Burning Stars, Falling Skies

by CoCop

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • 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.

- - -
(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

- - -

A couple authors with reptile MC's have started a discord, feel free to hang out with us.

Reptile MC Discord

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Author
CoCop

CoCop

Founding Member of the Zard Skwad

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drakan_glasses BE NICE! Fair critique is fair, but be respectful & follow the review rules. There will be no mercy.
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FIEND
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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.

Commander Kane
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Despite what some other reviews might say, I think this story is for everyone because of one crucial thing: lizard centaurs going to space.

Now, I don't know where CoCo_P got the idea slapping the human out of centaurs and replacing them with lizards (although I'm, like, 86% I gave it to him) but it's absolutely brilliant. The whole concept of eating another sapient being to regain their memories is practically limitless, especially with how ingrained it is into the Dhajtel society.

I particularly like the way CoCo_P set up the dynamics of the society regarding bloodlines in general. I wouldn't hesitate to drop a story featuring female superiority and going on and on about how great women are, but I never got that vibe from this story. It's like in the insect kingdom, where when the partners are finished mating, the female is very likely to eat the male (of course, I'm pretty sure males are free from cannibalism as I have yet to read anything of the sort). The female characters don't brag about being female; they aren't screaming about how they're better than the males of their species. They're living their best life trying to survive in this hellish world and striving off of human memories.

I'm personally excited to see the politics playing out, especially with the social groups starting to arise and the problems they're stirring up. It's a fun read and I think you'll enjoy it.

But, of course, if you don't like the idea of an entirely female-lead story, don't get your boxers in a twist; you're getting a lizard-lead story and that's all that matters.

Seth Seong
Overall

I was not expecting something so engrossing and engaging. I seriously cared about Threedak from the start and just blasted through 10 chapters without stopping.

SPOILERS

The evolution of the society was awesome. Stone age through Iron age were my favorite so far. Really, my only complaint was that the author didn't spend time on the gunpowder age and the basics of electricity. Steam power is such a huge deal in history but it wasn't even mentioned. Despite this, I enjoyed it so much that I'm giving it a full 5 stars for the experience of having read it.

diademata
Overall
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Great inventive sci-fi on RoyalRoad?

Reviewed at: Chapter 14 - Crossing Blades

This is the best, and the purest sci-fi I've read on this site. It's good by any measure, but here it is, free? Overall the story feels like a smooth transition from an absolutely wild and original start into a fun logistical nationbuilding fic, all within a world that feels truly alien. If you like non-human protagonists, strategy games or pure sci-fi read this.

Style is very solid and readable, nothing flashy. The prose gets out of the way of the story and is very fun and easy to read.

Story I'll take to include worldbuilding, which is the real star here. This is some crazy stuff that wouldn't be out of home in a published novel. The Dhajtel's bizarre society is really alien, complete with ideas that barely make sense to humans. Lucky for us, the heroine has a kind of human perspective to reframe things through.

As far as the actual plot, it mostly involves a fast-tracked progress through the founding of a civilisation. I'm here for this - it's fun to read, and fun to think about how exactly you would bootstrap a spacefaring society out of nothing. The only complaint here is tension is lacking in some parts, but if you're like me the new ideas should be enough to carry you through.

Grammar is basically flawless. I think I've just seen a few typos, but it's 100% readable.

Character is one area where I'd like a little more. It's the Threedak show, and it's fantastic, but a little lonely. For the most part other Dhajtel come across as mooks.

That said Threedak is hilarious (without trying to be). Give a bee or ant a dose of human selfishness, cunning and authoritarianism, that's Threedak. She will do basically anything in her quest to civilise the planet, and it's hard to blame her when everyone else sucks just as bad or worse.

Good book.

gogorer
Overall
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let me start off by pointing at myself; I'm usually not a big SciFi guy or even one for kingdom building. so it's with even greater applause to the writer that the story was able to draw me in with its lofty goals and unusual, yet thought-provoking premise.

this story worms its graspers into you fairly quickly with lush descriptions that portray a primitive, yet wonder-filled perspective that then evolves over time, and with each subsequent Chapter.

there are instances where the Grammar is questionable, but really few and far between and you really have to be looking for it to find them (I was looking hard for any mistakes during my read to give in-depth feedback as I went).

the characters show great promise so far, there is a whiff of their identities and individuality even within the collective purpose. that's one thing that's always great to see done well; a collective goal or purpose that doesn't feel misplaced or questionable. ofttimes I'm left running through each party member's personality trying to align the mission against what they would actually do. here the goal is terrifying and grand, yet it's believable that so many are firmly determined to meet it.

as far as the style, there are some archaic or rare words used here and there. one word, in particular, being 'nictate', which I didn't even have the foggiest of a vague recollection of ever hearing or seeing before. there are places where a paragraph could be tightened up to make them less cluttered and some of the phraseologies place redundancies that mar an otherwise serviceable, and smooth navigation of the telling.

overall this is a strong outing, and what makes it even better is that it's rich and well thought out enough to rise to its challenging subject matter.

 

David Musk
Overall
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Story
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Character

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.

Plot

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

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!

 

Zir
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

The story I've been searching for all year

Reviewed at: Chapter 17 - Making History

People disparage this story for only having 2 lines of dialogue in the opening 5 chapters; Those people have no concept of context. The opening of this story is set in the stone age where an amazingly adaptable lizard species assimilates the memories of 12 super advanced humans. No longer is there a need for an ai scout ship to give the MC technical advancements, just eat a corpse and these lizards are set for world domination.

People claim this story is ambitous, but it has been done well in 2 of the series I have read recently on kindle. The authors aspirations are well within the realm of possibility, and I have to say that this genre is one of the best I've ever read.

Just based on premise alone this story is worth reading, to enter a world where a primitive civilization journeys to the stars and develops its own culture, technology, and military is (as of yet) endlessly fascinating to me.

 

The characters have unique identities and personalities despite their shared inherited memories. The style is something I could only ever want more of. 

The story so far has been extremely well paced and planned out which kept me glued to the screen for all 17 chapters.

The grammar is solid and errors are quickly corrected when commented on.

 

I only hope that the author sees the story through to the end because the genre desperately needs more like it, I definitely need more like it, and so far this has been an excellent addition.

furball tiger
Overall

In a lot of ways this reminds me of SF from the 1940's and 50's (more polished than the earlier stuff,  but still very fresh and imaginative). The writer is quite skilled, and it is a quick and fun read.

It's a solid story, it has a lot of emotion, action, good characters (although a lot are barely explored at all), and a good ending (folks may argue about that part, but the foreshadowing was pretty heavy and explicit). 

It reaches a satisfying ending, but there are enough unanswered questions that I can see (and would enjoy) follow-on stories in this setting. 

The tech is suprisingly conservative; while we don't have most of this stuff working well, everything here (except a specific freebie of found FTL) is tech we already have (albeit not in useable form in several cases). So it's an uncommonly plausible (all this stuff exists already) low tech interstellar drama.

The MC isn't human, but a key plot device has them acting awfully human (maybe a tiny bit too much? opinions can, and should, vary) for the most part.

And Reptile MC still sounds like a kid from the suburbs trying to DJ in downtown Detroit. So Nyah! ;P

MyPerfectUsername
Overall

... but still decent read.

The book is about MC from race of stone age lizards who via random event gain human mindset and memory/knowledge of some of humans after Humanity got presumably wiped out. So our MC shoulder on herself task of uplifting and avenge human race, and to try to preserve at least some cultures from them.

It's not hard science fiction, with a lot of factual flaws, but nothing serious. It's not Kingdom Building, but more like drama about family, where family is entire race.

Worth reading, short and with logical ending. With chance for sequel with space otters!

Alch3my
Overall

You have made this story with content that normally i might find objectionable. However, as i have continued to read i have grown to love this story. 

This is the kind of story i hope my own work, "A gods perspective", sorry for the advertising, can achieve.

Keep up the good work.