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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.