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Dust Bound

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Seventeen years after the Fae destroyed the world, Adelia Lark must face them again. A boy has disappeared, stolen by Fae.

Accompanied by the ruggedly handsome Ryder Hendrix, the man she’s secretly loved for years, she ventures through a broken landscape to rescue the child whose fate echoes her own.

But the Fae are hunting them, and the only chance of survival lies with Adelia accepting her past and embracing the mysterious powers she never wanted—and in doing so she may lose Ryder forever.

This is Book One in a planned series.

Winner of 2019 Fab Five Contest
Winner of 2019 On the Far Side FFNP contest
Winner of 2019 High Five Contest
Second Place 2019 TARA Contest
Second Place in the Ink and Insights Masters 2019 Contest
Third Place 2019 Georgia Maggies

348 pages, Paperback

Published February 16, 2021

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About the author

Clementine Fraser

5 books143 followers
Clementine Fraser lives in Aotearoa New Zealand with two wonderful teenagers and a giant doofus rescue dog. In her day job, she teaches teenagers to love history.
She graduated with a Masters Degree in History and worked as a professional historian before she started teaching. Her love of history and social justice influence many aspects of her life and filter into her writing. An avid fantasy reader from childhood, it is worlds of magic and romance that capture her imagination and make it sing. Robin McKinley’s 'The Blue Sword' that fostered an early love of romantic fantasy, and more recent authors she is inspired by include Nalini Singh and Patricia Briggs.
She writes romantic fantasy with lyrical description and strong characters, exploring the acceptance of self and the concept of choice, in a variety of immersive worlds and time periods.

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Displaying 1 - 21 of 21 reviews
Profile Image for Grace A..
360 reviews38 followers
September 12, 2022
Thanks to BookSirens and the author, Clementine Fraser, for providing this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
Dustbound was set in a Post-Apocalyptic world where evil Fae roam, wreaked havoc and enslaved humans for labour and experiments.
Addie, the main character, knew she was different because the Fae dust that weakens and even kills humans does not affect her. She belonged to one of the survival camps. Each person carries their weight for the good of all. In turn, they get a small measure of safety and protection. Addie could easily be considered the 2nd in command of this small group of people, next to Ryder, their fearless leader. Who, by the way, Addie harboured a crush on for years.
As unexpectedly as every Fae invasion, one landed on their doorstep and took some of their youngsters. When the Fae finished experimenting on them, they dumped an almost shell of their original version back. However, one of the kids felt an unusual pull to the Fae, and against advice not to go after them, left the camp. Their commitment to safety and protection meant they had to do everything within their power to bring him back.
And, so the adventure began. Addie and Ryder would make the perilous journey to get Tama, the youngster who walked out of camp.
I love the story, the characters, the pace, and the world-building. My only reservation was the Ryder-Addie chemistry; it felt forced, almost like an afterthought. But maybe it is because it is a single POV book, and I did not get enough opportunity to get to know that side of Ryder. I love the efficient leader Ryder, but the Romance-Ryder, not so much. I did not even get the inclination that he was that into Addie, and suddenly they were hot and heavy. That aside, I enjoyed this book; it was a light and easy read. 3.5 stars.
Profile Image for Bex (Beckie Bookworm).
1,867 reviews1,193 followers
March 19, 2021
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My Review

This book was so very unique and I don’t think I’ve read anything quite like it before I couldn’t put it down I was that engrossed in the unfolding story.
It definitely crosses genre boundaries and if I had to classify it I’d go with post-apocalyptic dystopian fantasy romance.

It's predominantly plot-driven rather than romance and very slow-burn which did work for it and It focuses more on the actual story rather than the romance itself which also wasn’t incredibly explicit.
It’s definitely more of a background thing rather than the primary focus here but I also didn’t feel like it suffered any for that fact either.
It’s not always a requirement for me to have such explicit content included and this story is quite tame in that regard, just a heads up if you like your romance a bit more on the racy side.
I personally didn’t think this lost anything due to this and the story and sentiments imparted here were certainly good enough for this to stand alone and completely on its own merit.
I still fully believed and was invested in the affection and love that existed between Addie and Ryder.

This story takes place in new-Zealand in the aftermath of a Fae invasion.
The world is now covered in a layer of fae dust prolonged exposure to this dust by the surviving inhabitants causes illness and premature death.
To add in to that the fae are kidnapping human children for some unknown experimentation and the few that do return die soon after, with few exceptions.

Adelia Lark is one of these exceptions a returned child that by some miracle has survived her ordeal but she did come back essentially changed something she has secretly guarded from others for years afraid of there reactions and of seeming different.
Her memories of this time are elusive locked behind a door in her mind she has created to protect herself.

When a returned teenager decides to run off to the deadlands Addie along with Ryder the compound leader and her long time friend set off in pursuit of him, the consequences of this journey setting off a chain reaction that means Addie must not only embrace her future but also accept her painful past.

So this was fabulous and so different and it was extremely well written, It’s sole POV so just Addie but this did work well.
This manages to paint such a brilliant picture with all of its vivid descriptions and I found myself getting completely immersed in the colourful narrative so much so I could picture it all in my head.

It was action-packed and very fast-paced and also extremely imaginative.
I loved both main characters and they were imperfectly perfect if that even makes sense.
Addie was definitely flawed but she recognised her limitations and her greatest flaw was her inability to realise that she didn’t need to hide herself and if others couldn’t accept her for who she essentially now is then that’s their problem and their loss.
At heart, she's brave and loyal and totally bad-ass but gives herself far to little credit.

Ryder, by contrast, is a leader it’s ingrained in him he was a bit slow on the uptake in regards to accepting his feelings for Addie but I cut him some slack basically cause he seems a decent bloke.
But I must admit I was so disappointed in him and his initial reaction to Addies changes, his ingrained prejudices really surfaced here and didn’t show him in a very good light at all.
But I do like that on reflection he realised his attitude was wrong and Addie's new reality was hardly her fault and actually apologised for his attitude that went a long way in regards to gaining my forgiveness.

So this did have its fair share of death and viciousness the fae depicted here are ruthless and cruel and definitely think of humans as less than with only one clear exception to this.
I’ve been reading a lot of lighter fae books recently so I was incredibly fascinated to witness them being portrayed in this much darker manner.

This is the first book in a new series and anyone worried this ends on a cliffhanger it actually doesn’t.
Where we left off here there is definitely resolution and some closure as well but there’s obviously still more to come in the future.
It’s a HFN rather than a HEA but you won’t feel like your missing a chunk of the story and it doesn’t leave you hanging.

I’m really impressed with the originality and pure uniqueness of this one.
I definitely recommend this is you like post-apocalyptic fiction or just even fantasy it really was a fabulous read that I enjoyed immensely a massive thumbs up from me and I’m definitely up for reading more set in this imaginative world.
I voluntary reviewed a copy of Dust Bound.

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Reviewed By Beckie Bookworm
Profile Image for Tiffany Kaye.
59 reviews117 followers
December 2, 2020
This is a beautiful love story set in New Zealand that I could not put down. The tension, the swooning, the slow burn—it was SO GOOD. I read an earlier draft of it, so I’m so excited to get a newer updated copy. If you like romance, definitely add this to your TBR!
Profile Image for R.Q. Woodward.
Author 1 book161 followers
February 7, 2021
Dust Bound is a sweeping, imaginative adventure-romance. I was blown away by this book. It's AMAZING. Fraser writes beautiful, lyrical passages that really pull you into the minds of her characters and tug at your heart strings. I was sobbing at how poignant and gorgeous the prose was. SO GOOD.

The story itself is unique and inventive. I was never bored but was constantly surprised. It has so much heart woven throughout all the magic and romance and intrigue. I really hope there is a book two to go along with Dust Bound because I NEED MORE!
Profile Image for Clementine Fraser.
Author 5 books143 followers
February 23, 2021
Hello! Thanks for your interest in DUST BOUND :)

A few content warnings in case they are helpful

- child death (not of a major character, mentioned)
- remembered trauma
- blood (gore)
- bodies/corpses
- death
- needles
- swearing
- violence
- sex

If, after reading it, you feel it would benefit from other content warnings please let me know :)
Profile Image for Melissa Polk.
Author 6 books39 followers
March 30, 2021
This book was so good! Such an interesting take on Fae and a post-apocalyptic world. Clementine, as always, does not disappoint with the emotional punches, either. Her characters are always a joy to read and fall in love with. I'd for sure read another book in this world--continuation or otherwise!
Profile Image for Veronica Strachan.
Author 5 books37 followers
March 8, 2021
Unique and thoroughly entertaining storytelling

Dust Bound has way more than the usual hallmarks of a great dystopian fantasy . Set in New Zealand is a winner for a start, with a beautiful sprinkle of local culture and language. A fae race that is wicked beneath their glamour, and the cause of the earth's terrible state. Fraser wields her words artfully, her cast of characters are slick, fabulously flawed, human, and so relatable. The slow burn romance between the two main characters builds slowly and surely, but never gets in the way of the action, it blends well into the twists and turns of the plot.
I'm looking forward to book 2.
Profile Image for Anais (atrailofpages) .
459 reviews11 followers
February 26, 2021
I don’t normally read dystopian novels, which is actually why I wanted to read this book. I want to give dystopian novels more of a chance, and I’m glad I read this one! It probably helps that I saw the word Fae in the synopsis 😏

In this story we follow Adelia Lark, or Addie, who lives in a compound with people who are shielded from the Dust in the air from the Fae that kills people. Addie is different and it does not effect her. So, when a boy leaves and is taken by the Fae, she decides she needs to be the one to go and rescue him, along with Ryder the leader of the compound.

I really enjoyed the story. I found it unique putting the Fae in a more sinister light taking over the world and testing people(like alien probing is what it made me think of) to find something they need. There were quite a few of action and running scenes that made me think of the movies when the protagonists are running from the enemy, it was quite fun! I also really like Addie(despite her having a secret and choosing not to tell people) she is tough, resilient, and willing to do what she can to help those she cares about to avoid the testing and the Fae. She’s had a tough past and a hard time fitting in, so it was very admirable what she did to help people when she was unsure how they felt about her. The romance was wonderful too. I’m not usually a fan of friends to lovers romance, but this one was such a slow burn, it was worth it!

The only thing is that I felt the ending was rushed. I mean everything happened so fast and suddenly, that I was surprised when I was down with the book. And I’m unsure if there’s a sequel because the way it ended made it seem like there would be a sequel, but then again it may also just be an open ending left to our imagination, which is fine by me too 😊 It was a very enjoyable story, and if you love Fae and dystopian novels, well this one is for you then!

I received an advance review copy for free(thank you to BookSirens and the author), and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Profile Image for Katherine Paschal.
2,123 reviews55 followers
March 17, 2021
Addie tries her best to be useful in her compound, scavenging and filling in as needed, but knowing that she will never belong. When the Fae abduct the children, Addie knows it is only a matter of time until her whole life will unravel. Deciding to take matters into her own hands, she heads out into the dangerous unknown Dust to rescue a child from Fae clutches. But this time she is not alone.

This was 100% unique and I completely appreciate that about this book. Who would ever have thought to combine an end of the world dystopian story with the magic of Fae, turning "fairydust" into something deadly that will eventually kill the humans left out wondering in it. This dark version of the Fae mixed magic with technology and experimentation to get a totally new take. Dust Bound was super gritty and intense, one action packed moment after another with some great plot twists and side characters. I will say that while I was completely invested in the fantastic world building, I struggled a little bit connecting with the main character Addie. She did not speak much, instead staying in her head (which is ok if the reader can be in her head too but it was not really that way), and at times very childlike in her thoughts/speech and actions (which made her feelings for Ryder and their age gap seem awkward at times).

The ending indicated that this is going to be a series since some loose ends were left hanging but overall it felt like a pretty good conclusion to the start of this gritty and interesting world. I would recommend this series for anyone who likes the darker side of the Fae, dystopian stories dealing with adversity and survival, as well as anyone who likes a little bit of romance as well. While there was nothing super inappropriate (no sex or real cussing, maybe an issue with violence) in the story, I would say this is definetely an adult book due to the character's age and the hardships faced.
Profile Image for Julia Sarene.
1,204 reviews127 followers
June 19, 2022
💥 Reading this for SPFBO again, this is only *my personal opinion*, team review might differ wildly! 💥

I liked the start of Dust Bound by quite a lot. A strong loner female in a dystopian world. Some mysteries, an interesting set up and a cast that had me intrigued!

Sadly for me it lost part of its appeal the longer I read on. While the trauma of the main character was rather well written, she and the other central characters stayed a bit bland and vague aside from their dealing with the setting. I would have loved to get a better insight into them, and have their goals and motivations explored more.
I also found the way they interacted, and how different character relationships / trust changed throughout the book feel a bit forced instead of natural.

There was a romance that just didn't feel right to me at all. I'm never a fan of romance, and "will he, won't she" is about as boring to me as a book on mathematics. But on top of this, this specific romance just didn't feel... Real? It's like someone just tells me something, without me actually feeling, grasping it.

Some of the plot, twists, fights just seemed way to easily solved. Big set up for a scene, and then we move right on. I'm used to seeing this style quite a bit in YA, as to always keep the story moving, and never get boring. In a way more adult book it felt even more hearing than in a YA story though. Again I wished for more depth and focus in these parts. Going from "Oh No, they got us, we're dead" to "all is well that ends well" in the space of a few paces just felt rushed and took me out of the story.

I did however really enjoy the world and the intriguing setting. I loved how much of the backstory is a mystery, and actually would have preferred some more of it to stay vague by the end.

All in all it was an entertaining story I don't regret reading, though for me personally it didn't meet its full potential.
468 reviews9 followers
April 4, 2021
Set in New Zealand after it has been wrecked by the Fae, life is now grey in a world covered in poisonous Fairy dust. Not as twee as it sounds. Addie Lark has always felt an outsider, despite living in the compound under Ryders guidance since she was 11. But there are memories that keep coming back to her in fragments, especially as the Fae are still raiding the camp for the children. She knows she must try to stop them.

This is set in a very bleak landscape, you can feel the intensity of it on every page, the lifestyle grinding everyone down. Addie is a very strong female character, but essentially flawed, wanting to be loved but not feeling worthy. This paints the picture of the Fae as an evil, blood thirsty race, not the normal fluffy benevolent creatures as they are usually portrayed. The ending leaves some unanswered questions but sets the scene for the next book, which I look forward to reading.

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily
Profile Image for Lily.
183 reviews3 followers
March 30, 2021

Overall, I did enjoy this book.

I am a big lover of all things romance, paranormal, vampires, faeries, adventure, etc.

I enjoyed how much of an original story it was, I personally have not read a faerie book similar to it.

I enjoyed the different characters, however I would have enjoyed at least one other POV, just because I feel like it can help connect the reader to multiple characters. I love romance, but I just didn’t quite connect with Addie and Ryder as a couple. I don’t know if it was me but I did not really connect with Ryder too much (maybe because I didn’t get his POV).

The inner dialogue was a bit confusing in the beginning, such as the italics, but I do know Addie is dealing with things such as PTSD so I know why it is there.

I will be recommending this book to others because it is an interesting and original story. If you like faerie books definitely give it a try.

I received an ARC for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Profile Image for Lori.
790 reviews12 followers
March 12, 2021
Received as a review copy, this an honest review. The day the Fae showed up, the world was forever changed... smoothed in sickening gray dust... and that was only the beginning of the Fae's cruelty towards those that survived. Adelia is unique among the residents of her compound: the Dust can touch her but somehow doesn't affect her as the others as they search in crumbling remains of humanity to survive. Adelia has secrets connected to the Fae and their kidnappings and testing of children; to break the Fae, Adelia will have to embrace her dark past and unique potential to succeed. A brilliantly dark journey, with an edgy twist of what a faery is, highly recommended.
Profile Image for Michael .
48 reviews23 followers
July 30, 2021
Clem has a way with descriptions. They really suck you into the world. The characters are endearing and so much fun to cheer for. I love the premise of a world destroyed by the Fae, and I love the journey of discovery for the main character. Sometimes we don't quite fit in because of how we see ourselves and not how others see us. Sometimes we hide from ourselves because we are scared. Watching Lark struggle with that and figuring out how to stop hiding even while it still scares her is great because that's how it works. We don't quit being scared and then do the scary thing. We just have to do it anyway.

This is one I'll definitely re read over the years.
Profile Image for Bigred6126.
1,318 reviews3 followers
February 22, 2021
I really enjoyed it. This novel is unique. I've read a lot of books about the fae. Books where they are lovers, fighters, sinners, saints, warmongers, generally bad guys but never to this scope. Lark is a hero. She's different but she has the courage to go out into the Dust, to face her nightmares, go into the belly if the beast, and still do what's right. She's not the only one. Ryder is as well but not too the same extent. It's a phenomenal story and I hope there are more to come.
I received an ARC and I'm voluntarily leaving an honest review.
Profile Image for Suzy Ostapower.
229 reviews1 follower
February 28, 2021
At first I wasn’t quite sure where the story was going, but by the second chapter I was invested. Dust Bound is a new take on the stories of the Fae. It was interesting and I found myself pondering all the lore. I truly hope there’s another book because I really want to know what happens to Lark and Ryder. Oh, and everyone else too.

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
609 reviews22 followers
April 17, 2021
Mad Max meets Crescent City
I enjoyed every minute of this story. It was wonderfully written. I easily escaped into the world it was that cinematic. The MC was very likable and her emotion lept off the pages. The genre blend was quite unique. I only wish that we got more of the history of both worlds. I believe they are rich with potential. I truly hope we get more of this world in the future. I recommend it for anyone who enjoys dystopian or fae storylines.
620 reviews11 followers
February 18, 2021
I was not too sure if I would like this book but it turned out that it was a very good book and I enjoyed it very much.

I thought the storyline was very good and this author explained all the intracies of the story.

The characters were very vital to the story in my opinion.

I receoved an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Profile Image for Kerry Smith.
276 reviews8 followers
June 20, 2022
Read as a judge for SPFBO8 - this rating is mine alone and nothing to do with other Judges opinion. Review to come later.
Profile Image for Lennie  (lennie_reads).
172 reviews11 followers
April 12, 2021
Thanks to Book Sirens for my ARC.

Set in a dystopian New Zealand where fae have attacked human kind, created a permanent poisonous Dust that falls from the sky constantly and kidnap children to perform experiments on.

Our MC is 27yo Addie.
Addie currently lives in a compound but hasn't always lived there. She is madly in love with Ryder, the leader of the compound and has a lot of trauma and secrets.

Every month or so, the fae will come and steal children to experiment on and they will often return either comatose or dead. This is something that the humans cannot stop.

On one occasion, one of the boys, Tama, comes back alive and well and desperate to get back to the fae. After he escapes, Addie & Ryder go after him.

Their journey is one of pain, discovery, revelations, romance and more.

I really liked the set up for this book and the characters but I felt that the end was a bit flat. I know it's the first in a series but I wanted a bit more. Hopefully we will get that in the next book.

CW: sexual assault, torture, death, medical content, medical trauma, child abuse, kidnapping, grief
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