Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Dust City by Robert Paul Weston

Dust City by Robert Paul Weston.
Publisher: Razorbill.
Pages: 304.
Release Date: September 30th, 2010.
Source: Gift.
Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?

His son, that's who.

Ever since his father's arrest for the murder of Little Red Riding Hood, teen wolf Henry Whelp has kept a low profile in a Home for Wayward Wolves . . . until a murder at the Home leads Henry to believe his father may have been framed.

Now, with the help of his kleptomaniac roommate, Jack, and a daring she-wolf named Fiona, Henry will have to venture deep into the heart of Dust City: a rundown, gritty metropolis where fairydust is craved by everyone-and controlled by a dangerous mob of Water Nixies and their crime boss leader, Skinner.

Can Henry solve the mystery of his family's sinister past? Or, like his father before him, is he destined for life as a big bad wolf?

Out of all of the novels that experiment with Grimm's fairy tales, Dust City has to be one of my favorites. Something about the mixture of ethereal creatures like fairies with the harsh, gritty world of drugs and conspiracies and murder just works so well and weaves together this completely unputdownable book.

There are so many tiny details that contribute to my love for this book: the coexistence of revolutionized animals with humans, the blatant prejudice and segregation of the two, and the authenticity of how drug dealers (or I guess I should say "dust" dealers) work. There are so many human elements and flaws being expressed with fairy tale characters. If this same story/plot was a contemporary story with all humans, I wouldn't have loved it as much as I did. Like I said before, there's something oddly entertaining about classic creatures from our childhood being thrown into these demented, real-life situations.

The book is a quick read, very fast-paced and I think it worked with the plot. I do, however, wish it were fleshed out a bit more. I love Henry's character, but I kind of wanted a glimpse into his life before all of this chaos hammered down on him. And more of his father! The entire book kind of plays around "like father, like son" but other than other characters mentioning him, I feel like I didn't get enough of the "big, bad wolf" father. I also would have liked a lot more of Fiona. She struck me as a charming, witty and brave heroine, so I was kind of bummed that she doesn't play a bigger role. But those are just a few things that I, personally, would have liked to see. The story definitely works just fine without them!

Overall, I really enjoyed Dust City. I can't believe that it got swept under the rug when it released and that I haven't heard people ranting and raving about it because it totally deserves that kind of attention. If you're in the mood for something fantastical and fast-paced with a lot of action and mystery, something dark and gritty and raw, I definitely recommend Dust City.

Other reviews for Dust City:
Tempting Persephone.
Mundie Moms.


  1. I bought this in a children's bookstore here in DC on the recommendation of the bookseller. I took it home and didn't read it. Then I gave it to my younger brother for Christmas. He LOVED it. And now I totally want to steal it back. Or I could, you know, just buy another copy...


    Great review, by the way.

  2. Oh wow! This is the first I've heard of the book, and it sounds awesome! Fairy tale retellings are awesome, but they're usually from the point of views that we're familiar with (Cinderella's POV, Little Red's POV, etc). But, this seems like a pretty unique spin. I've yet to read a book from the POV of someone so close to the villain in the stories. I'm intrigued, so I'm definitely adding this to my TBR list!

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