- Fantasy in Midwest America – it sounded interesting and, as I grew up around there, it appealed to me.
Summary from GoodReads:
Callie LeRoux lives in Slow Run, Kansas, helping her mother run their small hotel and trying not to think about the father she’s never met. Lately all of her energy is spent battling the constant storms plaguing the Dust Bowl and their effects on her health. Callie is left alone when her mother goes missing in a dust storm. Her only hope comes from a mysterious man offering a few clues about her destiny and the path she must take to find her parents in “the golden hills of the west”: California.
Along the way she meets Jack, a young hobo boy who is happy to keep her company — there are dangerous, desperate people at every turn. And there’s also an otherworldly threat to Callie. Warring fae factions, attached to the creative communities of American society, are very much aware of the role this half-mortal, half-fae teenage girl plays in their fate.
Fairies and Kansas. Not a combination you would think would work – but it did in Dust Girl by Sarah Zettel.
Before I get into the review I’m going to be completely honest with you – I started reading this book three times. The first time I could not get past the first few pages. The second time I made it about 20 pages in, and it wasn’t until I saw a very positive review of Dust Girl that I managed to finally pick the book up and dive in, fully committed.
Once I pushed past those first 20 pages I finally started to get the appeal. You see, Dust Girl is unlike the typical fantasy young adult books I’ve read – and mostly that’s because of setting. It’s stuck in this strange, in-between place between Urban Fantasy and High Fantasy. It’s filled with Seelie and Unseelie, post-apocolyptic settings, and the midwest. The closest I’ve come to reading something like that would be Steampunkish novels or western-fantasy. So once I managed to get my head wrapped around the strangeness, I began to thoroughly enjoy myself.
That’s not to say the story was without flaws. I was upset that the entire book seemed to be a prelude for something. You know how people complained about the second to last Harry Potter movie by saying, “they camped here, then they camped there, then they camped here…” and so on? Well, this book was a lot of traveling. There was a movement here, then there, then another place and very little resolution. In fact, just as I felt as if answers would finally come my way the book ended, so that was that. I’ll leave my rant for cliffhangers and the inability of most authors to write a single, standing novel for another time – but I do firmly believe each installment of a trilogy or quartet should have some resolution of its own, and I did not find that in Dust Girl. If that affects you as it does me, I’d recommend waiting until all the books are out – but if you simply cannot wait, or are looking for something different in the fantasy genre to read right now, this is a contender for an entertaining read.
…. Once you get past the first 20 pages, that is.
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