Saturday, September 18, 2010

Dust City by Robert Paul Weston

Dust City
Pages (Hardcover): 304 pages
Publisher: Razorbill
Released: September 30, 2010

Quick Thoughts: What do you get when you mix a classic fairy tale, an urban fantasy like setting, and a beautiful cover? You get Robert Paul Weston's new novel, Dust City. This has all the things I love in a book! I mentioned before that I love fairy tale retellings, I love urban fantasy, and I'm a sucker for nice covers, so I was really excited to get my hands on this book and read it!

Review: Henry Whelp is the son of the famous big bad wolf, you know, the one that killed Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother. His father claims to be under something when it happened. He knows he killed them, but it was the fairy dust brought out that side of him. He was meant to do a simple job, but Skinner, the drug lord that Henry’s father worked for, gave him something to calm his nerves. Too bad, it did more than that. But Henry’s father knows it’s the fairy dust!

But that's impossible.

All of the fairy magic has disappeared and now big corporations are sucking up the remnants of the old magic for simple things like medicine, electricity, and even as a means to get high.

It's not until after the death of Henry's therapist that he starts to wonder about the real story behind the fairy dust. And maybe find a way to help his dad and get the girl in the end.

Final Thoughts: There are a lot of great things in the book. I enjoyed hearing about the division between the animals and humans. The fact that a wolf can break a window and go to jail is scary, but things like that happen in this day and age too, which is even scarier.

I think if you took out the magical elements of this book, and some scenes near the end, it would still hold true to what is happening to some people. So I liked seeing this as it made me connect to the story more.

I also loved Detective White, I just wish we saw more of her and actually saw her make progress in trying to catch Henry. She kept saying that Henry couldn't get away from her, but I never felt the urgency in her words. She says something, and then disappears.

This brings me to one of the first things that I didn't like about the book, the lack of character development. Did I like the characters? For the most part I did. Did I know anything about them? That is a good question. They were there, but never felt real to me. The only character that was semi developed was Jack, but we hardly see him as well.

The main problem about this novel is the pacing. Everything felt too rushed. One moment we're with Henry in jail and once it starts to get interesting and I start to wonder more about the jail, Henry breaks out.

Then Henry starts to walk to the streets of the City and I start to get interested again. Then he's working with the drug lord, Skinner. This has potential, real potential. And I'm waiting for more about the drugs, his team, and about this side of the underworld...but all of a sudden, he's in Eden. Eden goes by too quickly for me to wonder how the world is like and then the book is done.

Each time I start to feel invested in a character or the world, the scene changes. This was incredibly disappointing for me, since I was eagerly anticipating this book and due to the pacing, my experience is slightly ruined. I just wish that there was a bit more development, since I wanted more meat to the story.

There is a good story here and I am in the minority about this, I just wish the pacing was better.

Grade: 5.5 out of 10

Thank you to Penguin Canada for providing this book for review.

Read the shorter review at 5 Line Reviews

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