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Reviewed by Lex Allen for Readers' Favorite
This exciting epic sci-fi series by Kevin Killiany continues with Rise From Dirt: Dirt and Stars, Book 3 as the Space Service launches the first Boot Camp competition (a months-long contest) that will earn the top twelve finishers a spot in Space Service Junior Officer Training. Thanks to Mara, Boot Camp is open to everyone. Jael Alden knows that racism runs rampant throughout the Space Service and that puts her at a distinct disadvantage, but she's determined to risk everything to prove the best will always rise from the dirt.
A difficult task for most authors is writing from multiple points of view without confusing the reader as to who is narrating the story. Kevin Killiany excels in this style. It is never confusing and the story truly comes to life with the innermost thoughts of each of the main characters. Rise From Dirt is more than a commercially designed young adult science fiction story, as it is also a mirror that reflects a future carried forward from current racial and gender injustices. Commercial fiction and literature are at opposite ends of the publishing spectrum. Killiany is among only a handful of authors that I've read who can bring the two styles together. This series fits snugly into the relatively new genre that expresses a higher level of language mixed with a theme examining societal issues, their cause, effect, and mitigation.
Another aspect of Killiany's talent shines through in his capability for getting deep into the hearts and minds of female characters. His main characters Jael, Mara, Fatima, Beth, and Lije are each different but perfect in their characterization and place in the story. Each of the novels in the Dust and Stars series is a stand-alone that can be read and enjoyed without the others, but I highly recommend the entire series. From young adults to the techiest of science fiction fans, these stories will amaze, educate, and entertain.