Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dustborn” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.84  ·  Rating details ·  112 ratings  ·  82 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
Expected publication: April 20th 2021 by HMH Books for Young Readers
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  112 ratings  ·  82 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Dustborn
♠ TABI⁷ ♠
Jun 01, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: edelweiss, netgalley
Mad Max . . . The 100 . . . western vibes . . .

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
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
Jan 29, 2021 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of The 100
Shelves: z-april-releases, arc
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
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
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.
Kendra Cusworth
Feb 28, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2021-reads, arcs
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.
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
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
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 😭😭😭🥺🥺🥺🥺
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
Kal ★ Reader Voracious
Preorder Incentive: All preorders placed with Gibsons' Bookstore will be signed (personalized if you want) and will receive a quote card, sticker, and bookmark!
I loved the Contagion duology so much and I am so excited for this standalone from Erin Bowman!

eARC provided by the publisher for my honest review. This has not affected my opinion nor the contents of my review. Quotations are from a finished copy and subject to change upon final publication.
Blog | Twitter | Pinterest
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
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
Feb 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
Dustborn is a young adult post-apocalyptic story where clans scrape for survival in a water-starved world.

Delta of Dead River is supposed to hold the key to locating a water-filled paradise that will lead to salvation. Powerful people want to use her for their own ends but she's most concerned with saving her clan at any cost. The secret of paradise isn't actually what anyone had expected.

The world itself is probably the shining light of this book; it's well developed and easy to visualize. The
Madeline (The Bookish Mutant)
Thank you to Edelweiss+ and HMH Books for Young Readers for giving me this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

The Goodreads synopsis describes this novel as a mashup of Mad Max and Gunslinger Girl, and even though I’ve never seen/read either of those, I definitely see where the vibe comes from. Dustborn is a tense and twisty dystopian novel, with notes of classic Westerns.

First, CAN WE TALK ABOUT HOW PRETTY THIS COVER IS? The color scheme. The art. The typeface. THE REY VIBES. Even though thi
Nov 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
I always love reading a good dystopian and this one is good!! If you live the Divergent series, you have got to read Dustborn! It has a similar but also VERY different storyline that I enjoyed reading and couldn't stop reading! ...more
Dec 16, 2020 added it
Shelves: galleys-read, hmh
Cinematic and sprawling, this post apocalyptic western serves up everything I hoped it would. 🙌
Alyson Kent
Feb 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
Action packed, brutal, hopeful, filled with amazing characters, Erin Bowman’s newest never stops from the first page. Thank you, Edelweiss, for the ARC.
roxi Net
Jul 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: roxiown
I enjoyed reading Dustborn; a good dystopian book with a strong female character. It put me in the mind of Blood Red Road, as well as Gunslinger Girl and Bullet Catcher (all of which I'd recommend!). Delta of Dead River is a survivor and fierce lover of her tribe. When her tribe is captured and threatened with execution, Delta leaves on a search for answers that will save not just her family, but possibly all human life in a world (planet?) with dwindling water. Delta is not necessarily that eas ...more
Jan 13, 2021 rated it liked it
This for me was an ok read, it did feel slow in bits and I think possibly not the right audience for it.

The world the book inhabits certainly was interesting but I did struggle connecting with the characters.

Thank you to NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Katie Steele
Nov 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was absolutely stellar. A must-read for 2021. Erin Bowman has solidly placed herself among my favorites.


This book was beautiful. The Mandalorian meets Finnikin of the Rock, I absolutely couldn't put it down.

I've read a bunch of Erin Bowman's books recently, and obviously love her writing. There was something special about Dustborn though. It was a full story, all packed into one book. I never grew bored reading, but it wasn't all action. There was so much character focus, and
Taylor Hansen
Oooh this one was so close to being a 5 Star for me. It's a sort of Mad Max/Waterworld (without the Water) Mash-up with those Post Apocalyptic/Dystopian vibes I love. There's great world-building here, and the writing is on point. This was a "hooked me from the start, couldn’t put it down, and stayed up all night reading" read for me.

Welcome to a barren waste, where dust and magnetic storms reign supreme. Across this dry and desolate landscape you'll find scavengers, settlers, shanty towns, rai
Jul 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, arc-edelweiss
Erin Bowman NEVER disappoints.
Story Eater
Aug 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
This sounds exactly like Waterworld but with sand.
Carina Olsen
Sep 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a book I needed the moment I heard about it. As I am a huge fan of Fury Road. And a bigger fan of Erin and her books. I knew this new one by her would be amazing. So I could not help but request it the moment that I could. And very thrilled that I got accepted to read it early. Very much worth it. Giving it four stars.

Pretty much perfect to me. The writing was so stunning. Had no problems at all with connecting with the characters and the story. The world building was amazing. I loved t
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Firekeeper's Daughter
  • The Prison Healer (The Prison Healer, #1)
  • This Golden Flame
  • The Mask of Mirrors (Rook & Rose, #1)
  • The Stolen Kingdom
  • The Initial Insult (The Initial Insult, #1)
  • Down Comes the Night
  • These Feathered Flames (These Feathered Flames, #1)
  • The Girl from Shadow Springs
  • Brambles (Dauntless Path, #0.5)
  • A Dark and Hollow Star (A Dark and Hollow Star, #1)
  • Bridge of Souls (Cassidy Blake, #3)
  • Gods of Jade and Shadow
  • To Sleep in a Sea of Stars
  • Victories Greater Than Death (Universal Expansion #1)
  • Crownchasers (Crownchasers, #1)
  • The Infinity Courts (The Infinity Courts, #1)
  • Igniting Darkness (Courting Darkness Duology, #2)
See similar books…
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

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
31 likes · 5 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »