Rebecca Crunden went to my book review request page and made a request! While I turned down the book she requested (a romance – which is why I made a page talking about what kinds of books I like), she also pointed out this book as something I might like. Without further adieu, here is my review for Crunden’s Dust & Lightning.
Dust & Lightning
Author: Rebecca Crunden
I love sci-fi, and this month I’ve read quite a bit of indie sci-fi books. This third entry to my indie book January promises to be an exciting trip through space.
This short book was very much a ride of excitement from beginning to end. The main characters, Ames and Violet, found each other quickly and were off on an adventure to save Ames’s brother, Callum. The book moved quickly and – had there not been a mild emergency occur IRL at 42% of the way through my reading – could easily be read in one sitting. The book reminded me a lot of the Schwarzenegger flick “Total Recall”.
Though the beginning did contain a lot of worldbuilding, the drive of the story came up relatively quickly, especially if you consider the brevity of the book. The worldbuilding did continue throughout, and while primarily done in a smooth manner, there were instances in which information was plopped in a large paragraph. Some of the science elements felt a bit off to me, but the premise of the electrical worms (no spoilers as to how they play into it further than that) was interesting enough for me to suspend disbelief.
The characters were interesting, and I think most of them had reasonable drive. Violet’s addition to the party was the strangest; I didn’t personally believe she had enough reason to go with Ames to save Callum, and I’m not sure how she acquired her skills.
While the story did wrap up the main plotline, it left a *lot* undone. I assume there will be follow ups because of how much was left open.
4/5 Discoball Snowcones
Because this book was pretty short, I’m not going to give big spoilers that destroy the ending. What I’ll do instead is talk about two aspects that were important but might give away too much of the book for someone who wants a clean and simple “no spoilers” review.
First: as mentioned above, there were electric worms. They were native to the planet Kilnin, and touching them could result in a deadly zap. The introduction of these little buggers was perfectly timed to set up what happened next: the use of the worms’ (genetics? I’m not sure on the specifics) abilities as applied to humans. The humans who got these powers were able to shoot and destroy stuff with their lightning powers. While I don’t really care about the powers in and of themselves, the setup and foreshadowing was well-done.
Other than that: Violet. She was a lawyer on the spaceship with her abusive husband, and Ames saved her from him. In return, she sticks with Ames and helps him free his brother from prison, etc., while risking her life and freedom to do so. Sure, rescuing her from an abusive situation is a really good thing, but I just didn’t feel like “dedicate my life to this guy immediately” was very reasonable. There were no other hints that she was one of those people who attaches herself too readily to another person. While she did have interesting skills and was essential to the book working out, her motivations eluded me.
It’s February, which means it’s time for a new theme! Stick around to see which three books I’m reading and why.