Read Empire of Dust by Jacey Bedford Online


Mega corporations, more powerful than any one planetary government, use their agents to race each other for resources across the galaxy. The agents, or psi-techs, are implanted with telepath technology. The psi-techs are bound to the mega-corps -- that is, if they want to retain their sanity. Cara Carlinni is an impossible thing – a runaway psi-tech. She knows Alphacorp caMega corporations, more powerful than any one planetary government, use their agents to race each other for resources across the galaxy. The agents, or psi-techs, are implanted with telepath technology. The psi-techs are bound to the mega-corps -- that is, if they want to retain their sanity. Cara Carlinni is an impossible thing – a runaway psi-tech. She knows Alphacorp can find its implant-augmented telepaths, anywhere, anytime, mind-to-mind. So even though it’s driving her half-crazy, she's powered down and has been surviving on tranqs and willpower. So far, so good. It’s been almost a year, and her mind is still her own. She’s on the run from Ari van Blaiden, a powerful executive, after discovering massive corruption in Alphacorp. Cara barely escapes his forces, yet again, on a backwater planet, and gets out just in time due to the help of straight-laced Ben Benjamin, a psi-tech Navigator for Alphacorp’s biggest company rival. Cara and Ben struggle to survive a star-spanning manhunt, black-ops raids, and fleets of resource-hungry raiders. Betrayal follows betrayal, and friends become enemies. Suddenly the most important skill is knowing whom to trust....

Title : Empire of Dust
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780756410162
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 532 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Empire of Dust Reviews

  • Sherwood Smith
    2018-09-01 02:35

    Here are the basic elements that appeal to me in space opera:* Interesting aliens, weird cultures and larger than life characters, which must include interesting women.* Space ships in action* Emotional complexity* Big ideas—including glimpses of the numinous—without anything being dogmatic* Layered or polysemous surprises*An interesting blend of real science and the handwavium that allows for FTL and Psi, but examines the consequences of both.Any combination of these, with complex characters, is sure to grab me, and Empire of Dust definitely met those demands.The future here is less about empires and space battles than it is about amoral, greedy megacorporations. These ones trade in planets the way the present day ones trade in companies. The similarity is the (depressingly) realistic greed and utter disregard for the people at the bottom of the power pyramid.Cara Carlini is on the run from a powerful Alphacorps executive. She’s a psi-tech, but trying to keep from using her talents as she knows that those chasing her will catch up for certain. Meanwhile, she cannot be certain she can trust her own head: have they messed with her, or not?She ends up begging a ride from Raske (Ben) Benjamin, a psi-tech navigator for Alphacorps’ main rival, the Trust. He’s on the lam after his own disasters, but gets pulled in by the one executive at the Trust he is loyal to, in order to shepherd a bunch of colonists to a new world.The catch? The colonists, led by a visionary named Lorient, want to go back to human life in the pre-tech days, working with their hands . . . and they really hate psi-techs.Second catch? Cara and Ben have to pretend they are married.The book begins with a bang. Cara is on the run. It slows some when they reach the colonists’ planet, but the focus is now on character development, clashing paradigms, and emotional turmoil. The reader is gradually introduced to a lot of new characters—every one of whom we need to know by the second half, when things began to happen. The pacing is kept brisk by the readers knowing certain things that the characters don't, so we've got the tension of waiting for the gun on the mantel to go off.After that, the tension builds and keeps building, with no slack moments until the powerful end. During that first half, I was able to lay it aside when other things claimed my attention, always looking forward to picking it up, but the second half? I had to read straight through in one day, ending very late at night.Are there problems? There are what might be considered debut novel issues (like at the beginning, characters being introduced by sitting alone in rooms as their history is given us by the narrative voice in a quad-flashback, but in all cases the data was interesting); one small eyebrow raiser occurred when Carla, asked her age, responded that that was an inappropriate question to ask a woman, and I thought, really? We’re not past that in the far future? There was also the (now) problematical use of the word “exotic” to describe one of the most profoundly enigmatic, and interesting, characters in the entire book (one I really hope will get her own story), but these are such tiny creebs.Overall this book fulfilled my craving for good space opera, and I am so glad that it will be a series. I look forward to rereading it before the next one comes out, which I plan to grab as soon as it is available.

  • Sarah Anne
    2018-08-30 21:43

    This was probably one of the funnest Space Operas I've read. Cara is on the run from Ari, who is trying to squash her like a bug from his (figurative) throne. She manages to persuade Ben to help her and before you know it, they're on a colony planet with a charismatic cult leader and a group of people who want to go back to the basics and live a no-tech, farming lifestyle. Cara and Ben and the team members with them are Psi-techs, which are tech enhanced psychics. There are some very interesting abilities among the members. I frankly loathed the leader of the group with his Psi-phobic ways.I really enjoyed the colony pieces because I'm kind of a crazy fun of stories about pioneers, settlers, striking it out on your own, etc. Love 'em. In this case, what I felt could have gotten quite boring since this was at least half the book, the boredom and idiocy was punctuated by enough action to keep me going through the next slower piece. It was fun and action packed and it had psychics and pioneers. A recipe for success!Complaints: Ben Benjamin and Cara Carlinni? Gag. Also, there were two bad guys that held up pretty well until near the end, when the psychopathology seemed to break down and the motives got a bit hazy. But for a 550 page book, the complaints were relatively few and I really enjoyed it.Psychopathology

  • Lindsay
    2018-09-02 01:44

    Highly enjoyable science fiction adventure with romantic elements. In fact, compulsively readable.Cara is a Psi-1 telepath (interstellar range at that level) who is on the run from her former lover Ari. Ari is a corrupt official of one of the enormous corporate entities that seem to have all the power in this future. She comes across Rakesh Benjamin, a Psi-1 navigator who rescues her from a nasty situation. In an effort to lay low they are signed up to spend a year on a colony planet with a large group of psi-hating luddites. That's dangerous enough, but the colony leader is an unbalanced incredibly charismatic man with paranoid tendencies.There's a large cast of supporting characters and there's some nuance there. The colony leader is one of the putative villains, but he's a bit more complex than that. The supporting cast of Benjamin's Psi-Tech team are excellent as well, as is the young and stupid colonist Max Constant who is one of the point of view characters. Cara herself is an interesting character as she struggles with tampering in her brain from her time with Ari, something that's well written here. Also the world-building, both in the FPA worlds and on the colony world is quite excellent. Lots of crunchy little details and it all seems to be well thought out, from the basic gist of the platinum economy to the differing social mores across the different locale.The book also resolves itself well while leaving plenty of meat for a sequel. (view spoiler)[There's 30,000 frozen settlers out there somewhere that are going to need to be found, and what exactly happens when you give a criminal organization the sort of power that a planet full of a critical mineral resource represents. (hide spoiler)]So that's all that's great with the book. It has two main problems though, the first of which is that it's very long for what it is. And there's stuff that could obviously come out. The tendency for UK SF though is towards huge self-indulgent tomes as in Peter F. Hamilton or Gary Gibson (both of which are good comparisons for this book) so I don't expect it's out of place. The other more serious flaw, is the central coincidence of Cara and Benjamin meeting. It would be a massive spoiler to explain that coincidence, but it's probably not too much to say that they have similar and slightly overlapping histories.Ultimately, I forgive those things, because it's a cracking good book and I'm really looking forward to the sequel.

  • Grace
    2018-08-23 00:55

    I come away from this one with a very bland feeling. The characters are very one-dimensional, and their dialogue is very on-the-nose in a way that feels blocked and unnatural. The pacing is weird as well - basically, it's as though the dialogue was written to service a very specific goal in the scene, and then characters shuffle onstage just in time to say their line. That results in characters being very fortuitously present to say exactly what moves the thought along, even if they have absolutely no business being in that area. "Where the hell did you come from?!" was a frequent thought as I reread paragraphs, and one with no good answer. It feels very unformed and amateur.And then there are the sex scenes, and the sexual violence scenes. These are similarly written in a very surface, tell-don't-show way that actually led me to skim over some of them because I just found them embarrassing to read. Not because the acts themselves scandalize me, but because it was like reading bad porn. And by that I mean taking a scene from a low-budget porn film, then faithfully describing it in text. Unpleasant, especially when these are characters you'd actually like to see make a connection. The writing style in general had little finesse, so maybe it's just this area where it was most needed and I found it most lacking.There's also a huge missed opportunity that I'm going to throw under the header of Spoilers: (view spoiler)[At one point, Cara wakes up with Ari and he behaves sweetly, apologizing for putting her under such deep cover, and she believes him. For a split second, I was really interested as it provided some ambiguity: was there a chance that Cara actually had been working for Ari, that he truly does love her? And then I remembered we'd already been inside Ari's head, and so he was obviously lying - instantly making the scene mundane again. Aside from some largely unnecessary Ari-view bits early in the book, there was no need to get in his head and we could have just seen him through the eyes of Cara, Craike and Cowan (I am messing up some of those names, I think). But like the rest of the book, there was no second layer, just this flat structure that wasn't compelling enough to be the whole book.(hide spoiler)]This book was very long and not at all complex. Everyone showed up, did their thing and barely changed at all. The main antagonist was slightly more interesting than everyone else, but - look, there's just nothing there with most of these characters. They're shallow and even their thoughts are just rehashing the obvious. The plot is too linear to carry such flat characters, and the writing not complex enough to add depth. Skip it.

  • Scott Roberts
    2018-08-30 19:48

    The book cover looks medieval and very nice. I give this book 5 stars.

  • Linda Robinson
    2018-08-22 20:43

    Engaging planet hopping read. There is a lot to love in this first book in the series: the gates, Folded Space, the concept of psychically prone people being enhanced and used by the Bigs to further their nefarious profiteering ends. Cara is a good shero, Ben is a good sidekick. The villains are too familiar. We could use a new method of depicting evil without it being a grinning deviant who likes to hurt things. The secondary characters are superb. The Lorients et al, Ronan, Gen, Max Constant. Backstory is given us via dialogue, reflection, character interaction. I put a hold on the second book after Chapter 1 of this book. One star goes away for repetitive phrases. Unfortunately that's probably on the editors, not the author. Excellent debut!

  • Timothy Boyd
    2018-08-31 20:36

    Really nice SiFi story. Good story line and characters. Interesting universe the story is set in. This would be a great book for a new SiFi reader starting to read SiFi stories or a younger reader. Recommended

  • Sarah
    2018-09-05 20:39

  • Ddem
    2018-09-03 00:52

    quite superficial novel: noticeable imbalance of the technology level in the different parts of the pictured world, the psi-tech main idea is pretty good, but very weak in depth, way too simple characters and dialogs, incoherent behaviour/thought of characters - one moment they are hard as rock, next one they are full of tears. and the worst - large part of plot revolves around Ben and Cara feelings to each other and their digging in it (ацтоїщє).oh, and the happy-end is like cheap hollywood movie.don't ask me why I started reading this book, I don't know:)

  • Joshua Palmatier
    2018-09-18 22:02

    This is the debut novel of Jacey Bedford. I always try to read debut novels ASAP, since I've been there and know what it's like to have a new book go out into the harsh, harsh world. This is the first of the Psi-Tech novels, and I'm looking forward to the next one.The premise: Cara Carlinni is a psi-tech who's running from the Alphacorp corporation who technically owns her, since it funded the Telepath technology implanted in her head. Escaping is supposed to be impossible, but she's managed to elude those hunting her and keep the secrets she's stolen from Alphacorp safe . . . and to herself. But they've finally caught up to her, and only the intervention and help of Ben Benjamin, another psi-tech, a Navigator, who takes her to a new colony that supposed to go tech-free . . . and perfect place to hide. Or so they both think.The main premise is great, and the idea of a future in which there are no governments, only megacorporations running everything, is shockingly easy to believe. And also heartbreaking. The world--or should I say universe?--is well thought out and the characters are engaging. In particular, I liked the world in which they run to in order to hide, and the backwater waystation that they use to get there. Perhaps that's because I like the darker, grittier underside of everything, and that's exactly what the waystation is, but I also like the idea of the complete unknown, like the new planet they are helping to colonize. Cara and Ben are interesting and they're relationship isn't the standard relationship you'd expect. It starts out with lies on both sides--since they both have something to hide--and awkward sex. It has to recover from both of those before it can grow into something else, and the stress of running, hiding, and the new colony and its rather fractious settlers may not give it the chance to grow.So, a slightly new take on the relationship makes it interesting. Also the universe in which it's set, and the characters themselves, outside of the their own tumultuous affair. The science is cool and can be played with and used in many different ways, although it does have its limits, which create their own problems. The only real issue I had with the book is that the beginning is a little rough and perhaps a touch too long. I can't see any easy way to take what's there and cut it down without adversely affecting everything that comes after, but the book doesn't really kick into high gear until the two characters reach the waystation and then the new planet. But I think if you trust me and bear with the book at the beginning, you'll really enjoy what follows.In any case, as I said, I'm looking forward to the second book coming out later this year called Crossways. This is definitely a book that I'd suggest sci-fi lovers take a look at.

  • Jaine Fenn
    2018-09-21 21:48

    Space Opera isn't dead; instead, delightfully, it has grown up. Empire of Dust, the debut novel from Jacey Bedford, published by DAW, is a fine example of a novel which has its roots in the sub-genre, but grows beyond it.Cara Carlini is a woman with a past, and she's running away from it as fast as she can. She'll take whatever help she can get, though always with her eyes open. She's also a psi-tech, one of the significant minority in Bedford's universe whose innate psionic talents have been enhanced with technology to make them indispensable to the corporate and criminal organisations who call the shots. Cara throws her lot in with Ben Benjamin because he's in the right place at the right time, but this turns out to be a life-changing decision for them both.The skill of this book lies in Bedford's ability to seamlessly combine intrigue-heavy, multi-viewpoint plotting with human stories featuring characters you care about - a rare feat in this genre. The main 'love' triangle is handled particularly well. Note the quotation marks – this is anything but a standard romance, because we're dealing with people who can alter memories and plant compulsions. As well as the central relationships, and the questions they raise about free will, trust and loyalty, the book deals with themes of prejudice, and idealism vs pragmatism. Cara and Ben find themselves thrust into the close company of the anti-psi-tech Ecolibrians whose utopian dreams are set to come into conflict with the market forces in this highly capitalist future. Bedford is carefully non-judgemental in her handling of moral issues – even her antagonists are given their say – and the book has a pleasing weight and balance as a result. Bedford's punchy, readable style propels the reader easily through the complexities of the well-paced plot, and her world-building, whilst utilising some tropes, also displays interesting and original touches which bode well for future novels. The book is not without flaws – the opening is somewhat loaded with backstory, and there are a couple of coincidences driving parts of the plot – but these are small and forgivable, especially bearing in mind this is a first novel. It'll be interesting to see where the story goes next.

  • Hanzel
    2018-09-21 03:42

    Starting this one, it quickly caught my attention, I really like science fiction that goes in a linear path, one that doesn't try to explain all the nuances of that universes' technology and etc. i.e a particular engine how it runs, how it is built, who built it and etc.Story, story, story............ok as simple as it is, this universes' foundation rest solely on individual having the psi ability whether it is psi tech/mech/engineer and all forms of ability and further classify you according to your strength in that particular ability (ie psitech 1 the best and psitech 5 the lowest but it also has its strength and weakness ie. {Lord help me this review definitely taxes my ability to repeat the word ie} you might be a psitech 1 but your empathy level is nonexistent......bah sci-fi how can I love it, yet can't write properly about it........Anyway got a bit side tracked, (dang ie's), aside from the psi ability, the story is straight forward colonizing planets for megacorporations and how it's characters interact, of course not all characters are goody two shoes, there will always be the greedy boss.......Why do you need to read it??? Well aside from the story running in a straight line and no explanations of the more mundane techs, it's a space drama on how humans no matter how high their technology, no matter how numerous the planets colonized, It will never be enough to satisfy human need and greed!!! I will not recommend this one to those who are looking for the more serious stuff, it's like reading a tv series with a low budget!!

  • SFReader
    2018-09-10 03:49

    This is the debut novel of Jacey Bedford. I always try to read debut novels ASAP, since I've been there and know what it's like to have a new book go out into the harsh, harsh world. This is the first of the Psi-Tech novels, and I'm looking forward to the next one.The premise: Cara Carlinni is a psi-tech who's running from the Alphacorp corporation who technically owns her, since it funded the Telepath technology implanted in her head. Escaping is supposed to be impossible, but she's managed to elude those hunting her and keep the secrets she's stolen from Alphacorp safe . . . and to herself. But they've finally caught up to her, and only the intervention and help of Ben Benjamin, another psi-tech, a Navigator, who takes her to a new colony that supposed to go tech-free . . . and perfect place to hide. Or so they both think.The main premise is great, and the idea of a future in which there are no governments, only megacorporations running everything, is shockingly easy to believe. And also heartbreaking. The world -- or should I say universe? -- is well thought out and the characters are engaging. Read more are Empire of Dust, by Jacey Bedford

  • astaliegurec
    2018-08-31 21:35

    My brain came close to liquefying and dripping out of my ears, but I managed to force my way through Jacey Bedford's "Empire of Dust" (the first of the two books in her "Psi-Tech" series). The first half of the book is very well-written and interesting, though it's definitely slow (and the sex scenes sure aren't appreciated (though they're mercifully short)). But, the second half just devolves into a horrible soap opera of drivel. Why an author would spend so much time and effort writing a book one way at the start and then just throwing it all away at the end, I don't know. I'll give her a star for the good technical writing and the fact that it's reasonably tied-up at the end. But, overall, the best I can do is rate it at a Pretty Bad 2 stars out of 5. Don't bother.

  • James Eckman
    2018-08-24 02:50

    A good first novel, the romance bit seemed a bit forced but it wasn't a large part of the story. Other than that , most of the character conceptions are decent. The discrimination theme is done well, it wasn't just a collection of good and evil characters. The evil corporation bit was over the top, since this universe has FTL communications, it's hard for me to believe some of the acts left unpunished. I have that problem with modern news nowadays, so perhaps it's more credible than it feels. I will read the follow on novel when it's available.

  • D.F. Haley
    2018-08-21 23:44

    I like the meme of badass tough heroine fighting back against the system. This one was pretty well done, but the denouement was disappointing. In particular, the characters appeared to start acting in ways that were inconsistent with how they had been established. They did not ring true. It spoiled the book for me. The end was much less triumphant than it might have been, as the protagonists got goofy while the antagonists started acting stupid. Blech!

  • Susan
    2018-08-29 21:52

    I loved this book. The world building was engaging and believable. I particularly liked the big picture politics of the mega corporations, and the existence of the equally powerful Crossways criminal conglomerate. But best of all was the developing relationship between the two main characters, Ben and Cara, as they struggle to save both themselves and the colony.

  • S.J. Higbee
    2018-08-31 00:35

    I really loved Cara – she is desperate and frightened when we first meet her. Clearly used to dealing with the sleazier side of life, she doesn’t hesitate to sleep with Ben, the pilot who offers to take her off-planet, thinking it’s part of the deal. But over the length of the book, which includes chases, murders and helping establish a colony on a new world, Cara begins to find herself again. Bedford effectively depicts a woman struggling to put an abusive past behind her and build a new life for herself – and I really enjoyed the fact that it certainly isn’t all plain sailing just because she finds someone who cares for her.I’m aware I may have given the impression this book is all about the romance, and while it is an element, it certainly isn’t the driving force or main theme of the book, which is far more mainstream epic space opera – that of corruption and the ruthlessness of big corporations. Once again, we have a future where it is huge capitalist corporations driving colonisation of planets. Inevitably, it comes down to profit – and you won’t be surprised to learn that when eye-watering sums of money are involved, the people running those corporations regard those in the way as expendable. It doesn’t help that they are a poorly regarded, eccentric cult with relatively few resources…I loved the growing friction between the team of experts all with brain implants to boost their telepathic, empathetic and healing talents and the colonists who wish to establish an agrarian idyll where technology is replaced by horse and bullock power and industry is severely restricted. Bedford is very good at keeping the pace going with a series of adventures that keep the narrative ticking along at a fair clip, all the while steadily ramping up the stakes. While I love this genre, all too often I find the characterisation suffers in the middle of establishing all the world-spanning action – but it is the characters and what happens to them that is firmly at the heart of this one, which leads to an action-packed finale.All in all, this is a cracking read and I shall be looking out for the next one in the series, just as soon as I manage to find some space on my bulging book shelves. Highly recommended for fans of entertaining epic space opera.9/10

  • Dan Anderson
    2018-08-29 20:42

    I mostly enjoyed this book: it's an interesting world where -- in the future -- some individuals can be picked for their psychic abilities, useful for various aspects of travel, and exploited by the various megacorporations.It's a great book, with a good pace. My only complaint was there were many, many, threads that the book left unresolved until about 45 minutes left, and then everything was resolved too quickly. In some cases it felt like the resolution was ex machina, and not organic.Still, a pretty good read and I've already started book 2

  • Bill
    2018-09-17 04:00

    There's a high level of space opera here, but it's imaginative writing, and I enjoyed it. She has a good female lead character. I also respect the author for not making this two volumes, and actually writing and publishing a large novel on its own merits. This is not to say this isn't a trilogy. At least she lasted 532 pages before ending the first, and to top it off, actually at the end of a long plot line section. Thank you, Ms. B.

  • M.H.
    2018-09-22 00:00

    Lots of twists; good read.

  • April Steenburgh
    2018-09-17 00:50

    Cara has been in and out of trouble, and Ben is going to be her quick ticket out of the current batch. A very powerful man is very unhappy with Cara, and the things she is carrying around in her head.It was supposed to be a quick ploy, a use and move on situation, leaving her and Ben far from entangled. But Cara's past caught up with her far faster than she had anticipated and her need for Ben turns out to be a more involved affair. Ben has a past of his own, but he is not trying to run from it- he is trying desperately to untangle a series of events that went so very wrong. Empire of Dust is the first Psi-Tech novel from Bedford- a science fiction novel that holds the core of the genre close to its heart. That is a good part of what will keep a reader turning pages- a love of the genre. Bedford gives us dangerous space travel, colonization of new worlds, a conflict between those who embrace the trappings of the new era and those who reject them. She gives us a time when children are tested for psionic talent- children who show innate skill can be outfitted with implants to facilitate their use. Such implants are expensive, and Psi-Techs will spend their time working off the debt in the service of one mega-corporation or another.Bedford's vision of the future is well thought out, cohesive, and populated with a strong cast of diverse characters. Highly recommended for readers who are fascinated with psionic powers in all permutations, who enjoy stories about exploration and colonization, and those who love a good plot riddled with skewed motivations and sketchy pasts. I look forward to reading more from Bedford.

  • Dan
    2018-09-18 23:52

    I do want to point out that my bias regarding science fiction usually leans heavily toward the fantasy side of things, (Guy Gavriel Kay and Terry Pratchett being two of my favourites), and that in the realm of the science fiction, especially Psi-Tech, I am a not a ‘seasoned’ reader. This being said, I must say I was immediately drawn into events and intrigued by both the situations and the characters, some of whom I warmed to and others I despised, (in the most pleasant of ways). To me the characters were believable and very human, with all their strengths and frailties. Most importantly, I found the actions they chose were justifiable by their own experiences, if not at times a little misguided, but entirely human. Initially, it was the plot that drew me in compelling me to ask questions about Cara as well as her situation, however, after easily developing an attachment to Cara and soon afterwards Ben, it was where the story led and how it progressed, at times at a pleasantly furious pace, that kept me involved and intrigued to see where it was going to lead me as well as its cast of characters. For me, this was a totally captivating and enjoyable read and I look forward to the next instalment in this series, to where I will be led, how the environments and situations will change, how the characters will adapt and react, and how the mysteries of the “Fold” unfold.

  • Caroline Mersey
    2018-09-12 03:39

    Jacey Bedford's promising debut novel is a pacey thriller about colonisation and corruption. The world-building is strong: the economics of space exploration and colonisation mesh well with large corporations (who else could afford to bankroll these expeditions?) and the lack of regulation permits corruption to develop. And the idea of particular groups wanting to step outside society to live consistently with their beliefs is worth exploring. But the novel is very clearly a first novel. The plot hinges on the coincidence of rogue telepath Cara and space explorer Ben meeting in a bar and having (it turns out later) mutual connections. The villains are a little too sadistic and the heroes too perfect. There are some rough spots that a good edit would iron out (we're told twice in the space of ten pages that Victor Lorient never prepares his speeches). But there's a great story in there and I look forward to the next one. Disclaimer: I received a free review copy of the novel from the author via my book club. My policy on review copies is that I will do the author the courtesy of reading the book and providing a fair review in exchange for the courtesy of a review copy.

  • Jessica Ahn
    2018-08-29 03:48

    Empire of Dust was a pick of random. I wanted to reach a fantasy/dystopian book and didn't have enough time to do any research before heading to the library. At first, it was a bit confusing to pick up on the names, planets, etc. It almost felt like I missed out on the prequel or something. However, after getting a chapter it, the storyline started to pick up. Cara, a on the run psi-tech, comes across Ben, a pilot/commander of a fleet that failed in there colonization of planet Hera-3. The storyline follows Cara on her journey from planet to planet through the guise as Ben's wife and finally they both get to Olynda. A new planet colonization project that Ben and his surviving Hera-3 crew are spearheading. However, things get worse as Ari and Crowder (Ari-Cara's enemy/love and Crowder - Ben's friend/foe) betray and pursue personal gains and revenge through thought/memory/emotional manipulation and political moves. It definitely proved to be a better read than what I had expected. Never having red a psi-tech novel, I had my doubts about it. But it was a fun read!

  • David Sarsfield
    2018-08-27 20:54

    When I first read the back-cover blurb for 'Empire of Dust', I looked forward to reading as it appeared to tick a lot of boxes: cyberpunk-ish space opera with a definite thrilleristic edge. And indeed, during the first few chapters, the plot seemed to deliver on this promise. The main issue I had was that the book transformed into something very different: a complex look at the often antagonistic relationship between psi-tech and settler on a new colony planet. In itself, there wasn't anything objectionable with this approach, and Bedford maintains a reasonably good grip on her vast, multi-perspective cast of characters. However, I was left unconvinced that this book 'did what it said on the tin'. The book was so focussed on the sociological side of things that this diluted a lot of the thrilleristic edginess I was expecting.

  • Jeff
    2018-08-23 03:03

    Well, 2015 has started on a good note (admittedly, I started it in late December but still....)This reminds me of the best of science fiction from the 70s and the 80s - stuff like Piers Anthony at his prime or Walter Jon Williams - a masterpiece of world building and an intelligent use of psionics. In addition, it revels in its cyberpunk influences. In fact, this is very much an 80's space opera novel that has been put through a cyberpunk grinder... and voila, an excellent first novel. There are a few points where the book slows to a halt but it eventually picks up again. I have a few quibbles about the secondary plot (the religious zealots) and the quickness in which that story is resolved. However, they are minor things. I look forward to further visits to Ms. Bedford's universe and I have high hopes for any sequels.

  • Fiannawolf
    2018-09-18 21:55

    Read this book last year and I just saw the sequel, Crossways, pop up via my mailing list. While it has some narrative pitstops, mostly due to establishing the ins/outs of how this world operates, it was a pretty decent space opera romp. I personally enjoyed some of the cyberpunk overtones too. The first 100 pages or so might be slow starting for some but I am def. more forgiving when it comes to those sorts of things due to wanting to know details, plus even my favorite classic, Dune, had a whole swath of information inter-spaced between character development/actions.

  • Claire H
    2018-09-20 20:34

    Incredibly intriguing premise aside, I should have known better than to break my nearly inviolate never-read-books-rated-less-than-4-stars rule. This had a very strong first act - quick pacing, inventive premise, deft method of bringing the main characters together. That was followed by a reasonable but weaker and slower paced second act, and then a third act that was so boring I barely finished the book. A waste of a good novel. Don't read.

  • Chris Butler
    2018-08-25 19:49

    A team of Psi-techs assigned to support a group of settlers through the first year of colonisation of a new planet find their situation increasingly perilous as megacorporations fight over the planet’s resources. One of the Psi-techs is Cara, on the run from a shadowed past that is inevitably going to catch up with her.A terrific book. It’s a page-turner and it’s particularly good on characterisation and plotting, with the story playing out to a satisfying conclusion.