“Dust & Lightning” by Rebecca Crunden

I am in love with Rebecca Crunden’s writing. Her stories sweep me off my feet. After I turn the last page, I feel like I’ve travelled to the destination introduced by the author rather than read about it.

In “Dust and Lightning”, it is the year 4054. A lot has changed for the inhabitants of Earth. Earth itself has changed. Our beautiful planet is not so beautiful, and its natural resources aren’t in abundance anymore. Still, people have found a way to satisfy their needs in what’s essential to human existence. Other solar systems have been discovered and inhabited; their resources are now used to bring wealth and power to people on Earth.

But not everyone is lucky to benefit from space travel and the natural riches of other planets. The poor remain on Earth, never venturing outside without wearing a mask. For a person’s crimes, all their family members get punished. And those who refuse to accept the existing order, get arrested and a fate worse than imprisonment awaits them.

Ames Emerys doesn’t believe his brother Callum has died on board the spaceship that was taking prisoners to the labour camp on a remote planet. He has reasons to believe the government is lying about Callum’s fate. But does he have a chance to prove it?

I liked the description of space travel and the distant planet Kilnin. Would I like to know what happens next after this story ends? Of course. Will I think about what possible future lies ahead of Ames and others? Sure. But all the loose ends and unanswered questions left me feeling that I joined the characters for a while during their journey, for which I’m grateful, rather than that I was thrown out of the spaceship en route to its destination.

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