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3.85  ·  Rating details ·  365 ratings  ·  182 reviews
Delta of Dead River sets out to rescue her family from a ruthless dictator rising to power in the Wastes and discovers a secret that will reshape her world in this postapocalyptic Western mashup for fans of Mad Max and Gunslinger Girl.

Delta of Dead River has always been told to hide her back, where a map is branded on her skin to a rumored paradise called the Verdant. In 
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published April 20th 2021 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Carol Few (but some) actual curse words, but she uses some made up ones that work wonderfully for this world. "Scud off" "The rusted . . ."…moreFew (but some) actual curse words, but she uses some made up ones that work wonderfully for this world. "Scud off" "The rusted . . ."(less)
Erin Bowman It's a standalone!

I had originally envisioned this story as a series, but had to restructure it when I was only able to sell one book to my publisher.…more
It's a standalone!

I had originally envisioned this story as a series, but had to restructure it when I was only able to sell one book to my publisher. Delta's story is self-contained and wrapped up in this novel. If I ever get a chance to write more in this world, it will likely be a companion novel... Same world but new main character, new plot/conflict. But again, nothing is planned at the moment and Dustborn stands on its own!(less)

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Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  365 ratings  ·  182 reviews

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♠ Tabi⁷₈⁷ ♠
Jun 01, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: netgalley, edelweiss
Mad Max . . . The 100 . . . western vibes . . .

Mar 18, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Dustborn by Erin Bowman is a young adult fantasy read that mixes in a lot of different elements. This one is a post apocalyptic with a western feel to it, think along the lines of Mad Max. Along with a sort of western dystopian setting you have a bit of sci fi and some romance making a good mix involved in the story.

Delta of Dead River is the main character in this dust covered fantasy world. Delta, her mother and sister live with their pack in a village in the desert. Venturing away is frowned
Celia McMahon
Jan 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Thank you, NetGalley, Edelweiss, and the publisher for the arc.

Yea so, when I was approved for the same book days apart on two different sites, I took that as a sign to read this bad boy ASAP. Erin Bowman has solidified herself as one of my favorites authors, and I was so excited to see what this book had to offer. I was not let down whatsoever.

First, let's focus on the cover. I get Dune/Mad Max/Waterworld vibes and save for Waterworld, I was in like a chicken wing. The story starts off with De
Sep 24, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2021-releases
September 24, 2020: OH, i love mad max so much, i expect a lot from this one ahh
Jan 29, 2021 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of The 100
3.5 Stars

☆ advanced reader copy from edelweiss ☆

This is a wonderful post-apocalyptic standalone and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

This is pitched for fans of The 100, and I definitely agree with it. More specifically, season 2 and season 5 of The 100.

I loved the unforgiving atmosphere/setting of the story. The title does not lie, it is indeed very dusty. The world is truly harrowing and what's more harrowing is that this future could be plausible.

Plotwise, this novel isn't the strongest. It takes t
ale ♡
Apr 21, 2021 marked it as to-read
the hell, i'm in ...more
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
AHHHHHH I NEED IT NOW 😍 I loved the Contagion and Vengeance Road duologies SO much!
I received an e-arc of this book, thanks to Netgalley and the publisher, in exchange for me leaving an honest review.

3/3,5 stars
Dustborn was overall a fun and fast paced read from beginning till end. I really enjoyed everything I’ve read, but I also feel that this is a story that could’ve been developed more on some parts, in my honest opinion, especially seeing it’s a standalone. I remain hopeful that the author decides to venture out more into this world by writing a sequel or maybe a spin-off
Alex (The Scribe Owl)
See this review and more at my blog, The Scribe Owl

Thank you to Edelweiss+ for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

3.5/5 stars

Dustborn is an intense post-apocalyptic rightly marketed to fans of The 100 and other similar dystopian stories.

Delta was told to stay hidden ever since a map to paradise was branded on her back at the age of five. And her pack desperately needs paradise. One problem: no one can read the map. One day, Delta returns home from helping her older sister to find her home b
Emmy Neal
Nov 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: quarantine-reads
I really did enjoy this immensely, our main is a slightly more revenge oriented Rey (Star Wars) which was not a bad thing at all, imo. Erin's worldbuilding is a masterclass in raising stakes and layering plot. ...more
ARC received!!!

Thank you so much to HMH Teen!!!

I have really enjoyed Bowman's work before and I have a feeling this will be more of the same. I think the premise of this sounds incredible. Right up my alley.
May 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Dustborn is so good! I really loved the world. It was so methodically plotted and easy to follow and just AMAZING. I finished it and even though I was told this is a stand-alone felt a sense of loss we won't get more of this world. Because like I said it was so good!

If you want a story that's not driven by what popular now and driven by true and authentic content... something that's built and weaved from nothing into a whole new world you can visualize and feel attached to. A book to just swall
Apr 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
Akin to Blood Red Road with elements of Mad Max, Dustborn by Erin Bowman is an exciting YA standalone that reminds me why I love the dystopian genre. Bowman wastes no time setting up the dire situations that are the stark reality in the dust-storm-ravaged wasteland that is our setting. The bleak world is reflected in our MC, Delta, whose capacity for hope is tested again and again as her losses mount and struggles abound. She is not an immediately likeable character, but her rough edges hold a k ...more
Kal ★ Reader Voracious

🎉 Happy book birthday, Dustborn!
Dustborn is everything I wanted it to be and will be a book I shove lovingly to everyone I know and I'm not even remotely sorry about it. Dustborn is a must-read for fans of Mad Max and and stories of humanity's hopeful perseverance in the face of adversity. Honestly, how am I supposed to review such an amazing book?
"The northern sky is alight with ribbons of green and white, dancing and twining above the darkening horizon. A silent storm is coming."
Kendra Cusworth
Feb 28, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs, 2021-reads
3 stars

Dustborn is a fast-paced YA post-apocalyptic standalone. The story is unique and fun and has loads of Mad Max vibes.

Water is extremely limited and there are dust storms and our protagonists mentions never having seen a tree before. Everyone is hoping to one day find The Verdant, a city said to be a lush and green paradise. In order to one day find their way to this paradise, Delta is branded on her back with a map to The Verdant at a young age. The only problem is that no one knows how t
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
This was definitely a captivating read in it's almost real feel to it. With the world as crazy as it has been, it is no wonder this book appealed to me right away.

A while it did drag at times and the ending left me wanting more to the story it was definitely an original take with unusual ideas and concept. Maybe not my absolute favorite from this author but a good read nonetheless and one that will definitely keep you entertained.

*ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Jul 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Well this book was certainly a little how-do-you-do of vengeful post-apocalyptic YA Novels. I was promised Mad Max and I was fed exactly that and more. This is a book that is most certainly going to sweep across the young adult world and take them by storm.

Dustborn follows Delta of Dead River; dead being the operating term because everything in this vast landscape has blown away into dust. Delta has just returned from journeying in an attempt to save her sister and sister’s newborn baby’s life.
Aug 08, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5/5 stars. - To Be Released in April 2021.
Thank you NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group for the opportunity to read and review this ARC.

To quickly sum up the premise, Dustborn is Waterworld + Mad Max. Water is limited, dust storms are constant, and the everyone lives with the hope of finding the Verdant - a lush, green, and prosperous area of the earth. Delta of Dead River has been branded with a map to the Verdant on her back as a child and told never to show it to a
Erin Arkin
Apr 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
I loved everything about this book! Erin Bowman does such a fantastic job with building out the worlds her characters inhabit and from page one (really...the cover) Delta of Dead River had my attention.

A lot happens quickly in this book and I could feel the tension throughout. Delta is our main character and she lives with her mother and sister (along with her pack) in a world where it's thought their Gods will save them from the challenges they face just trying to survive.

The character develop
Amber (The Book Bratz)
Jul 23, 2020 marked it as to-read
I’m a huge Erin Bowman fan so I’m so excited that HMH approved me for an eGalley if DUSTBORN! 😭 Who do I thank for this 😭😭😭🥺🥺🥺🥺
J Wells
Jun 13, 2021 rated it liked it
3.5 I liked that this was not a trilogy, the author managed to fit 3 books into 1 without losing anything. The characters were developed well and their backstories filled in while the book progressed. I really liked the "where did we come from" theme and how it can be used as a reference to the world today, well done. ...more
Andria Sedig
Jul 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
I absolutely LOVED this book. It was action packed with a unique setting and characters that were engaging. I loved how gruesome and unflinching Delta was. I loved learning about the lore and the "world building" of this solar-flair riddled Earth. I loved reading the descriptions of objects that were foreign to Delta and being like, oh that's a pair of binoculars or a bunker. The story was surprising and kept me guessing as I was reading as well. I will say that the one small drawback of this bo ...more
I loved this book! I thought it was original - not nearly as trope-y as most. The setting was different - almost more of a 1980s version of post-apocalyptic. There was sort of a love triangle, but not really, so yay. And there was a bit of a twist that I wasn't expecting. I also appreciate the fact that it is a stand-alone. The description reminded me a little of the Dust Lands series (which I adored) by Moira Young, but the book itself is actually quite different from that series.
I received an
May 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
So despite the fact that I’ve enjoyed all the books I’ve read by this author, I had fairly low expectations for this book, mostly because I’m not terribly into westerns or dystopians.

I ended up absolutely loving it and flying through it! The beginning was tense and exciting, and the world was raw, gritty and dusty. Bowman did such a great job describing the desert wasteland that is the setting that I was starting to get thirsty. Delta was an enjoyable heroine - determined to survive at any cost
Xia ✻.
2.5 stars

The pages flew by in a whirlwind of action and exciting adventure. That is a fact.

As it is that the main heroine, Delta, was infuriating and I hated her.

The book takes place in a deserted version of our world, with no green, and almost no water. People survive as best as they can, in small settlements, under the constant threat of the general and his soldiers, who are hoarding all the resources.

The story is actually engaging and I didn’t have to force myself though it. My only pr
Nov 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
*this e arc was sent to me by the publisher to give an honest review in return*

I really enjoyed reading this book. It was such a fantastic read. It’s about Delta who discovers that her family/pack is kidnapped when she returned from her nieces’s birth. She goes out to find them in the wasteland with the newborn but realized that she can’t trust no one and that she is on her own. This was a really well written book with an amazing plot. I loved the pacing and the world building for this one. The
Jodie "Bookish"  Cook
Apr 18, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed, mehhhhhh
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 24, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, 2021-read, ya
Even in these wastelands, where our gods abandoned us, life will not cease.
In the desert wastelands of her broken world, Delta and her pack eke out a meager existence on the banks of a dying river beside a dried-up sea. When Delta’s pack is kidnapped by raiders working for an evil apocalypse dictator, Delta must leave her home behind to save the only family she’s ever known.

Sooo… YA Mad Max: Fury Road. Which is fine! I really liked Mad Max: Fury Road.

Dustborn starts off strong. Delta lives
Tonya with an "o"
Apr 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
Erin Bowman can paint one hell of a scene. She has a talent for that. Within the first few pages of Dustborn, you can almost feel the crust of salt on your skin, the fine grit of sand, the unrelenting heat. Bowman has the gift of vivid world building, which is especially remarkable in a standalone. Dustborn is the story of Delta of Dead River, and her pack, who are just trying to survive in a wasteland of little food and dwindling water. Two children in each generation are branded with a map, sa ...more
Oct 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 10-and-11
Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of Dustborn in exchange for an honest review.

Dustborn was good! Honestly the only way I think it could have been improved was if it was longer. There were so many characters I wanted to explore (particularly the antagonist & the two most dominant male characters in Delta's life) and I honestly think this could have been a duology with a whole separate book after the plot twist (if you've read this, you know the part I'm talking about) but I still rea
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Erin Bowman is the critically acclaimed author of numerous books for children and teens, including the Taken Trilogy, Vengeance Road, Retribution Rails, the Edgar Award-nominated Contagion duology, The Girl and the Witch’s Garden, and the forthcoming Dustborn. A web designer turned author, Erin has always been invested in telling stories—both visually and with words. Erin lives in New Hampshire wi ...more

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