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REVIEW: Dim Stars – Brian Rubin

Dim Stars - Brian Rubin

Genre: YA, Sci-Fi, Comedy, Adventure

Reviewer: SI

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About The Book

Kenzie Washington, fourteen-year-old girl genius, signs up for a two-week tour as a cadet on the spaceship of her idol, Captain Dash Drake. Too bad Dash, who once saved the galaxy from the evil Forgers, is a broke loser and much less than meets the eye. But when an intergalactic evil appears and launches an attack, Dash, Kenzie, and the ship’s crew escape, making them the next target.

On the run and low on gas, Dash and Kenzie encounter cannibal space-pirates, catastrophic equipment failure, and a cyborg who’s kind of a jerk. Kenzie is determined to discover the bad guys’ secret plan. But for her to succeed, Dash needs to keep his brilliant, annoying cadet from getting killed …which is a lot harder than it sounds.

The Review

Dash was the hero of the last galactic war. But now he’s just a freighter captain – with only a sapient squid for company. Kenzie is an enthusiastic fourteen-year-old. What do they have in common? Not much – except they’re the ones who find themselves having to save the galaxy.

This story strikes the perfect balance between its two central characters. If it weighed too heavily towards Kenzie it would just be too twee. If it went the other way and Dash was carrying more of the story … well, he’d be too busy being snide and cynical to get anything done.

It’s got vibe that reminds me of Charlie Jane Anders’ Victories Greater than Death plus the added snark of a grumpy, tubby, has-been. Perfect for space opera readers – whether they’re closer to Kenzie or Dash.

Dim Stars is a fun mix of youthful exuberance and jaded scepticism.

Representation: black MC, white MC, no sex/romance, talking animals

The Reviewer

SI CLARKE is a misanthrope who lives in Deptford, sarf ees London. She shares her home with her partner and an assortment of waifs and strays. As someone who’s neurodivergent, an immigrant, and the proud owner of an invisible disability, she strives to present a diverse array of characters in her stories. And she loves reading about diverse characters too. 

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