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The Dust of 100 Dogs

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  3,222 ratings  ·  680 reviews
In the late seventeenth century, famed teenage pirate Emer Morrisey was on the cusp of escaping the pirate life with her one true love and unfathomable riches when she was slain and cursed with "the dust of one hundred dogs," dooming her to one hundred lives as a dog before returning to a human body-with her memories intact.

Now she's a contemporary American teenager and al
Paperback, 330 pages
Published February 8th 2009 by Flux
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Feb 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Shannon by: Linda Gerber
Infamous and bloodthirsty, teenage pirate Emer is all set to leave her days plundering the Spanish in the Caribbean behind and sail off with her long-lost and new-found love, Seanie, and their treasure for Ireland, when she is killed by an old enemy and cursed to live the life of a hundred dogs.

A hundred dogs and about three hundred years later, Emer is reborn in 1972 as Saffron Adams - with all her memories intact, memories of being Emer and of being numerous dogs all over the world. The last c
Aug 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: blog, young-adult
This is definitely one of the more interesting premises that I've encountered in young adult fiction and, given all of the carbon copy Twilight/Harry Potter series books out there, it deserves high praise for that alone.

Young Emer Morrisey has a loving family and a happy childhood until her parents are brutally killed and her village destroyed during Cromwell's invasion of Ireland. From that point on, Emer's life is one disappointment after another: poverty, arranged marriage, abusive uncle, hu
Let me just say that I love the idea of this book. A girl who has suffered poverty, famine, loss, and abuse in 17th century Ireland winds up finding herself in the role of “scourge of the seven seas” and just when she thinks that she has it all made, she ends up dead and cursed to live out one hundred lifetimes as a dog. Sounds like a really terrific and original idea, right? Well, it is. It’s just not executed very well. This story feels rushed, bland, and forgettable. So I say five stars for t ...more
Sep 28, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Captain Feathersword
Recommended to Mariel by: diamond dogs
The Dust of Dogs could have been a much better book. Should have been, but the gimmicks probably do the trick to sell it, so why would anyone care about doing something more? Sigh. That's not a resigned sigh. I still expect waaay more. It's not the worst book ever, it's readable and reasonably entertaining, but my mind wouldn't shut off while reading it.

If I were A.S. King's editor or best buddy proof reader (and doesn't get dog poop flung at her for voicing her honest opinions)...

The selling/ta
Small Review
Jan 14, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2011-read
Originally posted at Small Review

This is not the book I signed up for

I was expecting a high seas adventure with pirates, epic love, reincarnation, a unique curse, and exciting treasure hunts. Instead I got a fractured story that never went anywhere and had gratuitous rape, sex, animal abuse, and violence. Based on the description, I really wanted to read this book. I still do. Unfortunately, that isn’t the book A. S. King wrote.

The plot that went nowhere

I felt like an abused donkey with a carrot
There are a lot of things I could say about the writing and the structure of the book, and the alternating viewpoints, and the interestingness of it all, but what I really want to talk about is this:
I'm kind of amazed at how dark this book is.  I mean, don't get me wrong, I sort of loved it, but my god...this is a dark book.  That description up ↑there↑ makes it sound sort of campy and quirky - a fun pirate romp.  Not so much.  Emer was a pirate in the full sense of the word: she stole and swahs
Cross posted from my blog E. M. Reads

Wow, this is soooo good! 5 really big stars! I can't even begin to describe all the facets of Dust. It has 3 (maybe 4) different plot lines that converge beautifully. It's action packed and totally captivating. The book literally held my brain hostage for two days. When I wasn't reading it I was thinking about reading it (not a necessarily a good thing when you're working your 8 to 5).

Doing a typical synopsis would take hours and I just don't have the time t
Oct 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Emer Morrisey, named after a female hero from an Irish tale, has almost lived up to her namesake. But history and circumstance has separated her from her one true love and eventually forced her into a life of piracy. Years later, this young and independent woman is ready to renounce her pirating ways, keeping only a small portion of her stolen riches, to be with her long lost love. Tragically, they are bother killed, and Emer is cursed with “the dust of one hundred dogs,” forcing her to endure o ...more
Aug 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: mature teens and adults
It's still months away from release date, but I was lucky enough to read an early copy of this book. I completely fell in love with it and agreed to blurb it:

The Dust of 100 Dogs is a non-traditional pirate tale with a dangerously raw, mystical edge and a unique modern twist that will make you cringe, despair, despise and adore. Deliciously fresh and starkly unforgettable...for at least the next three hundred years. –Lisa McMann, NYT bestselling author of WAKE

Watch for this book around the end o
Apr 24, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009, ya
This book had such great reviews and praised so highly by both critics and readers, I expected to adore it. Sorry to say, I was a little underwhelmed. I liked it, but I didn't love it.

Let me start with the positives. First of all, the concept of the book if not original, then certainly not very frequently explored. I find the idea of reincarnation quite fascinating. This book is very hard to put down. It is an extremely engaging and consuming read. Some elements of the story are very emotional
Aug 01, 2010 rated it did not like it
I was excited about this book! A reincarnated female pirate who lived the lives of 100 dogs before returning to claim her buried treasure? How different! How unique! How action-packed! Right?


This book is the Neverending Backstory. The first 200 pages are nothing but backstory on the heroine's first miserable life in Ireland and her current miserable life as a high school student. The most piratical action we see is the modern-day incarnation fantasizing about stabbing people with a marlins
Oct 15, 2010 rated it liked it
TBR Reduce Challenge #31- 2011 (Morgan)

(2.5 stars)

I honestly don't know what to say about this book. The Dust of 100 Dogs is wonderfully weird, brilliantly written and 100% unique...but this isn't exactly my kind of read. It was a bit confusing, a little to..savage then what I'm use to, but despite my dislikes this book has a way of pulling you along till the very last page. Emer/Saffron had a very unusual life. It was twisted, dark and yet I still found her determination and fight likable. I g
May 21, 2011 rated it liked it
“Emer…eventually found she enjoyed ripping an eye from the men she killed. Especially the men who glared at her body. It was a way to remind them to never underestimate a woman, she figured. One less eye to ogle with.”

High Points.
The cover. Seriously, how gorgeous is that cover? It’s definitely one of my favourites from this year. The idea. Emer’s childhood. Adventures on the high seas. Treasure.

Low Points.
The execution. I just feel so very disappointed because I can’t help but think this book
Apr 23, 2009 rated it liked it
Dust of 100 Dogs by A. S. King was a very interesting read. I was intrigued, confused, and captivated by the dual main characters Emer and Saffron. I enjoyed reading about Emer’s back story, and I felt compassion for her. However, I struggled with Saffron because she seemed damaged and mentally twisted, as a result of her past pirate life. I didn’t quite know how to feel about her because at times I was repulsed by her thoughts. However, that didn’t stop me from hoping she would accomplish her g ...more
May 11, 2009 rated it it was ok
First things first: I had a hard time rating this book. Two stars doesn't seem to do it justice but three stars would be too generous - it was more then okay but I didn't totally like it.

Saffron Adams isn't your normal modern teenager. She's actually the reincarnation of Emer Morrisey, a cursed pirate who sailed the Caribbean over 300 years ago. The curse? She was cursed to live the lives of 100 dogs before coming back as a human once more. Why? Well, that wasn't super clear. I mean, yeah, she
Jul 08, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: pirates at heart
This book has basically the coolest premise EVER. Emer, an Irish girl living in the time of Cromwell, suffers many hardships before eventually turning to a life of piracy. She has an epic love, a creepy stalker, and a propensity to carve out her victims' eyeballs.

Then she ticks off the wrong... magician (I guess), and gets cursed to be reincarnated 100 times as a dog. It's only after these hundred dog lives that she is born as a human once more. Namely, she is Saffron. She can't wait to graduate
There's a lot of potential in the ideas King throws out here, but I think that she ultimately tries to do too much. Saffron is the reincarnation of teenaged pirate Emer, born with all of her memories. Her lifelong goal is to track down the treasure Emer had buried in her last moments. In between, Emer has lived through 100 lives as a dog. Sounds like an interesting story, and this part is. But the promise of swashbuckling pirate action isn't quite lived up to, not as much as I'd like. The proble ...more
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
“Humans want to conquer everyone they can, and buy everything they see. I think this is because humans have forgotten how to be happy.

This is an odd story but A.S. King always gives me odd ones that I end up loving. Parts fantasy but also real world, it was interesting to try to keep the story lines and characters in line. Dealing with the two time frames, the inner goals with outer reality was interesting to juggle too.

I did love it but it was a different read.
Tara Chevrestt
Jan 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is a darn good book. I question its appropriateness for young adults due to some language and sexual content, but as an adult, I really liked it and devoured it in a day. The story goes back and forth between Emer and Saffron. They are actually one and the same. Emer was basically cursed upon her death in the late 17th century and after living as 100 separate dogs since, finally has a human body again, in the form of Saffron living in the 20th century.

18th century Emer is a tough cookie in
Maurynne  Maxwell
Apr 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book! Love the author's take on things, especially the "asides" chapters that explain life from a dog's perspective. It's being marketed as YA and I recognize totally the wise, wise-cracking and desperate voice of an intelligent outsider teen. But there's certainly adult subject matter--remember that adulthood came early in those days.
You see, Emer was a girl pirate in the 17th century--and just as she had found her true love (after much tribulation) she was killed and cursed to live the
Caitlín (Ink Mage)
Jan 15, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nautical
I hate to be one of the few people who isn't gushing about this book, but I really can't. It was a very interesting idea, but not (in my opinion) AMAZING like a lot of reviews found it to be. I thought the characters were pretty flat, and felt very removed from them. Emer/Saffron kept talking about how she wanted to rip out people's eyes, but I really didn't see the reason that she should be more than annoyed at them. It was as if the author was telling us that Saffron was a ruthless pirate, ins ...more
Margaret Stohl
Jun 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing

Impossible to describe, incredibly well written, one of the most creative YA releases of this year. I wouldn't have believed anyone could have stitched together one novel that spans hundreds of years and Ireland, Jamaica and New Jersey. You have to commit to this story, and then focus, because you have to use your brain just to keep up with the rollicking, wandering plot. A top-shelf, thinking person's YA add. Will be cherished in libraries for the lifetime of at least another 100 dogs!
DNF page 126.

At a third of the way into the novel, not only are there no pirates to speak of yet, I'm sick of reading about Emer/Saffron (as she's called in her 20th C reincarnation) and her incessant whinging. Even the historical chapters detailing Emer's childhood (and pre-pirate life) during Cromwell's 17th century invasion of Ireland bored me - the writing felt childish and immature, and while that may have been an attempt to reflect Emer's young age (around 6 years old), I don't think you n
Oct 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5/5 Stars
Jul 18, 2009 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Hallie by: Saw in bookshop after noticing Lisa Mantchev was reading atm.
I was put off this book pretty early, by a very puzzling scene supposedly set in Ireland in 1958. Other than that, I found the heroine - or heroines, as there are essentially two, with the modern-day one having the memories of her 1600s Irish self, but not actually being that self - unlikeable. Emer's speaking in a quite modern tone while back in Ireland, and suddenly taking to throwing out the odd 'Arg' when she was a pirate was also inexplicable. The Dog Facts were a distraction from the story ...more
Jenni Arndt
Dec 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: purchased-own
Over the last few months I have come to be a huge fan of author A.S. King. Please Ignore Vera Dietz was one of my favorite reads of last year and following that experience I was quick to add all of her books to my TBR and pick them up. My second foray into her writing was The Dust of 100 Dogs and I can definitely say that this one threw me for a loop. This novel is unlike anything I have ever read and is incredibly ambitious. I think King pulled off something so out there really well even though ...more
Oct 25, 2009 rated it it was ok
I don't really know what to make of this book; I almost feel that the back of the books description was a better read than the book itself. Which is weird because I didn't not like it, but If I was truly honest with myself I didn't research it before reading because I loved the cover so much which has gotten me to read a lot Young Adult Books that ended up being terrible before, and that brings me to another reason I had an issue with this book because I don't feel this should be listed as a rea ...more
Jul 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
Initially I was skeptical. I mean all I have been hearing is how fabulous this novel is. And I found myself thinking.... can it really be that good? Will I end up hating for the mere fact that everyone else loves it?

But alas, I read it and understood what all the fuss was really about. Because believe me when I say, it was really that good.

For me it all goes back to Emer Morrisey. Her story was dare I say is unimaginable and have that come across as a compliment? I was so saturated with her st
Jan 12, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009, pirates, pub-flux
I saw this book cover all over the Internet for several weeks but never looked into the storyline because it didn't seem like my kind of book (judging by the cover). Then I read what it was about and saw the trailer and was instantly intrigued. A girl who becomes a pirate, is cursed to live the lives of 100 dogs before resuming human form again and searching for her buried treasure? Pretty cool!

It was a good book but my expectations where high so I was disappointed. It was slow to get into. Firs
This was quite an unusual story.

There were pirates, dogs and dog facts, a lot of violence, sex as well as the big loot.

The story is about Emer/Saffron who are trying to retrieve something that was once hers.

I liked how Emer and Saffron are somehow blended together; I always thought of Saffron being Emer and she also was, at least a part of her. But they were still not the same characters.

The 1970's and 1980's were portrayed really great, I really enjoyed Saffron's indifference when being a child
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Love YA Like Crazy: Episode #27: 'The Dust of 100 Dogs' by A.S. King 1 1 Feb 04, 2018 01:48PM  
YA Reads for Teac...: Dust of 100 Dogs - A.S. King 15 36 Sep 06, 2010 02:42PM  

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A.S. King is the author of the highly-acclaimed I CRAWL THROUGH IT, Walden Award winner GLORY O'BRIEN'S HISTORY OF THE FUTURE, REALITY BOY, 2013 LA Times Book Prize winner ASK THE PASSENGERS, 2012 ALA Top Ten Book for Young Adults EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS, and 2011 Michael L. Printz Honor Book PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ and THE DUST OF 100 DOGS as well as a collection of award-winning short stories f ...more

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