Dust Book Review

Book Review: Dust by Kara Swanson

Claire Kenton believes the world is too dark for magic to be real–since her twin brother was stolen away as a child. Now Claire’s desperate search points to London… and a boy who shouldn’t exist.

Peter Pan is having a beastly time getting back to Neverland. Grounded in London and hunted by his own Lost Boys, Peter searches for the last hope of restoring his crumbling island: a lass with magic in her veins.

The girl who fears her own destiny is on a collision course with the boy who never wanted to grow up. The truth behind this fairy tale is about to unravel everything Claire thought she knew about Peter Pan–and herself.”

Author: Kara Swanson

Genre: YA Fantasy/Fairytale Retelling

Age: 13-18

Rating: 4.5

Dust in a Nutshell

You know the mark of a good book? When you want to read it again immediately after you finish it. Let me introduce you to Dust, aka the reason why I’ve been staying up way past my bed time for the last 4 nights.

Years after the disappearance of her twin brother, Claire Kenton is a broken girl with a freak skin condition and a dead-end job. The only thing she has left of Connor is a worn copy of Peter Pan…and a note telling her that he’s going to Neverland. When she receives a clue that about his last known whereabouts,  she drops everything and begins her search in London. 

Hunted and quickly aging, Peter Pan is searching for the one person that can restore Neverland and send him home. There’s just one problem. Well, two, actually.  She hates him (or at least what she knows about Peter Pan) and she thinks that the magical pixie dust swirling around her (the pixie dust he needs) is some kind of skin disease. While Dust explores the darker side of the fairytale as Peter is forced to face the consequences of his childlike selfishness and essentially “grow up.” Meanwhile, Claire finally loves and accepts herself. 

What I Liked

I fell in love with the characters in Dust. Their struggles will drawyou in and make your heart break along with them. There are some very mild spiritual themes in the book, but overall it focuses on the natural development of the characters.

Also, I love that Dust explores the selfish nature of Peter Pan and Neverland. I’ve always found the legend of a shadowy figure slipping into homes and whisking away little boys kind of creepy. Kara Swanson is a master of vivid descriptions. I wasn’t just reading Dust, I was there. I saw the pixie dust swirling around Claire and the dingy alleys of London.

What I Didn’t

The downsides? The beginning was confusing. It took about three chapters for me to get into the story. Once I did, I was hooked (pun totally intended). Finally, as beautiful as the vivid descriptions and internal monologue was, sometimes I felt distracted. I just wanted to keep moving forward and the internal angst pulled me out of the story occasionally.

Would I Recommend?

Great characters, suspenseful plot, vivid setting. It would not surprise me at all if this book signs as a movie deal in the future.

Dust is a must-read. You’ll be dying to find out what Peter Pan did to his island, how Claire is so powerful, and what the heck happened to her brother. And once you do, you’ll be either a.) ticked off that you have to wait until Shadow is released to read more. Or B.) buy Shadow immediately on Amazon. 

Either way, get this book.