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Dust by Elizabeth Bear

Dust (original 2008; edition 2007)

by Elizabeth Bear

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5863125,409 (3.76)92
Authors:Elizabeth Bear
Info:Spectra (2007), Mass Market Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library

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Dust by Elizabeth Bear (2008)


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» See also 92 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
Holy shit, my heart. This story was so complex and vibrant, utterly unique from anything I can remember reading. Don't read it when you're tired; you'll need your wits about you to keep up. Definitely recommend, though!

Also, one of the main characters is ace. Score! ( )
  whatsmacksaid | Sep 21, 2018 |
Jacob's Ladder is a generation ship, launched by an unusual religious cult, now stranded in orbit around a double star. After 500 years of drifting in orbit, the ship damaged and the the ship's AI fragmented into multiple units that have been dubbed Angels, the ship's population is divided into separate, rival populations in different parts of the ship. Rule and Engine are about to go to war. There's a struggle over who will be the new Commodore.

But the stars are heading toward going nova very soon, and the Angels, with a much better understanding of the ship's danger than the human population have, are engaged in their own struggle. They need to rejoin into a unified whole that can truly operate the somewhat-repaired ship, but each wants to be the dominant personality, too.

In the midst of all this, we meet Rien, a Mean, or servant, in Rule, and Perceval, a knight of of Engine.

What Rien doesn't know at first, but Perceval does, is that they are sisters, intentionally conceived to be hostages. When Perceval is captured during a clash between Rule and Engine, Rien is the one assigned to care for her in what are the last couple of days before Arianne, head of Rule, consumes the symbionts that will give her all of Perceval's knowledge and memories.

What follows is a wild adventure in which we, along with Rien, learn a great deal more about the world of Jacob's Ladder, the intentions of their founders, and the threats the ship faces. Rien, Perceval, their relatives, and the AIs all learn, grow, and face major choices and losses. It's an exciting, interesting, satisfying story.

It's the first of a trilogy, but this part of the story comes to a satisfying conclusion of its own, while leaving room for the arc of the rest of the trilogy.


I bought this audiobook. ( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
This reader's personal opinion, ©2018, all rights reserved, not to be quoted, clipped or used in any way by goodreads, Google Play, amazon.com or other commercial booksellers*

This was an uneven read for me. Had an air of From the Legend of Biel - Mary Staton, Zelazny's Amber books and thousands of SF&F with characters in episodes exploring about a derelict ship, space stations, worlds, dimensions, or whatever — mostly the atmosphere of familiar reads was actually wonderful.

One of those books better in concept to me then in the actual read. I get the deep issues like genetic manipulation, class struggles, etc. Not really from the book description itself which was misleading. The description of this book the next in series makes is better:
"For hundred of years, the generation ship Jacob’s Ladder—conceived of by a religious cult as an experiment in forced evolution—has drifted derelict in orbit around a pair of dying stars."
Others likely would rate higher; I'm not fond of too much wandering about places not developed enough to become interesting and not really adding to the storyline. Too many introduced, then moved on from. There was a story, but much was spent just one adventure after another inside ship parts.

I might have DNF'ed except reading to catch up for a group read of book #2, Chill - Elizabeth Bear and it was an interesting concept from a favorite author. Never really got a sense of urgency.

I think the POV changes were handled well. Felt sympathetic to many characters. Some hiw just didn't really connect to the characters, though. Leaving me with a story that ddn't prigress quickly and irritating scant hints at how evolution was working on the world's within world's that were spaceship environs.

*©2018. All rights reserved except permission is granted to author or publisher (except Penumbra Publishing) to reprint/quote in whole or in part. I may also have cross-posted on The Reading Room, Libib, LibraryThing, and other sites including retailers like kobo and Barnes and Noble. Posting on any site does not grant that site permission to share with any third parties or indicate release of copyright.

Ratings scale used :

★★★★★ = All Time Favorite
★★★★½ = Extraordinary Book. Really Loved It.
★★★★☆ = Loved It.
★★★½☆ = Really Liked.
★★★☆☆ = Liked.
★★½☆☆ = Liked parts; parts only okay. Would read more by author.
★★☆☆☆ = Average. Okay.
★½☆☆☆ = Disliked or meh? but kept reading in hopes would improve.
★☆☆☆☆ = Loathed It. Possibly DNF and a torturous read.
½☆☆☆☆ = So vile was a DNF or should have been. Cannot imagine anyone liking. (Might also be just an "uploaded" word spew or collection that should not be dignified by calling itself a "published book." If author is going batshit crazy in the blogosphere over reviews -- I now know why they are getting bad reviews. Or maybe author should take remedial classes for language written in until basic concepts like using sentences sink in. Is author even old enough to sign a publishing contract or do they need a legal guardian to sign for them?) ( )
  Spurts | Feb 27, 2018 |
This is a complex and well-paced sci-fi offering, exploring issues of human and non-human development, space exploration and survival within a taut thriller. The only let-down is that in places it has the feel of YA literature. 9 Jan 2017. ( )
  alanca | Jan 10, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elizabeth Bearprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cuervo, AlmaNarratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youll, PaulCover artistmain authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
This book is for Jaime, Leah, Steve, and Roger. And you.
First words
At the corner of the window, a waxen spider spun.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Original title Dust; reissued title Pinion
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 055359107X, Mass Market Paperback)

On a broken ship orbiting a doomed sun, dwellers have grown complacent with their aging metal world. But when a serving girl frees a captive noblewoman, the old order is about to change....

Ariane, Princess of the House of Rule, was known to be fiercely cold-blooded. But severing an angel’s wings on the battlefield—even after she had surrendered—proved her completely without honor. Captive, the angel Perceval waits for Ariane not only to finish her off—but to devour her very memories and mind. Surely her gruesome death will cause war between the houses—exactly as Ariane desires. But Ariane’s plan may yet be opposed, for Perceval at once recognizes the young servant charged with her care.

Rien is the lost child: her sister. Soon they will escape, hoping to stop the impending war and save both their houses. But it is a perilous journey through the crumbling hulk of a dying ship, and they do not pass unnoticed. Because at the hub of their turning world waits Jacob Dust, all that remains of God, following the vapor wisp of the angel. And he knows they will meet very soon.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:02 -0400)

After her wings are shorn in battle, the angel Perceval is held captive in an aging spaceship, served by her lost sister and servant girl Rien, and the two must escape together if they are to stop a war and save both of their houses.

(summary from another edition)

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