Publication Date: 30 September 2010
I received an ARC of Dust City from Star Book Tours.
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?
Henry searches for the truth surrounding his father's arrest in a gritty reimage of a fairy tale world starring evolutionary characters.
What Worked (for me)
Robert Paul Weston has taken a well known fairy tale and created a unique story full of suspense and mystery. Henry Whelp breaks out of the Home For Wayward Wolves to find out what really happened the night his father murdered a young girl and her grandmother. He finds more questions than answers on his journey to the truth, but with the help of his friends, Fiona and Jack, he is able to crack the mystery and expose the horrible deeds of people no one would suspect.
I liked how Weston didn't just reimagine the story of Little Red Riding Hood. He used other popular fairy tale characters to populate the world of Henry Whelp. My favorite was Henry's friend, Jack. At first, Jack, the only hominid (human) in the Home, seemed like a normal character until he escapes using magic beans that grow a tree (sound familar?) Cindy Ella and Snow White also make appearances. Weston's creativity at recrafting these individuals into different, but still recognizable characters, is great and drew me into the story of Dust City.
What Didn't Work (for me)
When I first started reading the story I was confused about Henry, the wolves and the other animalia because they (seemingly) walked and talked like humans. It wasn't until I got further into the story that the evolution of all the animalia was explained. I felt this explaination could have occurred earlier in the story to avoid confusion. I know, at the beginning, this took away from my understanding and enjoyment of the novel itself. Once this was revealed, I went back and reread some of the beginning Dust City with new eyes. It definitely made it easier for me to be drawn into the story once the evolution angle was revealed.
Dust City is a great reimage of the fairy tale world. Weston has taken familar characters, twisted them up, and shone them in a new light with a fantastic story of mystery and evil. He's even got a little romance thrown in for good measure. I would definitely recommend Dust City to anyone who is a fan of dark, gritty fairy stories.
My rating is 4 stars
Description and picture courtesy of Goodreads.