Rylae's Storm

Rated 4.86/5 based on 14 reviews
Book One of the Ugly Dirt Box Universe. Commander Rylae Westiel is the elven Executive officer of the UCST Corsari, an ambassadorial starship. Her mission to a goblin homeworld to prevent a war turns out to be nothing like she expected. Continuing to learn how to become Captain of her own starship, Rylae has to learn one very important point - goblins won't always be goblins. More
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About S T Xavier

S T Xavier is a new writer whose desire to combine his favorite things - stories, magic, spaceships, and the voices in his head - has coalesced into his first novels in the sci-fi/fantasy realm. His characters have a story to tell, and he’s obligated to tell it until that contract with the red horned guy expires. He is a practicing computer geek, avid collector of fantasy art, amateur player of decent video games, and voracious devourer of stories. He currently lives in Charleston, SC with his three cats and the numerous voices that occasionally let him sleep.

About the Series: The Ugly Dirt Box Universe
The "Ugly Dirt Box" is the affectionate nickname for magic-powered starships created by the United Corps of Starfield Travelers (UCST). The UCST, based on Terra, uses many Ugly Dirt Boxes to manage message delivery, trade, and diplomatic connections between the many worlds inhabited by elves, dwarves, goblins, and other races.

When a ship is docked on-world, it looks a lot like someone built a fifth-century dwarven feasting hall in the middle of a bunch of modern government buildings and warehouses, but with less character than an actual feasting hall.

The Ugly Dirt Box Universe is 'modernized fantasy' - a 'magitech' environment created when a standard high-fantasy realm of magic-using creatures reached a technological breakthrough, causing the organic development of magic-based technology to allow them to travel the starfield. After ten thousand years of development, many worlds are inhabited, many different types of technology have been invented, and millions of folk live in individual variants of 'peace and prosperity' (meaning there are still lots of fights).

Also in Series: The Ugly Dirt Box Universe

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Review by: James Jenkins on Sep. 16, 2016 :
There is a lot more setting of the scene, and universe setup then I usually want to find in a book. In this case, it is appropriate. This is an uncommon mix of Science Fiction and Fantasy, that works very well. It is also part detective/adventure novel.

I think I would enjoy reading more in the series, I may have to come back and purchase the other books in the series.
(review of free book)
Review by: Richard Gates on June 16, 2015 :
Good story. I enjoyed it. A criticism could be you made each section scenario too successful. Not enough went painfully wrong. The Ambassador's killing was the only one and that was a necessary plot device. I am very pleased to meet your work and for free; thank you. I recommend this book.
(review of free book)
Review by: Cindy Chen on Feb. 14, 2015 :
I can't believe this book was free... it is such an amazing find! Compelling, unique, not your run-of-the-mill scifi or fantasy. In fact, the author calls it "modernized fantasy." I've never been a huge reader of either scifi or fantasy genre, usually because I find the different worlds hard to get into--but apparently I like the both of them combined, because the author drew me right in. Unlike other fantasy or scifi books, I easily got drawn into this world with goblins and dwarfs roaming space in spaceships. It's such a fun idea! Plus, the plot was great, and the characters were developed and likable. The end of the book left me wanting more... and I cannot wait to read the second book!
(review of free book)
Review by: Adri Sinclair on Jan. 3, 2015 :
Ever read something that made you want to laugh, and cry and then scream when it ended? No? Try this one on for size! It 'felt' familiar, which made it an easy read - but it wasn't familiar, which kept me reading!!
(review of free book)
Review by: jjsparx on Oct. 17, 2014 :
I didn’t know quite what to expect when I downloaded this book. I have always enjoyed science fiction novels, and am a big fan of fantasy adventures, so combining the two seemed like my cup of tea. I wasn’t disappointed, the universe that we are plunged into is full of colourful characters and amazing technologies.

This book reads like a combination of something akin to ‘Lord of the Rings in Space’, which may sound like the perfect mix to some readers looking for something a little different. I whole-heartedly enjoyed this epic voyage. I was transported to another world, a world of goblins, dwarves and elves, all inhabiting the amazing universe, which they traverse using magically propelled spaceships. As you can probably tell, this story is heavy on the fantasy and equally as rooted in science fiction.

The story is compelling and imaginative, and there are traces of humour throughout the book. I really enjoyed the action scenes and the dialogue was believable (from a goblin’s perspective).

I highly recommend this book for anyone looking to escape into a sci-fi fantasy world. You will have plenty to amuse yourself along the way. Highly recommended reading!
(review of free book)
Review by: Lynette Hill on Oct. 16, 2014 :
Dragons be damned, indeed!! This interesting mix of genres makes for a very fun read!

This well-written fantasy science fiction thriller takes you on a fascinating journey a creatively imagined universe. We have elves, goblins and space exploration, oh my! If you are looking for a new take on space opera, this is the book (and series) for you. This complex whodunnit takes elements from science fiction and fantasy and weaves them seamlessly together.

I instantly connected with the main character and her challenges. All of the characters are well rounded, with believable storylines. S.T. Xavier has created a fun, well thought out universe. I love the use of magic as technology. And this book has given me a whole new category of insults: I might have to use ‘you armor-licking dragon humper’ as an insult myself sometime. The author’s vivid imagery and powers of description really bring the story and characters to life.

Once I started reading I didn’t want to stop. I can’t wait to read more from this very talented and imaginative author. I highly recommend this book. I’m really looking forward to reading the next story in the Ugly Dirt Box Universe series.
(review of free book)
Review by: Kelly Elgas on Oct. 7, 2014 :
A beautiful combination of genres that captivates you and draws you in. Written a little differently, this book was very descriptive with well thought out characters. Rylae's Storm by S T Xavier is a fantasy/sci-fi novel that is truly a masterpiece, tearing down stereotypes and melding together genres and takes you on a wonderful journey. I was hooked from the first page, and I can't wait to see what is next! If you are looking for something outside the box then I recommend you pick up this book. You will not be disappointed!
(review of free book)
Review by: Rob Morgan on Sep. 23, 2014 :
This book was an enthralling read. A very interesting mix of science and fantasy supported an excellent thriller storyline.

I am really looking forward to the next book in the series.
(review of free book)
Review by: rmh8402 on Sep. 10, 2014 :
Rylae Westiel is the Executive Officer on her ship the Corsari. She loves her job, and would trade it for nothing. Except maybe a captain's chair. While awaiting the results of her Captain's test Rylae and her crew are sent on a mission to the goblin world of Stenchstone to try to stop a war. Once they get there though, she quickly realizes not all is as it seems. She must dig deep to find the truth...but what will it cost?

This book was amazing. Not just sci fi, not just fantasy, ST Xavier has brought us a delightful mix of both. The writing is fabulous; he writes everything in amazing detail but he also doesn't overwhelm you. The characters are fully developed and even though they aren't human you feel completely connected to them and you understand them. I am loving this new universe and I can't wait to see what Xavier has in store for us next!!!
(review of free book)
Review by: R. McCullough on Sep. 10, 2014 :
Very good story.
I recently wrote and published an illustrated eBook about Mana returning to the Modern World and thoroughly enjoyed the idea of Mana (Magic) in outer space.
Just purchased the second book in the Ugly Box series.
Love the name used for the series !
Let me know should you want to include free images - I own thousands.
(review of free book)
Review by: Sofia Winters on Sep. 1, 2014 :
Rylae's Storm by S T Xavier is a fantasy/sci-fi novel that is just a masterpiece! Done in a different writing style than I’m used to with most fantasy/sci-fi novels, I fell in love with this talented author’s way of delivering his imagination on the pages of this book! The characters are well thought out, and the vivid imagery and descriptiveness bring this book to life with ease and excitement as you read. I didn’t want to put this book down and I became more and more involved with the story I quickly realized it made the time fly and I had read into the wee hours of the night. I can’t wait to see more from this very talented author and I highly recommend this book!
(review of free book)
Review by: Dobledanger5 on Aug. 27, 2014 :
When you think of fantasy creatures, such as elves, dwarves, and goblins, you may think about medieval times. This book tears down that stereotype and throws these “Fantasy” creatures into a sci-fi setting. I’ve enjoyed stories that deconstruct these themes, and this one is well done. If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary or love Sci-Fi/Fantasy, then I’d pick up this book.
(review of free book)
Review by: Bobb B on Aug. 10, 2014 :
Rarely will I pen a review, but this book merits it.
Very good read, character depicted in a believable manner for their species, and best of all told in a lighthearted manner.
So good to find someone who has deviated from the dark and gloomy writing style which unfortunately seems to have pervaded todays writers. We jolly well need to have a book that we feel good about reading. This will be one of the few not deleted after reading.
Thank you for your publication.
(review of free book)
Review by: Andrew Marx on Aug. 9, 2014 :
Set in a spacefaring society helmed by a cast the likes of elves and dwarves, this is as far from Lord of the Rings as it is possible to get. The result is a very organically ”normal” group of the characters who just happen to be goblins, elves and dwarves oh my. It’s not that each race doesn’t have its own idiosyncrasies but that the author has somehow managed to convey those differences without making the story about those differences.

The settings, including the colorfully named Stenchstone, are fully realized locations. The world the author creates is grounded in self-described “magitech” that works because of the meticulous effort taken to describe it within a functional reality. As a result the book walks an interesting line between fantasy and science fiction. The story itself wraps around political intrigue, murder and a brewing war between races, making this fantasy world unexpectedly relatable to anyone who watches the morning news.
(review of free book)
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