The Crew (God Dust Saga #1), by Sadir S. Samir

1 Dec 2022

The Book

The Crew
Series: The God Dust Saga
Pages: 386
Age Group: Adult
Published on 29 Nov 2022
Publisher: Self-Published
FantasyEpic FantasyHumour
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Kings of the Wyld meets Deadpool in this action-packed fantasy adventure set in an Arab-inspired landscape.

Varcade fled to the deserts of Harrah to escape his past as an Educator, a member of an order of zealot warrior-monks that aims to shape the world according to their sacred Teachings by force. Varcade makes his living as a reckless sword-for-hire, caring only about himself, until his self-centered lifestyle is turned on its head when he is contracted to recruit a misfit team of unruly assassins and take out the mighty Bone Lord of Akrab.

But the Bone Lord is aware of the plot and sends her band of Dusters to stop them; individuals who have gained bizarre and lethal magical powers by snorting the pulverised bones of dead gods. Hunted by Educators and Dusters in a kingdom where an escalating conflict between the human and demon population threatens to boil over into a civil war, will Varcade and his oddball crew save Akrab from the cruel Bone Lord, or will they make things even worse?  

My Review

The Crew is the debut novel from Sadir S. Samir, and honestly, I think it's difficult to nail so many things in your first book as Sadir did. Pitched as Deadpool meets Kings of the Wyld, expectations were pretty high, as Deadpool is one of my favourite films; but I have to admit it delivered, and also gave me the vibes of another of my faves. If you want to get a funny novel, with epic tones and with quirky and charismatic characters, The Crew is your book.

We might not have Wade Wilson in The Crew, but we clearly have a character that feels like him, Varcade, but is slightly more spectacular, and I would say a little crazier. And what's the better way to show his abilities, that in a fight against a Duster, in one of his missions for the Guild. And you might ask: what's a Duster? Let me introduce you to another crazy element of Sadir's craft, the Dusters, people who after consuming God Dust, a remain of a war between gods, gain crazy powers. When I say crazy, I mean really crazy, things such as throwing exploding fish.

After this introduction to our main character, he returns to the Guild, proving he is one of the best in his job. And as one of the best, he gets recruited by Edghar, the former adviser of the ruler of Akkrab, to form a crew to depose her, as Edghar perceives as dangerous the last decisions she has taken. After gaining the interest of Varcade, Edghar fastly exposes his plan, creating a group of really talented people, and with their help, getting back the Throne. This marks the start of my favourite part of the book with no doubts, as I got vibes of Ocean's Eleven.

The process of getting these different members become a great way to show us how Akkrab and other cities are in serious danger of revolts, as the delicate equilibrium that allows demons and humans to live together is being broken. Trying to avoid spoilers, each one of the recruitments becomes memorable episodes, being each member of the Crew certainly a personality. Probably my favourite encounter is with Zuba, the necromancer, and how his house works, as we get to see our full crew for once.

And after this difficult process, we get to the second part of the plot, where our band has the opportunity to dethrone Clea. But what if Clea is not what all of us thought about her, and there are more things behind her decisions? Well, my friends, I have to say that this second arc despite being shorter, is really intense. There are plenty of fighting scenes (please, Vashir, don't change), and the final quarter of the arc is explosive.

Worldbuilding is quite interesting, despite I think it could have benefited from a greater length. I would have liked to know more about how God Dust gets produced, and about the delicate equilibrium among the seven cities of the desert. Samir does an excellent job transmitting the Arab inspiration to his book, embroidering small details into the craft that makes it feel authentic.

The Crew is such a good book, and a really funny one. It gives you exactly what it promises, with charismatic characters, jokes, and memorable moments. I can't wait to see what more Sadir S. Samir is able to do, because this novel is such a promising debut.

The Author/s

Sadir S. Samir

Sadir S. Samir

SADIR S. SAMIR spent his first years in the Middle East before moving to Sweden. A passion for storytelling manifested early in childhood, and he always knew that would be his guiding light in life growing up. That passion eventually led him to the video game industry where he’s been working as a game writer and a producer for over a decade. Now he lives in the medieval city of Uppsala, where he writes tales of the fantastical and bizarre.