cass finds her own place in Tare and Setari life, how she manages to balance cooperation and communication of her own needs so that the Setari have an interest in accommodating her wishes as a matter of fact she cooperates a whole lot because she has common sense enough to know that she wouldn t have survived long on Muina on her own although she can be annoyed at the testing and exasperated, going as far as decorating her clothes with a drawing of a lab rat , and while the tests and the inclusion into Setari work are dangerous, they are dangerous for the Setari, too Some of them start building a personal relationship with Cass.There s this one guy very repressed to everyone, not just Cass, very perfectionist who was one of the two Setari who found her and who saves Cass from making a mistake and letting the memory dream space monsters the Ionoth, which the Setari fight into Earth space when she dreams herself into her old home After that he starts being someone she is very aware of and grows to long to be with, but Cass is shy and she s starting to be empathetic I think she NEEDs to become so, because her life now depends on interpreting what others want from her she realizes that he is NOT interested, and that his powers make him aware of her longing and he avoids her This is one of my kink buttons, because that s exactly what I did as a teenager fall in love with one guy and only getting my nerve together to confess to him after knowing him for roughly two and a half years And when he wasn t interested, trying and succeeding in elegantly fading into the background I don t believe in forcing your love onto people who aren t interested I would have been as mortified about Cass s dream powers, as she was.So Cass slowly develops various personal friendships, the Setari and Tare slowly realise how important her powers are and the stakes get higher with the work she does, which leads to recuperation in sickbay Her increased skill in the development of her powers and the outward threat of the Ionoth led by the self aware Crutzach who don t seem to be memories or dreams eventually lead to her kidnapping, to Cass accidentally paving the way to opening Muina for resettlement and discovery of major bits of the problematic past for Tare, their fellow former Muinans Kolar and Nura This will become another fascinating strand of the story discovery, research and resettlement of Muina.During that time there is this subtle giving of agency to Cass, of her not feeling so totally at the mercy of her rescuers, but being of value Of being able to speak the language well enough that she can back up her complaints about certain ways she is treated with explanations and of another really quite nice Setari becoming interested in her At the end of Lab Rat One at the end of half a year of Cass living on Tare the boy she has fallen so deeply for finally changes his mind about what he wants he had fallen for her much later, but very deeply and he never had that deep a relationship before and his exacting standards didn t really like what his emotions did to him it reminded me a bit of the idea of the original Spock being in love , very uncomfortable feeling.I like the fact that neither Cass nor Kaoren Ruuel change a lot for the other, really They just find to their surprise that they fit far better than either of them thought, that the other can give them a level of emotional support that they haven t had before Cass powers seem to lighten the load that Ruuel s sight powers give him, and for Cass the total devotion that the single mindedness of Ruuel brings into their love removes most of her loneliness She really comes first with him which his teenage sister can t handle at all, really Also, he may be arrogant of nature, but time has tempered that even before he met Cass, and she doesn t mind his willingness to excel as long as he doesn t force her to do the same. 4 18 18 re read I just love this series so much I really needed it now and can t wait to read the fifth book SO GOOD Original review follows Second book of only, unfortunately, a trilogy I picked up the first book because it was offered for free on the Kindle and read it because a friend of mine did the same thing and read it and LOVED it She raved so much, I moved it up in my queue of books to read and then immediately picked up the rest of the trilogy and the Gratuitous Epilogue One of the rare times I have been thankful for an eReader so I could indulge in instant gratification Also one of the rare times a free book on Kindle was so fantastic that I am going to get all of her other books and read them as soon as possible Seriously, check this series out Just try the first one and I promise you, you will be hooked I HATE sagas that go on forever, even after the author has died, but this trilogy is so amazing, I kind of wish it went on forever Kind of like how I felt about Harry Potter after I finished reading it This is a bucket list book trilogy to read Re read it It s still amazing ^FREE PDF ☠ Lab Rat One ↾ Part Of The Touchstone Trilogy In The Months Since Cassandra Devlin Walked Off Earth Onto Another Planet, She Has Grappled With Everything From Making Blankets To Helping Psychics Battle The Memories Of Monsters Not Able To Find A Way Home, She Has Instead Gained Friends And A Purpose Unfortunately, That Purpose Brings With It The Pressure Of Being Than A Little Valuable, And Those She Has Befriended Are Also Her Guards, Ordered To Explore And Control Her Abilities To Find Out Just What It Is A Touchstone Can DoTest Subject Was Not The Career Path Cass Had Been PlanningWith No Privacy, Too Frequent Injuries, And The Painful Knowledge That She Must Always Be An Assignment To Her Setari Companions, Cass Can Only Wish For Some Semblance Of Normality And ControlAnd As Her Abilities Become And Dangerous, Tests And Training May Be The Only Thing Capable Of Protecting Cass From Herself