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The Streams bind together the vast reaches of the stellar tributary, plied by brave streamsurfers and their telepathic starbeasts. Some of these adventurers are heroes. Some are rogues. And some just want to return from the void with their bodies and minds unbroken . . . Kerin thon Talisien is the heir to a legendary name. When he was a young boy, his grandfather swooped do The Streams bind together the vast reaches of the stellar tributary, plied by brave streamsurfers and their telepathic starbeasts. Some of these adventurers are heroes. Some are rogues. And some just want to return from the void with their bodies and minds unbroken . . . Kerin thon Talisien is the heir to a legendary name. When he was a young boy, his grandfather swooped down from the stars and rescued him from the slums of his homeworld. But with the death of the infamous old streamsurfer, Kerin and his crew have fallen on hard times, exiled from the Starfarers Guild and forced to take on risky contracts in the shadowy margins of the stellar tributary. A strange encounter in a glimmer den offers a chance at redemption and glory . . . but the stakes are high, with the fate of the Known potentially hanging in the balance.


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The Streams bind together the vast reaches of the stellar tributary, plied by brave streamsurfers and their telepathic starbeasts. Some of these adventurers are heroes. Some are rogues. And some just want to return from the void with their bodies and minds unbroken . . . Kerin thon Talisien is the heir to a legendary name. When he was a young boy, his grandfather swooped do The Streams bind together the vast reaches of the stellar tributary, plied by brave streamsurfers and their telepathic starbeasts. Some of these adventurers are heroes. Some are rogues. And some just want to return from the void with their bodies and minds unbroken . . . Kerin thon Talisien is the heir to a legendary name. When he was a young boy, his grandfather swooped down from the stars and rescued him from the slums of his homeworld. But with the death of the infamous old streamsurfer, Kerin and his crew have fallen on hard times, exiled from the Starfarers Guild and forced to take on risky contracts in the shadowy margins of the stellar tributary. A strange encounter in a glimmer den offers a chance at redemption and glory . . . but the stakes are high, with the fate of the Known potentially hanging in the balance.

30 review for The Shadows of Dust

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    https://www.bookwormblues.net/2021/01... First of all, LOOK AT THAT COVER. LOOK AT IT. Isn’t it great? Okay, now that that’s out of the way… Alec Hutson’s email seeing if I was available for an edit came through at the exact moment I was buying all his books off Amazon. Talk about timing. I’m a big fan of Hutson. He has a knack for worldbuilding that I’ve always really admired, but it wasn’t until I was editing this book that I realized just how good at worldbuilding he really is. The Shadows of Dust https://www.bookwormblues.net/2021/01... First of all, LOOK AT THAT COVER. LOOK AT IT. Isn’t it great? Okay, now that that’s out of the way… Alec Hutson’s email seeing if I was available for an edit came through at the exact moment I was buying all his books off Amazon. Talk about timing. I’m a big fan of Hutson. He has a knack for worldbuilding that I’ve always really admired, but it wasn’t until I was editing this book that I realized just how good at worldbuilding he really is. The Shadows of Dust continually blew my mind. I can absolutely say there is literally nothing else in the fantasy genre that is like this book, and that is the best possible compliment. In fact, I don’t even think this is fantasy. Or, it is, but it’s not. It’s not SciFi either. It’s its very own genre and boy howdy, do I feel some kinship with authors that create their own genres (*glares meaningfully at her own books*). I’ve read a bajillion books, and I’ve never read another like this. Considering how much I read and how much I edit, that’s really saying something quite meaningful. Do not take that lightly. And here’s the beauty of it. You can prepare yourself for different all you want, but I guarantee that you won’t prepare yourself enough for just how different and wonderful this book actually is. There’s just no girding yourself for what you’ll get in The Shadows of Dust. I mean, what genre does space surfing dudes on the backs of gigantic telepathic turtles and squid belong in? Have you ever heard of such a thing? Because I sure haven’t. If that doesn’t sound awesome enough, you’ve got anthropomorphic characters here, space pirates, ancient magic and feuds that span eons, empires clashing, and so much more. I mean, I don’t know what genre this book is, but it’s absolutely fantastic from bottom to top. Kerin thon Talisien is an out-for himself mercenary who plies the stellar tributaries on the back of his gigantic, telepathically linked turtle, Drifter. Things happen, and he ends up with an unexpected companion who makes him question everything. Plus, now he’s the target of a lich (which, trust me, is as FREAKING AWESOME as that sounds. This lich became my book boyfriend. I professed my undying love of him in my editorial comments.). Together, they end up on a planet called Dust, while they attempt to regroup and learn about some ancient artifacts that have suddenly become bound up in their story. On Dust, everything kind of explodes. The book changes from being a story about a guy in this situation, and moves to being about a clash of empires, ancient civilizations, religion, ghosts, armies, and so much more. I mean, this book is EPIC. But more than that, what I loved so much here, was that Hutson didn’t really sacrifice anything for anything else. What I mean by this is, he didn’t sacrifice worldbuilding for characters, and he didn’t sacrifice characters for his magic system and the like. (And the fact that he managed all this without infodumps still blows my mind.) Every element was perfectly balanced, and due to this, the reader is left with this really interesting book that is both one of the most epic stories I’ve ever read, and also one of the most intimate. Kerin is a character that grows as the novel progresses, and I truly enjoyed seeing his more personal journey, the transformation of the relationships that are core to this book. The way his past impacts who he is in this novel, and who he ends up being by the novel’s end. Furthermore, there are nuances to each of the characters, even the secondary ones, that I just dug. There is no laughing, maniacal evil guy here. Hutson does a great job at showing how each side feels justified in their aims, and while you will inevitably sympathize with some more than others, he does an amazing job at humanizing everyone’s stories, even those who seem a bit beyond humanization. Hutson has a knack for plot and pacing. There’s never a moment in this book that drags. There were quite a few times when I was saying, “just one more chapter…” as I was editing and before I knew it, the entire day had slid right past me, and I still couldn’t pull myself away from the book. No, I’ll go even further. There were vast stretches of this book I got so completely absorbed in, I literally forgot to edit. So in all reality, I think I’ve probably read The Shadows of Dust at least three times due to that. I mean, this sucker starts going and it just does not quit until the end. And then… that ending! I was left reeling, and I instantly sent an email to Hutson, “Please, for the love of god, tell me THERE IS MORE.” If you’ve read Hutson’s previous work, expect the same high quality, but that is just about where similarities end. There’s nothing about The Shadows of Dust that is like anything else on the market, and that’s only part of what makes it such a strong work. There’s vision here, scope, fantastic writing, a shocking amount of depth, and a relentless plot that grabs you by the throat and refuses to let go. The Shadows of Dust was one of the best books I have ever edited. It really knocked my socks off. I spent most of my time working on this book reeling, because the entire thing is just so POWERFULLY UNIQUE. I am always looking for a book that is truly in a class of its own. I long for the stories that are different in just about every respect. Give me space mercinaries on flying telepathic turtles. Give me lich armies. Give me ancient magic and long, lost civilizations. Give me ghosts, and clashing empires on some oddball planet. Give me a plot that refuses to let go. Give me dynamic, nuanced characters. Give me The Shadows of Dust.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dustin

    4.5⭐️ I already knew that Alec Hutson was a talented writer from his fantasy trilogy The Raveling, starting with the excellent The Crimson Queen. I was still pleasantly surprised with this unique book that is part epic space opera, part swashbuckling adventure story. Highly entertaining, this bold departure from his previous books is set in a universe where starfarers called streamsurfers pilot star beasts, like giant turtles and other creatures through stellar streams that connect star systems a 4.5⭐️ I already knew that Alec Hutson was a talented writer from his fantasy trilogy The Raveling, starting with the excellent The Crimson Queen. I was still pleasantly surprised with this unique book that is part epic space opera, part swashbuckling adventure story. Highly entertaining, this bold departure from his previous books is set in a universe where starfarers called streamsurfers pilot star beasts, like giant turtles and other creatures through stellar streams that connect star systems and planet clusters. This universe is EPIC, with undead Lich sorcerors, giant battle Kraken, and massive empires ruled by god-like figures. The world building is great and is achieved cleverly, without giant info dumps. This universe and the peoples in it seems extremely natural and believable. The plot was thrilling and the pacing, although slowing down at times, always kept me engaged. I loved the characters, especially Drifter, the giant turtle mentioned above. He has his own personality for sure, and I loved his bond with Kerin, the main protagonist and adventurous streamsurfer. At the time I’m reviewing this book, it only has 66 ratings on Goodreads, nearly all favorable. I really hope people check this self-published gem out, and enable Hutson to write more books based in the Stellar Tributary. It’s a world with unlimited potential in my opinion, and Alec Hutson is the writer with the skill and imagination to maximize it. Props to another phenomenal cover from the duo of Felix Ortiz and Shawn King. They killed it with this one. Amazing editing by Sarah Chorn, who also edited Dragon Mage by M.L. Spencer, another great book. She is on a freaking roll to put it mildly.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Adah Udechukwu

    The Shadows of Dust was pretty nice and action-packed.

  4. 5 out of 5

    M.L. Spencer

    This book is really unique and really amazing, an elaborate potpourri of diverse tropes united into a spectacular, mesmerizing work told by an expert storycrafter. I first heard of Alec Hutson when I returned to the world of fantasy after a years-long sabbatical. At the time, The Crimson Queen was topping the charts, neck-and-neck with The White Tower by Michael Wiseheart. I watched Hutson win the coveted Readers’ Favorite Award for Epic Fantasy and become a Finalist in SPBFO. So, basically, I ca This book is really unique and really amazing, an elaborate potpourri of diverse tropes united into a spectacular, mesmerizing work told by an expert storycrafter. I first heard of Alec Hutson when I returned to the world of fantasy after a years-long sabbatical. At the time, The Crimson Queen was topping the charts, neck-and-neck with The White Tower by Michael Wiseheart. I watched Hutson win the coveted Readers’ Favorite Award for Epic Fantasy and become a Finalist in SPBFO. So, basically, I came to know of Alec Hutson as a truly successful independent author, the kind I aspired to be. It wasn’t until just this year that I actually read his novels. I commenced a COVID-inspired gardening project over the summer and picked up Hutson’s The Raveling audio bundle to listen to as I worked in the yard. I soon found myself totally consumed with it, yard work be damned. It was everything I ever wanted in a fantasy series: absolutely epic with a sprawling world of such depth and nuance that it left me breathless. Hutson had the most tangible, well-researched world I’ve ever read outside of Erikson. He is a true wordsmith whose prose is elegant and lyrical. To say I became an Alec Hutson fan was an understatement. So of course I jumped at a chance to read an Advanced Copy of The Shadows of Dust. I admit, after reading the first chapter, I was shook. This was not the Alec Hutson novel I was expecting. The Shadows of Dust is a radical departure from The Crimson Queen and, indeed, from classic epic fantasy in general. It'd go so far as to say it's an entirely different genre. The novel takes place in space, but it’s not really science fiction either. The spaceship is basically a space-swimming turtle that harkens back to Pratchet’s Diskworld novels. There’s tons of magic and alien races and so many other REALLY COOL amazing things… …and I still don’t know what genre this book fits into. All I know is that it works. It works really, really well. This wasn’t the Alec Hutson I was used to or expecting. But once I got over my initial shock and started reading, I found myself truly absorbed. So, let’s talk about it. Basically, the story is about a streamsurfer, Kerin thon Talisien, who plies the stellar tributaries on his telepathic starbeast, a giant, space-faring turtle named Drifter. They pick up some passengers, most notably a young slave girl who had served several years as a pain conduit in a temple. Yeah. That sounds bad. It is. Anyway, stuff hits the fan in a very big way when they run into giant, space-lurking lich-dragons, elder races, powerful artifacts of long-vanished societies, resistance forces fighting an evil empire, potent wizards, and mysterious, long-lost acquaintances with shadowy pasts. That’s a pretty heady mixture, and it makes for a very potent plot. Even though The Shadows of Dust is a dramatic departure from Hutson’s previous work, it still shines for the same reasons. The worldbuilding is breathtaking. The Streams, the ancient alien civilizations that chose to ascend, the artifacts they left behind, ghostly spacefaring liches imbued with tremendous alien power, temples, empires… it goes on and on. Hutson’s universe has a pretty tremendous scope. I really hope this becomes a series because the universe simply seems too sprawling, too well thought-out to be contained in just one novel. As in The Raveling, Hutson’s characters are easy to care about. I became instantly attached to Drifter the starbeast-turtle. I mean, who wouldn’t love such a thing? Kerin, the protagonist, is telepathically bonded to Drifter the same way Anne McCaffrey’s dragons were bonded to their riders. His companion, Nala, is of a race of cat-like people that remind me of the khajiit of The Elder Scrolls. And, of course, she’s a battlemage. A cat-woman battlemage is, in my book, pretty badass. Then there is Sep, the poor waif that is a former pain-conduit. You really can’t find a more sympathetic character than that. And she winds up in trouble right away, with an ancient alien artifact-weapon grafted to her. There’s a ton of magic in this book, so you really can’t call this a science fiction novel, which is why I’m leaning toward science fantasy. Other works that do this kind of blend well that come to mind are Dune and, of course, Star Wars (not many people think of the Force as fantasy magic, but it is, and the Jedi are basically sorcerers). But this goes even more into the fantastical then either of those, so it’s hard to peg as science fiction. I think I’ll leave pinning this novel to a specific genre up to greater minds than me. The action sequences—and they’re a ton of them—are exciting and well-written. They never drag, never get too detailed or bogged down in description. They kept me engaged, the pages flying through my hands. This book really had so many cool things going for it, I could probably go on for another three or four pages, but this review has already gotten pretty long, so I think I should probably wrap it up. So. As you can probably tell, I loved the book. I thought it was a truly amazing and unique piece of fantastical science fiction, and I urge you to read it. I bet you’ll love it too. It has so many elements that come from so many diverse subgenres…. In the hands of anyone but an expert storycrafter, this work could have easily turned into a Frankensteined disaster. But in the hands of Alec Hutson, The Shadows of Dust stands apart as a monument to what is possible within the realms of speculative fiction.

  5. 4 out of 5

    nixitN

    This is my first book of this year that I read mainly because of the cover. But this year I already planned to read book(s) from Alec Hutson. (Because last year I've already added his The Raveling series to my to-read list.) In short it was a very good book! What I love (adventure, exciting, humor and friendship) was all in the story. Kerin is a very human and strong main character. I really liked him for his actions. True he makes a lot of mistakes and he’s not always sure of his decisions, but This is my first book of this year that I read mainly because of the cover. But this year I already planned to read book(s) from Alec Hutson. (Because last year I've already added his The Raveling series to my to-read list.) In short it was a very good book! What I love (adventure, exciting, humor and friendship) was all in the story. Kerin is a very human and strong main character. I really liked him for his actions. True he makes a lot of mistakes and he’s not always sure of his decisions, but that makes the story very exciting. But of course he isn't alone because there is Nala (the kyrathi), Drifter (the starbeast and his old friend) and Tessa (his childhood friend) next to him whom he can always count on in trouble. “This isn’t a game, Kerin! If you want to survive you need to keep your head down. No one will care about you if you’re just a random streamsurfer, an old friend of mine from a previous life. But keep talking loudly here, of all places, and you’ll bring down attention you do not want, I promise you.” As I mentioned, this is an exciting story. From the beginning, Kerin gets into trouble, instead of he fulfilling the lich king’s request, he eventually fights to save the life of a poor girl. If that weren’t enough, the resistance will organize against Mandati on the Dust. I don’t think Kerin would have thought that the work accepted would plunge him and his friends into so much conflict and excitement. Even though it’s a standalone story, I have to say a lot of things happened in it. The story, the world and the characters are very well structured as well. Information about the characters' past is constantly being revealed. The world of the story is stunning, it quickly dragged me into it. The basic idea was unique, at least it could offer me something new. “I would say . . . around one hundred. Kerin fumbled with his spyglass, nearly dropping it. A hundred? A hundred war krakens? My estimate is on the lower end. I was trying not to depress you. That . . . is an armada. We’re being pursued by the largest Mandate fleet in the tributary. Yes. Congratulations. None of your ancestors ever managed to aggravate an entire interstellar empire before. It’s really quite impressive.” Still, it’s not really a hilarious story, but I have to point out in particular Kerin and Drifter's dialogues are very funny. Drifter caused me a lot of joyful moments. Well it's worth reading the book because of him. Finally I have to say I don’t feel the story is closed. I want even more! Kerin's adventure can't end like this!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    The Shadows of Dust is an interstellar, imaginative adventure of epic proportion. You will absolutely love this story if you are fans of science fantasy (fantasy novels based in outer space), fans of Star Wars, or anything of the sort, for this novel drags you along the nebulas and the stellar tributary and doesn’t let you go. It follows a hero named Kerin and his starbeast Drifter as they escape from a Lich with a very important and impressive ancient artifact. The novel centers around truly un The Shadows of Dust is an interstellar, imaginative adventure of epic proportion. You will absolutely love this story if you are fans of science fantasy (fantasy novels based in outer space), fans of Star Wars, or anything of the sort, for this novel drags you along the nebulas and the stellar tributary and doesn’t let you go. It follows a hero named Kerin and his starbeast Drifter as they escape from a Lich with a very important and impressive ancient artifact. The novel centers around truly understanding this artifact and harnessing its power before it’s too late and it falls into the hands of others. Unfortunately for Kerin, this proves much more dangerous and difficult to do than originally planned. The result? An epic tale filled with long-lost love interests, a planet taut with tension and on the precipice of political warfare, self-proclaimed gods battling with the undead acquaintances, assassins, ghosts, and shadows of an ancient civilization drowning in a sea of misfortune and anguish as they are stuck in a limbo of sorts. My favorite aspect of this novel is the idea of starbeasts. Essentially, starbeasts are massive (and I mean massive) animals that are bonded with humans who surf the interstellar tributary (the waterways of the universe). Kerin and Drifter’s relationship is well-developed and Drifter has a personality all his own, which I like to see (often times this can be avoided). Another great thing about this book is the prose. It reads really fast and I was able to finish this book in no time. The vocabulary used is great and the author doesn’t overwhelm us with magical terms that cannot be determined from context. The plot is great and the hierarchy of power is well thought out. I loved the attention to detail in the depiction of life on Dust. From the little fox creatures to the terrorist organizations that want to underhand those in power, the author does a great job of making this universe of his come to life. It’s crucial to note that he doesn’t inundate us with unnecessary information, which can often happen in novels in such epic proportions as this one; rather, the main story focuses on Dust and we get an intimate view of one planet in the system of the universe. While other systems and planets are mentioned, these are all tangential, and I can see this universe opening up in the subsequent books in the series. Yes, that definitely means the ending can lead to more, however, the first book, in general, is wholly-developed and well-concluded. Definitely give this book a read-through if you want something that is genre-bending and one that will take you to a completely different universe.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sundeep

    https://learnbyexample.github.io/esca... A riveting space fantasy epic. A standalone, though I'd be surprised if we don't get more books set in this expansive universe. And has a single POV. I wonder if there are other such gems out there waiting to be read that also meet these three criteria. Having read 'The Raveling' series before, I had high expectations for this book and it was indeed enjoyable. I especially liked the ending, a sweeter experience for me since one of my predictions at the star https://learnbyexample.github.io/esca... A riveting space fantasy epic. A standalone, though I'd be surprised if we don't get more books set in this expansive universe. And has a single POV. I wonder if there are other such gems out there waiting to be read that also meet these three criteria. Having read 'The Raveling' series before, I had high expectations for this book and it was indeed enjoyable. I especially liked the ending, a sweeter experience for me since one of my predictions at the start turned out to be true. Pacing was nice and steady for the most part. Writing was easy to follow and descriptions gave a vivid picture of the universe. Character wise, I liked the flawed main POV character and crew members. Magical bond with creatures is a favorite trope of mine - when said bond is a massive flying turtle with an awesome personality, what more do you need? Single POV was refreshing to read for such a huge setting, but I do wish we had other POVs so that I could relate to those characters better. Can't have both ways :D There's lot of mysteries left to reader's imaginations (the book wouldn't have worked as a standalone otherwise). But, there's a fair bit of on screen plot elements that don't get a closure as well. So, here's to hoping for more content :)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I order this book. I had loved Hutson’s The Raveling trilogy, and I was really, really, keen to get my hands on the sequel trilogy - The Shadows of Dust is not the first book in the sequel trilogy (still a WIP at this stage I believe) - but it was a novel by Alec Hutson, so it automatically goes on my intsa-buys list. (Side note: and have you seen this cover by Felix Ortiz? Wow!). I’d heard some good things about it and read that it is not a straight fantasy I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I order this book. I had loved Hutson’s The Raveling trilogy, and I was really, really, keen to get my hands on the sequel trilogy - The Shadows of Dust is not the first book in the sequel trilogy (still a WIP at this stage I believe) - but it was a novel by Alec Hutson, so it automatically goes on my intsa-buys list. (Side note: and have you seen this cover by Felix Ortiz? Wow!). I’d heard some good things about it and read that it is not a straight fantasy but more a space fantasy, a la Roger Zelazny’s Amber series. Once I was very much a purist, I have found I am becoming less so these days, so I figured what the hell? It is a Hutson book; I’ll give it a go. It took me a while to get around to trying it - but once I did, I couldn’t put it down. This book is fantastic, and I didn’t want it to end. Anyone who’s read my reviews before will note that I tend to wax lyrical about world-building. Give me a book that has a setting I want to know everything about, a stage on which I would devour any book set upon, and you have won me over. In this novel, in this world/universe, Hutson has done just that. All the things I dig about epic fantasy, magic, battles, a vast canvas of history and politics, intrigue, (alien) cultures and religions, is all here. In spades. And without info dumps detracting from the essence of the story, or the characters you are journeying with. As with characters in The Raveling, the cast of The Shadows of Dust is easy to connect with and invest in. One of the best is Drifter, the starfaring, sentient, space turtle who serves as both bonded friend and ‘spaceship’ to Kerin thon Taliesin, the flawed but relatable hero of the story. I adored this book, and I cannot wait for more stories set in this universe with Kerin, Drifter and crew. In fact, I am not sure now if I want the next book Hutson writes to be the sequel to The Raveling or if I want another Streams novel instead. But whatever Hutson’s next book is I will be sure to read it asap. If you are not reading Alec Hutson, you are missing out.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Alec Hutson

    My new book. Space fantasy in the vein of Spelljammer - very fun to write.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jon Adams

    Excellent.

  11. 5 out of 5

    ERossi

    If you want something with amazing world-building, characters to get invested in, and that won't make you depressed, well you're in luck! I had quit reading for a while and was looking for a fun, fast-paced, interesting book to get back into it. Luckily I stumbled into this one! If you want something with amazing world-building, characters to get invested in, and that won't make you depressed, well you're in luck! I had quit reading for a while and was looking for a fun, fast-paced, interesting book to get back into it. Luckily I stumbled into this one!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Arty

    One of my favorite Authors, Will Wight, recommended Alec Hutson to his readers on his blog. He gave an absolutely glowing review of Alec's other books, starting with The Crimson Queen. So I gave those books a shot. Man, ya'll. They were good. I mean...they were Name of the Wind-Harry Potter good. So obviously this man Alec became one of my new favs. His books are well paced, well thought out, his characters feel like real people. This man is a natural story teller. Goodness gracious, his books One of my favorite Authors, Will Wight, recommended Alec Hutson to his readers on his blog. He gave an absolutely glowing review of Alec's other books, starting with The Crimson Queen. So I gave those books a shot. Man, ya'll. They were good. I mean...they were Name of the Wind-Harry Potter good. So obviously this man Alec became one of my new favs. His books are well paced, well thought out, his characters feel like real people. This man is a natural story teller. Goodness gracious, his books blew me away. So give this author a shot, I mean it. There is one little complaint I have, in both this book, The Shadows of Dust and in his other series, there are two little girl side characters that drive me nuts. I mean, they really got under my skin. (Ya'll this is going to make me sound like an animal) I really, really do not care for stupid, annoying children in books. They make stupid decisions that stall the main character or cause unneeded conflict. Many times, it feels like these scenes could be cut out and the story wouldn't be any different. I grew up with younger siblings that drove me crazy with the dumb things they did. I think the annoyance I feel at these two child characters is a call back to my own childhood. But please, do not let my dysfunction stop you from reading this book and his other series. They really are worth it!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    Recommended This was a good book. Kerin is surprisingly human. He’s flawed, but he’s still likable. The action was awesome, the world building superb, and I had a great time reading this. I look forward to many more books!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Chris Puntoni

    First installment of a new series by an author worth devouring. This story is quite different from 'The Raveling' series and sets off on a different exploration of a personal story within a galactic scope. The main characters are intriguing, each in different ways with histories and challenges unique and curious, and the plot moves as the characters develop with satisfaction for both interests. Many recognizable tropes, but what makes this a standout is the quality of the writing - the descripti First installment of a new series by an author worth devouring. This story is quite different from 'The Raveling' series and sets off on a different exploration of a personal story within a galactic scope. The main characters are intriguing, each in different ways with histories and challenges unique and curious, and the plot moves as the characters develop with satisfaction for both interests. Many recognizable tropes, but what makes this a standout is the quality of the writing - the description and vocabulary used, the fullness of the written experience. I am always fully immersed in Hutson's stories and enjoy them so much more because of it. Kerin has much to live up to, aided by his telepathic and deeply trusting relationship with his streamsurfing star turtle, his crew, a new rescue and an old friend. The merry band faces trouble ahead while staying just ahead of the trouble behind. Add in some magic, make some popcorn and get ready for a delicious ride.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rachael Dunn

    The Shadows of Dust is more fantasy than sci-fi, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Who couldn’t like a huge sentient turtle that was also a starship? It was an incredible, thrilling, swashbuckling good read that I absolutely devoured. I was glad to see similar elements from Alec Hutson’s series the Raveling, like an oppressive light-based religion, sinister shadow people, and powerful, colossal creatures, almost as if the Shadows of Dust was just the Raveling in the far future. I The Shadows of Dust is more fantasy than sci-fi, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Who couldn’t like a huge sentient turtle that was also a starship? It was an incredible, thrilling, swashbuckling good read that I absolutely devoured. I was glad to see similar elements from Alec Hutson’s series the Raveling, like an oppressive light-based religion, sinister shadow people, and powerful, colossal creatures, almost as if the Shadows of Dust was just the Raveling in the far future. I can’t wait for more books like this.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Shawn

    Alec Hutson weaves a superb science-fantasy tale in Shadows of Dust, taking you on a journey through the stars atop a giant...flying turtle. It sounds strange, but it works so wonderfully well. Kerin is a streamsurfer, an individual who surfs through space on Drifter (the giant turtle mentioned above), a starbeast who has been with his family for many generations. Starbeasts share a special bond with their surfers/captains that allows them to speak directly to one another’s consciousness. Surfin Alec Hutson weaves a superb science-fantasy tale in Shadows of Dust, taking you on a journey through the stars atop a giant...flying turtle. It sounds strange, but it works so wonderfully well. Kerin is a streamsurfer, an individual who surfs through space on Drifter (the giant turtle mentioned above), a starbeast who has been with his family for many generations. Starbeasts share a special bond with their surfers/captains that allows them to speak directly to one another’s consciousness. Surfing alongside Kerin is Nala, a kyrathi, a feline humanoid battlemage, and my favorite character!!! Seriously, she’s awesome and I wish there were a story focused around her. Kerin used to be part of a streamsurfer guild but has since been kicked out. In an attempt to earn some funds to stay alive and aloft (and to feed Drifter) he takes a job that lands he and his crew in some serious trouble...and with a new ‘crew mate’ who has suffered a strange and powerful magical alteration that leads Kerin on a journey to a planet he hasn’t been to in decades in hopes of a cure. Along the way you learn more about this fascinating world Hutson has created, and some of its inhabitants and magics. It all meshes together well and further made me want more books in this world (there’s a lot to explore here and could easily make for a large volume of books, whether they be standalones or series — I’m down for either). I loved this book and would highly recommend it to anyone who likes science-fantasy or just fantasy in general...or if you just like well written and imaginative stories.

  17. 4 out of 5

    David

    This was good light adventuring fun set in a big space operatic world with a ton of fantasy fused in. This story ended up reminding me a lot of the anime Outlaw Star, space faring fantasy, feline like companion, girl/machine fused person with everyone in search of ancient power or technology. Really enjoyed it throughout. If I had one complaint it’d be the differences in how world building was doled out. Certain aspects were never elaborated on but featured prominently in such a way that it made This was good light adventuring fun set in a big space operatic world with a ton of fantasy fused in. This story ended up reminding me a lot of the anime Outlaw Star, space faring fantasy, feline like companion, girl/machine fused person with everyone in search of ancient power or technology. Really enjoyed it throughout. If I had one complaint it’d be the differences in how world building was doled out. Certain aspects were never elaborated on but featured prominently in such a way that it made me more feel like I missed a previous book more so than I was being fed a mystery. I’d be interested in more adventures with this crew for sure.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Inger

    A fantastic start to a new series. I just loved reading it. The characters are awesome. My favorite is the giant Star Turtle. He is the true hero. Lol. Okay, I'm biased. I love turtles and he does tend to save the day. There is some violence, the good guys verses the bad guys. Tons of sword action and magic throughout the story. No sexual content but it does have a hint of romance. I recommend it for all ages. All in all a great read. I'll be looking for the next in the series. A fantastic start to a new series. I just loved reading it. The characters are awesome. My favorite is the giant Star Turtle. He is the true hero. Lol. Okay, I'm biased. I love turtles and he does tend to save the day. There is some violence, the good guys verses the bad guys. Tons of sword action and magic throughout the story. No sexual content but it does have a hint of romance. I recommend it for all ages. All in all a great read. I'll be looking for the next in the series.

  19. 5 out of 5

    david pyatt

    Just amazing! Hooked from the beginning! I tried to pace myself so I could make the enjoyment last, but I couldn’t help myself and just kept right on reading. Love the character development and the world building is so unique. I usually do not enjoy male protagonists but Kerin really drew me in. I will be greedily devouring every other book by this author!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Judy Macneil

    Now there is a tale! Action, magic, and stellar fight scenes! I am hoping for book 2😀 Well developed characters, quite different world! Alec Huston gave me an advance copy for an honest review. Also makes you wonder how we treat people we deem less. Highly recommend.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Booksley

    Did the audiobook for this one. Amazing performance! One of my favorite new authors. Keep it Indy!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ayden Grey

    One of my favorite Indy Fantasy authors! The audiobook was phenomenal.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Justin

    Star Wars meets starpunk Very fun, great adventure, and characters who grow and act within the arc of the world built by the author. Can’t wait to read the sequel.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Artem Borisov

  25. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

  26. 4 out of 5

    Gauthier

  27. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

  28. 4 out of 5

    Zjblouin

  29. 5 out of 5

    John

  30. 5 out of 5

    Taylor

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