Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dust City - Robert Paul Weston

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?
(Synopsis taken from goodreads.)

Title: Dust City
Genre: Young Adult, Dark Fantasy
Publisher: Puffin
Publication Date: September 30, 2010
Source: Received from publicist. Many thanks goes to Vimala from Penguin Canada for sending me this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. 
My rating: 4/5

Dust City tells the story of young Henry Whelp, and what life is like for him, the son of the wolf who murdered Little Red Riding Hood and her grandma. The fairies have left Eden and Dust City, and they have taken their fairy dust and their happily ever afters with them. The drug companies start scrambling for purchase as they mine the residual fairy dust left behind. When someone Henry is close to dies, Henry will make some startling realizations that hint that his father might have been framed all those years ago. 
Dust City is a gritty, urban, and dark fairy tale recreation. I enjoyed how Weston reverted to the original fairy tales, and how he used the darkness within them to relay this possible outcome for what happens after the magic disappears. Many of the characters within Dust City are well known in their respective fairy tales, so it was neat to see them juxtaposed in this new, alternate reality. 
Henry is a wolf, though when reading his voice throughout the book it is easy to forget that he isn't human. Well, until certain things happen, but if I mention any more I'll be giving away some of the book, and I don't want to spoil it for anyone. Regardless, Henry seems like he could be a boy, rather than a wolf, but circumstances dictate that he's a wolf, and will always be looked down on as a wolf. He has the unique perspective of realizing his father has been most likely framed, and it is interesting to see how he copes with that realization, as well as the realization that things in Dust City aren't as they seem. 
There are a host of side characters who add a richness to the cast and to the book. I found it amusing to see what roles some of the fairy tale princesses played in this novel, and it was a refreshing twist on the whole fairy tale genre. 
All in all, a fresh, dark look at a promising, and unique world. I wouldn't mind reading more in this vein; especially if Weston is the one writing the re-imaginings. A realistic and raw look at life after the fairies are gone. I'd definitely recommend this one to fans of urban fantasy, dark fantasy, and fantasy in general. Sink your teeth into Dust City


Anonymous said...

Wow, this looks like a good read! I love the cover as well. I also like reading YA fairy tale reworkings, so thanks for the recommendation.


Amber Skye said...

This one looks quite fascinating. I've never heard of something like it before. I'll definitely be checking it out :)