Digger Day

Jaden Crusoe Book 1

Fiction - Science Fiction
283 Pages
Reviewed on 08/01/2018
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Scott Cahan for Readers' Favorite

Digger Day by Michael Lee Kirk is a character-driven, sci-fi adventure with lots of heart. The underlying dilemma the main characters face reminded me a little of The Hunger Games. The bevy of colorful characters on both sides of the moral spectrum reminded me a little of Star Wars. Both of those influences are incorporated nicely into the completely original story world of Digger Day. The story gives us several impressive heroes to root for, male and female. In the early pages, the main characters each seem to be involved in their own unrelated story. But, as the plot unfolds we see that they are all connected in one way or another. They all have something to do with a vicious animal called a digger. Every three months, each colony sends out three of their men to hunt for a digger and try to extract a powerful serum from within the beast’s body. Very seldom do any of the men survive the hunt. When the corrupt government forces young Jaden Crusoe to go digger hunting, everything changes.

Digger Day is part one in a series called The Legend of Jaden Crusoe. Because the author is telling his story over the course of several books rather than one, he’s taken the liberty of developing multiple characters involved in multiple story lines on multiple planets. The story is complex, but Kirk does an excellent job at keeping the main focus of the story clear in every scene. I found it easy to keep up with who is connected to whom and what each person is trying to do. His characters are also well defined and very distinct from the others. Digger Day is lots of fun to read. The story world Michael Lee Kirk has created in this book is fascinating and it’s filled with characters that are enjoyable to follow. I must warn readers that Digger Day leaves you hanging at the end in hopes that you will continue the story with book 2. Digger Day is an excellent beginning to what promises to be an excellent series. Sci-fi fans who don’t mind the sex, language, and extreme violence will find much to love in Digger Day.

K.J. Simmill

Diggers were spread across many of the worlds, and it was a capital offence to kill one outside the sanctioned hunts. These hunts were designed to give people hope of obtaining a vaccination to suppress the Chira Plague. The odds of success were one in a hundred and thirty-two. It was for this reason that criminals were sent on the hunts and mostly the Forest Planet had to order in hunters. That was until a tragedy gave the town the perfect excuse to be rid of a pair of troublemakers. This is the tale of one of those boys, Jaden Crusoe, a tale never heard in its entirety until such a time as the truth had to be known. Jaden was well known and respected for joining the thirteen worlds, but his story tells a different tale - of a boy, courage, and circumstances.

A gripping, atmospheric, action-packed read is what you'll get if you pick up Michael Lee Kirk's Digger Day (Jaden Crusoe Book 1). From the onset the stakes are high, the impending doom of all against a foe who cannot be destroyed, but to understand how this comes to be, you must first learn the truth of what really happened, and therein lies the first adventure. The book follows the story of a number of characters, with a bold font highlighting important names in a person's story arc to make it clear whose tale you will be following. Well written with clear attention to details in not only the world building, but character development as well. A futuristic world with classes, cliques, technologies, and traditions, along with their own problems and strife, not to mention the overall setting and benefits and problems with the Collective. It is clear that a lot of work went in to making this a tight, well written and engrossing read, further enhanced by beautiful pictures with the chapter headers.

Cheryl E. Rodriguez

Michael Lee Kirk pens an intriguing piece of science fiction in Digger Day. Scarlett White knows it is now or never to discover the truth. As a historian, she hopes to discover answers to the questions her research uncovered. She knows The Collective has been lying, and she wants to know why. Time is running out. The Collective is on the brink of alien invasion. Therefore, she heads to the Digger Planet on the edge of the human-occupied cosmos. When she arrives, Scarlett meets with the son of the legendary Jaden Crusoe. Dominic Crusoe is ready to expose the truth. He begins to tell Scarlett the story of his father, Jaden Crusoe, the legend of legends, and the horrific engineered deception that has led them to the brink of extinction.

Digger Day is the first book in Michael Lee Kirk’s Jaden Crusoe series. The first chapter grips the reader with its mystery; you are immediately drawn into the story. Suspense grows page upon page as the depth of cruelty and courage of the characters is revealed. The cast of characters is large, yet they all revolve around the main character. Like the orbital path of the planets, some characters are closer than others, but all are necessary to sustain the plot. The narrative stays true to its science fiction genre, including many interesting futuristic and technological advances. Kirk purposely pens allusive thoughts and dialogue. The air of secrecy and ambiguity lingers, creating an atmosphere of intrigue. The writing style is clever, witty, and imaginative. The bizarre photography adds a nice visually graphic touch to the story as well. You realize from the very start that Digger Day is only the beginning of the story of Jaden Crusoe. Kirk plants a literary seedling that is sure to grow and flourish as the series develops.

Romuald Dzemo

Digger Day is the first book in the compelling science fiction series, The Legend of Jaden Crusoe by Michael Lee Kirk, a narrative with a fascinating setting in a remote Forest Planet and a powerful conflict. Jaden lost both his parents to the Chira plague, but he survived, uninfected. Now he is in a world threatened by a plague and the only hope of survival is in the vile and dangerous creatures that contain the antidote for the dreaded Chira. The Diggers are not to be killed and that is the law, except during the legalized hunts, and even then the chances of survival are almost nonexistent. These hunts are the only hope of getting the vaccine against the plague, but given their perilous nature, mostly hardened criminals are sent to hunt as a form of punishment. When tragedy strikes the town, two orphans find themselves in trouble, and Jaden Crusoe is one of them. Now he has the opportunity to become a legend, to become the sole victorious hunter from New Rio and to extract the valuable juice of the Digger — the temporary cure for the Chira. But does he have what it takes for such a dangerous mission?

Michael Lee Kirk crafts an enjoyable sci-fi story with characters that readers will love. I enjoyed the way the author develops teamwork in the novel, passing across a powerful message that success is always the work of a community, which is why the hero of this story is surrounded by friends who are supportive and who stand by him even through challenging times. I loved characters like William, Alicia, Joanna, and Gerard — they are real and their relationships are brilliantly developed. This is a book for readers who love writing that is crisp, plot lines that are exciting, and characters that are real. It is fast-paced and engaging, a story that will surely transport the reader to a new, exciting world.