The thing I hate most about Rebecca Crunden's work is that she either makes me want to write, now, right now, RIGHT NOW, or she makes me hungry. The last six books I read of hers have just been adverts for chocolate pastries I don't have. Woe is me.
I jest, of course. I love writing and chocolate pastries, so there is nothing wrong with either of those urges. And I love this author's work. Suffice to say Dust & Lightning is a good old romp, as ever in the author's envy-inducing fabulous writing. This story is a fab bit of escapism into yet another alluring world from her apparently unstoppable brain.
We meet Ames in a space port in distant-future London, heading off-planet in search of his brother, who he believed dead, but now believes has been disappeared by the regime. There's agents on his tail and he finds himself properly the run. Managing to put some distance between him and his pursuers, Ames manages to get in a bar fight, rescue a damsel, and get dinner sorted. Definitely the kind of guy you want on your side. What is extra good is his damsel, solicitor Violet, turns out to be of the same cloth. Helping him hide from his pursuers, they buddy up in a quest to find Ames' brother Callum, and are quickly pulled into something deeper and darker that the President of the Democratic Planetary Alliance has been hiding. Somehow Callum has been dragged into this mystery.
This novella is a good old adventure romp with a brilliantly built world and hardy characters. The writing is top draw as ever, and there's nothing to fault. I just wish some parts had been delved into little more, and deeper insights given into the latter part of the book and Callum's predicament. The whole mystery surrounding the worms was brilliant, but was also such a great twist it deserved a little more digging and expose as I felt it came little late, and revved up the pace to the point where it seemed to end too soon, or like I should be waiting for the next instalment (hint hint eh?). I have no problem with open endings (if you've read my books, well...you know...), but just a dash more to round this one off would have made this five by five.
Another tantalising treat was Ames himself; a character perhaps hinted at being a bit more than he seemed (though he was a chimera, and therefore technically a bit more than normal anyway...).This might be a future book, and might very well have been too big to delve into here. Never say never, eh?
I also think I might just be a really greedy reader. It's likely the reason I hardly ever write short(er) stories. Thus, no matter how picky I am it is wholly worth the read. Hopefully, if you've not tried Rebecca Crunden's work before, this might be a fun leap into her rich worlds and characters, fine writing and ability to throw you right into the fray.