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.
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.
What if primitive humans knew of an existential threat, a space-spanning empire of invaders? And they had to build their standard of technology from the ground up in order to fight for their right to exist?
That’s almost the premise of this story.
It's fairly short and bingeable. There are plenty of grammatical mistakes, but nothing so egregious that it makes it difficult to keep reading. There is still more story to tell and not every thread gets tied up completely, but it has ending enough.
Final verdict: Worth the read.
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.
This story is one of the best examples of a true kingdom-building story that I have ever come across, and believe me when I say, I've read hundreds of stories here on RRL in the virtual plane and thousands of books here in the physical plane of Earth. Anyways, uplifting is something that happens in this story, and with the reputation of CoCop, author of quite a few excellent stories behind it, I believe that it truly has what it takes to succeed and succeed it has since this story is also one of the few Kingdom-Building stories on RRL marked as Complete!
This is the second kingdom building novel that i have read so far and i truly enjoyed it so far.
One aspect that i would not have expected was the fast paced progression of this story. That has surprised me in good way.
Burning Stars is an interesting and creative science fiction story about the impact of sudden vast knowledge being bestowed on a primitive society. As the first of her kind to
"ascend", Threedak is galvanized to not only honor the memory of a lost species, but to improve the living conditions of her own people to prepare them to face and defeat the menace that threatens to galaxy.
The interplay of genetic memories and information transferance makes for a great "power" gimmick to explain the rapid advance of Dhajtel society and quickly allows us a starting point of comparison to let us get to know these aliens, letting us appreciate their perspective as Threedak and her progeny process their new awareness.
I can say this is so far very much a speculative fiction tale. Characters are not especially complex, many being one-note or background characters who perform a specific function. This is not a character drama, but the story of a rapidly developing society, with Threedak as the central driving visionary. Time skips occur regularly as we jump straight to major developments in technology and nation building. This is in fitting with a "world story" or a settlement-focused cultivation story, but may not be for people who want to get attached to a more dynamic and charismatic cast.
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!