Life on Dirt

Dirt and Stars, Book 2

Young Adult - Sci-Fi
432 Pages
Reviewed on 05/02/2017
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Author Biography

I was raised in the heart of Florida in the 1950s and ’60s, growing up in a pink cinderblock house hemmed by orange groves against the edge of a swamp and the shore of a lake. I never read (except for schoolwork) until the summer of 1967, when a bit of stupidity (that had seemed like a good idea at the time) laid me up for a few weeks. My mother brought me library books—which I ignored until the red-and-yellow cover of Robert Heinlein's classic "juvenile" SF novel Have Space Suit, Will Travel lured me into maybe looking inside. I was hooked. I now read fiction & nonfiction in all genres, but my reader’s heart first imprinted on YA science fiction.

I left Florida for California in 1973, and wandered a bit before settling on North Carolina’s coast. Along the way I became a husband, a father, and in 2013 a grandfather. I’ve had a half-dozen careers in education and mental health and today, when not writing I teach English at a community college.

I began writing in 1967, about the same time I began reading, and—after thousands of rejections and thirty-three years of practice—was an immediate success. Though my career began with media tie-in writing—novels and stories for TV shows and role-playing games —I also write original short stories, poems, and, of course, novels.

I've always been fascinated by unknown or hidden history and questions about how different our world would be if we'd made other choices.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lex Allen for Readers' Favorite

Life on Dirt, book two of Kevin Killiany’s superbly crafted young adult science fiction series, Dirt and Stars, seamlessly continues where Down to Dirt left off. Thanks to his great storytelling talent, Killiany effortlessly brings new readers into the lives of Mara, Beth and Jael without a hiccup or long-winded summary of previous events. The story is told through first person narratives of each main character to include two new actors, Lije and Fatima. Life on Dirt continues the centric story lines of Mara, a space born teenager, forced to spend time on “Dirt” (Earth) and Jael, an African-American teenage prodigy who struggles against bigotry and racism as she works toward her goal of gaining membership in the elite Space Service, an organization where no black person has ever gained entry.

In my review of book one in the Dirt and Stars Series, Down to Dirt, I dubbed Killiany a master wordsmith, capable of capturing the unwavering attention of his readers. Life on Dirt continues the tradition of a great storyteller while simultaneously presenting a literacy level for his characters that will surely challenge some while providing a welcome relief for many who are tired of the “dumbed down” language provided in many YA novels. Young adults seeking a fun and challenging read will find both and more in the Dirt and Stars Series. Though set in the future, it’s a story with themes to which most readers, aged thirteen to ninety can easily relate. So, parents and grandparents, gift your young adult a novel, a complete series of books, that will challenge their vocabulary, increase their technological and scientific knowledge, while providing a highly entertaining and unforgettable reading experience.