Audiobook Review: Understanding The Stars X. Culletto


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Understanding The Stars
X. Culletto
Narrator: Lori Prince
Publisher: Xela Culleto
Publication Date: March 23, 2017
Genre: Science Fiction

Alexandra Blackwood is minding her own troubled life when she unknowingly gets caught up in an extraterrestrial conflict. Ronan, a human with his own alien-entangled past, has been keeping an eye on her and sets out to help her escape looming abduction, and maybe win her heart.



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In this debut novel, Understanding the Stars creates a remarkable story of young love, alien technology, and loss.

We meet Alexandra, a high school senior working part-time as a pizza delivery driver and dealing with the normal teenage angst. Her life is turned upside down after one delivery that is outside of the mileage range. She learns she has been the subject of an involuntary alien research experiment. Swept into an unexpected romance and surrounded by imminent threats, the story chronicles one teen's encounter with aliens and and ensuing mayhem around a forbidden relationship.

This story has the general theme  most young adults seem to enjoy - handsome boy comes into to rescue the beautiful girl. Culletto has written a well-developed story, filled with interesting plots and characters.  I am not a sci-fi fan. However, this book has sparked an interest in the genre.  I enjoyed the brief introduction to alien technology. Though, I would have liked for the book to delve deeper into the mechanics of the "tracker". I loved the virtual reality technology introduced in the book. The pace of the book was “just right.”

The narrator does use different "voices" to help the listener know who is speaking. However, I really didn't like the inflection used for Alex, which was alien-like and monotone.

Intelligent and scientifically modest, Understanding The Stars  is a fascinating young adult, science fiction story.
Literary Apothecary Rating 
Overall ★★★1/2
Performance ★★★
Story ★★★★

Disclosure: I received a copy of this audiobook from the author in exchange for an honest review.




About Xela
Xela is a working mother of three, living in the Utah. She teaches secondary English and after talking to students for years about following their dreams and doing whatever it takes to achieve them, she decided to take her own advice and complete her lifelong goal of writing a novel. The idea of life on other planets has always fascinated her, and she wondered what they would think of humanity, which is what spawned the idea for the plot of "Understanding the Stars". When she’s not playing with her kids, or sorting through the endless laundry, you'll find her watching The Walking Dead, horseback riding, or working on her next book.
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About Lori

Lori Prince is a classically trained actor with a BFA from Syracuse University. She has performed Off-Broadway as well as at top regional theaters including; The Denver Center, Alliance Theater Company and PlayMakers Repertory Company among others. She has also appeared on Television in Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU and Are We There Yet?. Her voice work includes various characters in the feature film Epic, as well as additional dialogue recorded for over 50 feature films and TV shows.
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