Burning Stars, Falling Skies
- Traumatising content
Threedak is a simple Dhajtel. Every night she scavenges and hunts for her tribe in the great desert, relying upon her skill and ancestral memories to avoid the night's many dangers. Her life remains largely the same until one night, one of the gleaming angels that hangs in the night sky falls into her desert. Deciding to investigate, she happens upon a scene far beyond her limited understanding.
The Dhajtel aren't alone. The galaxy is far vaster and more hostile than Threedak's people can even begin to comprehend.
Entrusted with the knowledge and memories of a dead race, it will be up to her to forge Dhajtel society into something that can survive the storm that is to come.
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(This novel is heavy on Kingdom/Empire Building and is an attempt at fairly hard (grounded in real science) Science Fiction)
Cover credit to DrakonStorm
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A couple authors with reptile MC's have started a discord, feel free to hang out with us.
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Original as far as I can tell. I am only at chapter 4 but I am certain I am hooked. The death of humanity will not be forgotten and a new civilization is born.
The only plot hole that bugs me is the purpose of the ark. There wasn't much of a point to so few people escaping no matter how talented they were unless they had some way to rebuild society. If the ship held the genetic information and the tech to restart the race it would make more sense. I hope the purpose of the arks escape is revealed at some point.
So, let me preface this review by saying that this book might not be for everyone. Don't get me wrong, I do believe it is an amazing piece and I do recommend you try to read it until chapter 5-6 at the very least. In general, the first few chapters are significantly slower as the plot is constructed.
Another thing is the whole genre. This isn't really a novel that is about simply "getting stronger" in a fantasy sense. This is a Sci-Fi work with Fantasy tones, but still SciFi mainly.
Now some details:
I would say the style used has been very interesting, admittedly it did have a bit more exposition-like segments than what it could've had, but I thought about it and I guess why the author decided to go with it. There is a lot of information to unpack especially early on, and the style gives me a specific feel. I can't say I dislike it, I DO like it. There were few occurrences that I felt could've been done better but that was just me.
I would give the style 4.5 stars
I don't really have any major complaints about grammar. I have been considering whether to give it 5 or 4.5 stars purely due to having some statements that while not grammarly incorrect, just sounded a bit off. But, I am honestly not an expert so my opinion about those is not an objective truth.
So I settled for giving grammar 5 stars.
The story is where this shines, this reminds me of Sci-Fi classics as I went through it. Without spoiling much, the premise of the story is interesting and keeps on giving. What I can say from the synopsis is while there is a factor of "inheriting memories" it is not as cliche as most other novels make it, and instead it is done with a way I haven't seen before. I highly recommend checking this story. Also the later chapters, the story starts to accelerate very fast forward, which I appreciate.
I give the story a solid and clear 5 stars.
Generally, this story was not one that was focused on characters, especially at the beginning of the story. Without spoiling (this is becoming my new favorite phrase here lol), everything does make sense in the story. Generally, the main character is interesting and later on, there are also some interesting - albeit one dimensional - characters.
This isn't a complaint mind you. This story works well the way it does because of those parts. It was hard to give a score to characters as I was reading through. Early on I was thinking about as low as 3 stars, however, by the later chapters things accelerate at a very rapid pace.
I decided to settle on 4 stars. partly from what is already there by chapter 9 (where I caught up) as well as the future potential of the next few chapters.
Again, it is not a complaint. But if you are reading this story to have some characters banter and witness their exchanges primarily this might not be for you. If you are here to witness the growth of the main characters you will enjoy this.
In conclusion, I wholeheartedly recommend Burning stars, Falling skies. It might not be for everyone but I still recommend reading it until at least chapters 5-6 when things start to pick up and accelerate. And I will be personally following the journey that this novel goes through
If you like classic sci-fi, you'll love "Burning Stars, Falling Skies." It greatly reminded me of Isaac Azimov's Foundation Trilogy, but with a unique twist; the last remaining humans died when their ship crashed on the Dhajtel planet. And that's just the first chapter.
And so we lament the loss of humanity, well not quite, thanks to the manner in which Dhajtel can absorb the memories of others. It's with the memories of those last humans that Threedak begins to transform her tribal society into an empire. An empire that will avenge humanities destruction.
Watching Threedak's transformation from scavenger/hunter to ruler is fascinating and very well done. Even the tone of the writing changes as she develops more human characteristics. The first four chapters are mostly narration as Threedak quickly advances from Stone Age to Iron Age technology allowing her to begin her conquest of the surrounding tribes. However, it's well written and moves quickly.
Not a lot of character development at this point in the story, but I didn't miss it. Same for dialogue. This is actually fairly common in classic sci-fi so I felt right at home.
When you get into this story, give your mind a little bit of time to build the world. It doesn't take long and when that's done you're thrown into a truly engaging world. I love stories that really play with different aliens and alien worlds, and this Is just *Chef's kiss*
Style: I was never pulled from the story by anything to do with the style
Story: Alien lizard gains human feelings and skills and decided to use all to push their own civilization forward as they're now - in their minds, a new species!
Grammar: I was never distracted by the grammar.
Character: I LOVE Threedak. You made me care about the character, which is the best you can do, I think.
Burning Skies, Falling Stars... Wait. Burning Skies... Agh. Burning Stars, Falling Skies... Yeah. Okay, let's start over.
Burning Stars, Falling Skies, a story whose title is incredibly hard for me to remember correctly, is one of the more ambitious stories I've read on Royal Road. Its aspirations are far beyond a typical action sci-fi web serial, even if it fits fairly well in the Kingdom Building subgenre as of its first ten chapters. This story's got some big stuff going on, and legitimate stylistic experimentation that you practically never see in this neck of the web fiction woods.
The story follows a lizard lady on a primitive and violent alien world who happens upon the knowledge of advanced civilizations from beyond the stars. With that knowledge, she builds a clan of her own, with her mind set solely on bringing her people to a great destiny. It's a fairly straightforward premise here, except that it's got some really neat stuff going on.
For one, there's hardly any dialogue. The first five or six chapters have like, two lines of dialogue. The pace is fast and the story hardly stops to give characters time to chat, which is often a big plus.
For two, the story takes places over years, even decades. The scope of the story is wide, and the lens even wider. Months pass in the span of paragraphs. We are shown the story mostly in the point of view of its lizardly protagonist, but the view is from enough of a distance that we act more as passive observers than readers following the story up close.
I'd compare it more to a literary novel that covers decades of a character's life in 400 or 600 pages, a family saga like Roots or Po-on, only instead of following a small group through historical events, it's following an entire alien civilization through its transformation into a technologically advanced society.
It's really something else, even if it doesn't always work. I often found myself wishing that the story was a bit snappier and got me invested more in the world as it changes, rather than simply showing the before-and-after every now and then. I also didn't think any characters besides the protagonist were all that gripping, though due to the narrative distance and the extremely wide scope, that's pretty excusable.
While I can't predict exactly where the story is headed as of its first ten chapters, I have a pretty good idea what this is all building towards, and I'm excited to see what happens with the story, regardless of whether the Skies are Falling or Burning, because dang that title is easy to mix up.
Honestly I went into this novel knowing it wouldnt disappoint due to its overwhelming positive reception in the reviews, but always with a pinch of cinicism
but shit i havent felt this weridly overwhelmed with emotions since bloom
the novel is perfect in every way, to begin with there are a lot of time skips . the author could have milked each era, each conflict and so on but refused to do so making this a short and sweet master piece
through the mc perspective we understand the gravity, the sacrifice of humanity and the reverance the lizard women have for the fallen civilization.
the writing style was beautiful capturin every emotion raw.
grammar was flawless ensuring a smooth read minus or plus a few typos
story is just mindblowingly perfect
cant wait for book 2, hate to see an epilougeless novel just leaving the readers blu balled w that ending
but lastly there are a lot of flaws to the story in the essence of excecution- iff you ignore the massive blaring red light plot holes it doesnt get annoying and can be enjoyable
im honestly not great at writing reviews but this novel had me feeling a serene sense of appreciation for humanity as a whole. It helps us realize that while we may be always at each others throats trying to survive, we are no where near our full potential of what we could be.
Here's the thing. this story might cater to a very specific audience. It hooks those drawn to other-worldly adventures but draws away casual readers who dont want to get too invested.
Let me paint a picture. Imagine Subnautica (plot and gameplay), but with the lizard tribe from Overlord as the main characters, specifically the pink lizard princess as the MC (in this case queen), with the tragedy of Firefly in the background. Quite a blend there, right?
The thing is, proper dialogue doesn't start until Chapter 5 where the MC Queen Lizard actually develops speech, so for four chapters we follow the thoughts of an alien race with a unique power of absorbing the memories of things she's eaten.
It was quite daunting to read on and on about descriptions and exposition delivered by explanations, but I can't necesarrily blame the story for it. After all, we have a silent protagonist at the start and honestly the only way to connect with her at first is through your willingness to be curious about the world. So yeah, it's a story that demands investment because the reader wont be hooked in at the start by any flashy medias res action but it does reward you. I say, it does indeed reward.
Descriptions can be excessive at times, and if you're not imaginative enough it can leave you confused and disoriented. Me? I found it beautiful. Relaxing to read. This isn't a face-paced story, oh no. You need to slowly digest the text to fully immerse yourself. It starts slow but the deeper you go the faster you fall into it. Because honestly it takes a while to connect with the main MC, since she's just so alien.
And do this moment of reading, I still don't know if I'm connecting her or the human she ate in the beginning. Because when she ate those humans, their thoughts and experiences becomes her own, and their drives become part of her drive. It's a really weird mind-thought you can ponder about. Kept me thinking about it.
Conclusion, If you want to immerse yourself in something more out there, then definitely give this a go. It's not for everyone, it's a demanding read, but if this is what you want, then boy it's really good at being just that.
As the title implies, this is one of the freshest stories I've come across here on Royal Road.
Minor spoilers ahead!
Earth has been conquered by a race of hostile aliens, and humanity's last ship just crash-landed on a strange new world. But this story isn't about the humans. Not in the way you might expect, anyway. There were no survivors, but the protagonist, Threedak, has a racial ability that allows her to absorb memories. Until now, Threedak's race has been primitive and tribal, but now she's armed with the thoughts and memories of a dozen thinkers and scientists.
You can guess what happens next. To say she turns her life around is an understatement. She's turning the whole plant around and reaching for the stars.
Style and Grammar
I usually write a lot about style when I review a story (it's a personal interest of mine) but there's really not a lot to criticize say here. For the most part, the story is written quite well and sentences flow nicely with none of the usual errors.
Sure, there's a lot of exposition early on, but the author also trusts us to figure things out for ourselves. For example, the protagonist is clearly a reptile, but the world "reptile" is never used. And why would it be? The world "mammal" rarely comes up in a story about humans. Instead, we're shown details such as the fact that she has scales, a tail, and lays eggs.
I think the early exposition also stems from the fact that Threedak is alone for the first 5-6 chapters. In fact, I don't recall a single line of dialog uttered before that point.
And the grammar is solid too. No obvious errors that stood out to me.
Is the style my absolute favorite? No, but it feels like it has some classic sci-fi inspirations, and I'm more partial to fantasy myself. I won't hold the story up to different standards. it definitely accomplishes what it sets out to do.
Like I mentioned above, Threedak was born as part of a primitive race so she starts with next-to-nothing but the scientific knowledge she inherits.
At first, it feels almost like Minecraft where she has to create every brick and tool by hand. Things speed up dramatically though as she births her own army to help her out. From there, it's incredibly satisfying to see her the MC go from the stone age, to the iron age, to the industrial age, and so on.
For me, one complaint about the plot would have to be the way information is presented and revealed. For example, when the MC first inherits humanity's memories, I would expect this to feel like a sudden, dramatic turn. Instead, things are explained and revealed at a leisurely pace. And because the tension and drama in this scene were so low, I didn't actually realize the significance of the moment until several scenes later.
Character is probably the main area where things are lacking. The problem with having a race who inherits other people's memories is that the characters don't necessarily have unique personalities of their own. At least not in the way human characters do. The MC also didn't have much personality before the story begins (she describes her past-self as being closer to an animal) As a result, we don't see much inner-conflict between her former-self and her new-self.
This also means there isn't as much conflict between members of Threedak's race. It made me ask, what if the story started with more than one character inheriting the human's memories? How would they experience the memories differently? What sort of conflicts would develop if they had different plans and ideas for their plane?
This isn't to say the story doesn't have conflict. There are many external obstacles that prevent the protagonist from achieving her goals. But the story does lack internal conflict—the sort of conflict that arises from character flaws and different backstories.
Like I said, I normally read fantasy as opposed to sci-fi, and I know that sci-fi is more "concept focused" is opposed to fantasy which focuses more on plot and characters. If that's the case, it wouldn't be fair for me to hold this up to a fantasy standard in terms of character development. So while I do see this lack of internal conflict as a flaw, I also realize it's not the main focus in this genre.
The story is still very written. If you're a fan of empire building and/or classic sci-fi, there's a good chance you'll enjoy it!
Do you like lizards? Worldbuilding? Lizards AND worldbuilding? Well this novel has both, along with an immersive story that shows real progression and drives me to keep wanting to know more!
Good job Mr. Author! I expect much more entertainment out of Threedak and her people!
I enjoyed everything to the unique creature to the epicness of the alien world I appreciate the author for giving reason to my meaningless existence