Review: Brother Dust: The Resurgence by Steven Beaulieu and Aaron Hall

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Posted on : 4/17/2017 05:19:00 PM | By : Dann | In : , ,

Brother Dust: The Resurgence Brother Dust: The Resurgence by Aaron Hall
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Brother Dust by Steven Beaulieu and Aaron Hall

3/5 stars. This was a strong 2.5+ star experience.

Brother Dust is properly classified as "science fantasy". The events in the book take place among a spacefaring society. However, the amount of actual science involved is negligible.

The book details the continuing travels of the Solovat empire. The Solovat home world has become infected with some sort of planet killing virus. This virus consumes a planet's "energy". To save their home planet, the Solovats roam from world to world mining each planet for its "energy".

They drill ever deeper into each planet core gathering planetary energy that is then transmitted to Solovat. Once the core has been breached, the planet dies and any remaining energy is sucked off to the Solovat home world. Also, a fair amount of the advanced Solovat technology also uses this planetary energy.

Brother Dust is born on a world that has been prematurely consumed as it is breaking apart. The native inhabitants of that world seem to reflect the native foliage is a sort of chameleon-like behavior. But as the world is broken, it is mostly just dust.

What follows is a meditation involving several different themes. One theme has to do with the environment. Another prominent theme is the relative merit of empires.

Against those themes unfolds the story of a Brother Dust who transitions from enforcing the Empire against a series of unfortunate civilizations to a Brother Dust that seeks to force the Empire to leave the Dastropian civilization alone. He ends up aligned with a nascent rebellion movement.

Brother Dust is so named because he can stop appearing as a Solovat. Instead, Brother Dust can become "dust" that is nearly impossible to kill and is exceedingly effective as a weapon that shreds the lungs of Solovat soldiers and can open doors by slipping through the slightest of cracks. Brother Dust discovers that there is a cure for his "condition". Having lived for so long as dust, Brother Dust gladly accepts this cure that must be re-administered every few days.

The first roughly half of the book is quite good. It is well paced and well written.

The latter half of the book turns cartoonish with Brother Dust turning into more of comic book superhero. Extensive narrative is used to describe fight scenes with round-house kicks, thrown punches, and foot sweeps. The rebellion decides to avoid using lethal force for some reason. Brother Dust continues to accept his treatments despite the fact that they severely limit his ability to fight. Characters start using persuasion in the middle of gun fights, fist fights, and fighting fights.

I dropped out of the narrative at this point and began looking at flaws in the plot and counting the number of instances of poor grammar. Both were found with little trouble. Some of the worst examples involved characters barely limping out of one scene but being able to beat fresh (and unwounded) opponents in the next scene. It takes longer than an hour or two to recover from significant wounds.

Brother Dust suggests that these authors have much to offer in terms of telling a compelling story. It also suggests that they have much to learn about it as well.

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