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Dust (The Resurgam Trilogy #1)

3.24  ·  Rating details ·  1,269 Ratings  ·  249 Reviews
Nine years ago, Jessie had a family. Now, she has a gang.

Nine years ago, Jessie was a vegetarian. Now, she eats very fresh meat.

Nine years ago, Jessie was in a car crash and died. Nine years ago, Jessie was human.

Now, she’s not.

After she was buried, Jessie awoke and tore through the earth to arise, reborn, as a zombie. Jessie’s gang is the Fly-by-Nights. She loves the anci
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published September 7th 2010 by Ace (first published September 2nd 2010)
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Community Reviews

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it is october.i am going to read a bunch of zombie books. this is the first.

and it was very okay. by now, she has written a sequel, and i am hoping that she has gotten her mythology tightened enough to allow her plot a narrow strait through which to flow, because the major problem with this one was trying to understand the rules; they seem awfully fluid and she frequently neglects to address the big picture.

quickly: so in this book, zombies can communicate with each other in a way that does not
Crystal Starr Light
Another Book Bites the Dust

NOTE: I received this book as part of the Amazon Vine Program

Nine years ago, Jessie and her parents died in a car accident. Now, Jessie is among the undead, the "zombies". She is a part of a gang in the Great River County Park. But things are taking a strange turn. A "hoo" (human) woman is found in a state not quite human, not quite undead. And their leader, Teresa, is beginning to look more human. What is happening...and does it mean death for the undead?

I Liked:
Aug 28, 2010 rated it liked it
Sometimes, when I give a book a middling rating, it means the book was middling throughout. This is not one of those times. I intensely disliked the first half of Dust, and it took me about a month to get through it. The second half, I loved, and read in one day.

Dust’s greatest strength — and also its greatest drawback — is that Joan Frances Turner writes description extremely well. She has the gift of evoking that one perfect image that puts you right there in the character’s mind: a dimly reme
Apr 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I picked this book up on tour so I had something to read while traveling. I picked it up because Amber Benson had written a blurb for the cover, and that was enough to win my trust.

I start to read it and am pleasantly surprised. It's a zombie story told first-person from the point of view of the zombie.

I read it in one sitting that night on the train when I really should have been catching up on my sleep. It's a clever book, and I really enjoyed it.

Is it a perfect book? No. But its unique tak
All Things Urban Fantasy
Review courtesy of

I don’t know that I've ever had a book make me feel as physically nauseous as I did while reading DUST. It is grotesque, gruesome, and gory from start to finish.

I’m kind of marveling at the 180 that I’ve gone through with DUST. I liked the concept of a zombie novel written from the perspective of the undead, I loved the book trailers that spoofed the old Public Service Announcements, and I still think the first line is one of the best ever: “M
Anita Dalton
Mar 21, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-we-own
This book will be deeply disgusting for the average reader. It wallows in rot, cannibalism, graphic depictions of animal hunts, human decomposition, vomit, vomit and more vomit, the effects of zombie-on-zombie violence and so much more. Dwelling in the head space I do, I only got creeped out by a couple of scenes and those were scenes that discussed in depth the insect infestations the zombies dealt with. The rest, sadly, became tiresome as the novel went on because the reader gets his or her se ...more
C Solis-Sublette
Jan 25, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi-dystopia
Who knew that zombies are offended by the term "zombie" and prefer to be called "undead" or "regenerators"? Who knew zombies could communicate with one another and actually have emotional drives? Well, that is what we learn from reading this novel. Plot-wise, it drags a little. But, I guess that may not be a bad thing considering that we are dealing with zombies. And, thanks to some kind of chemical accident, the living and the undead are evolving into something worse (yes, there is something wo ...more
May 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2010
"My right arm fell off today. Lucky for me, I’m left-handed."

With a first line like that I knew I was in for an interesting read. Jessie is a teen girl who was killed by a drunk driver. Her parents also perished in the accident leaving behind her two older siblings. Months later she dug her way from her grave, and joined the ranks of the undead.

As a self-proclaimed zombie sympathizer I knew this book was a must read. FYI they prefer the term undead ;) Dust is one of those books that you can’t g
Oct 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Dust is a gamechanger in the world of zombies. It requires you to forget everything you have learned thus far about zombies. Forget the craving for brains. Nevermind the halting, staggering or the twitching, the tics and speed walking. Joan Frances Turner has written a novel that introduces you to zombies for the first time as emotional beings; they think, communicate, wonder, fight, worry, need and care. Under the decay of death the fear they instill, they are just trying to get by.

Jessie is d
Oct 10, 2010 rated it it was ok
Do we need a book that tries to make the plight of zombies sympathetic? If the answer is this book, then definitely no. Turner is not a bad stylist, but her story here meanders between gross-out scenes, whining, and a confusing plot that jumps here and there but somehow always produces one scene after another that is the same. Worst of all, Turner tries to invest all of this with capital-M Meaning, but honestly, it's very hard to care about the teen zombie protagonist.

Also, to make the zombies
Sep 12, 2010 rated it did not like it
Jessie is one of the undead, a zombie, living out her days with her gang in the woods, hunting and fighting. But a new disease is spreading through the undead and the living that may wipe out both. While this sounds all apocalyptic and exciting, the truth of the matter is that the novel dragged on for much longer than necessary.

The dirty, the disgusting, doesn't necessarily phase me when it is naturally integrated into a thought-provoking and entertaining story. With Dust, however, it's really a
Jul 15, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya

Forget everything you ever knew about Zombies. I've got some new zombie factoids for you. Zombies have always existed; no one know why. Zombies have super human strength. And, zombies communicate telepathically with each other. Okay, so maybe we kind of already knew those things, but did you know that zombies can also dance and laugh and love... They can also make you cry, and not just in the 'OMFG! A Zombie is about to eat my brains' sort of way.

I never
From my blog, The Books I Read...:

I first heard of this book through an email newsletter I get from my local library. The summary sounded rather interesting so I put it on hold.

First and foremost this is a zombie novel told from the point of view of the zombies. These are not your typical zombies; they communicate with each other, they form groups for company, safety and survival, and fun. Zombies, intelligent or not, are NOT sexy and Turner does not shy away from keeping that point right in the
Jen (That's What I'm Talking About)
NOTE: I am running a giveaway for this book at my blog from Sept. 6-10, 2010. Please visit here for entry:

I’m going to start by telling you that this is my first zombie book. I didn’t know what to expect, but my ideas of zombies were formed by horror movies. This is NOT what Jessie is about. She is a teenage girl that died and was reborn into a new life of the “undead.” The undead don’t feed on human brains (unless they want to), but rather the freshly kil
Sep 19, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2010-read
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 27, 2010 rated it liked it
Jessie barely remembers the day she died in a car accident. Her life did not end there. She is a zombie, but don't you dare call her that. She lives in the woods with a small pack of other undead, living and surviving in a sort of mock-society. They hunt, they sleep, they have a fearless leader. Then Jessie runs into her brother Jim, an uninfected human who works at a lab to research zombies. However, as Jessie's friends and acquaintances begin to get sick and die (again), she realizes something ...more
Midu Hadi
Aug 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who'd like a different take on Zombies
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was a fantastic new approach to a lagging genre. Others have tried to punch up new visions and fallen flat because they were wading into the same pool with no new directions. I have to say it: leave it to a female author to freshen up things. She makes being dead seem cool, and more attractive than the alternative. This novel had great ingredients that made the collective stew of a story inviting and delicious. Relationships between the characters are carefully cultivated and ideas are chal ...more
Angela  M
Jun 17, 2010 rated it it was ok
This was another book that just fell flat for me. It was a really unique interesting idea, and I was really looking forward to it. My problem was, the stream of consiousness flow of the writing was really hard to follow along with. It would jump from one event to the other, and you're left wondering what the heck just happened. I had a hard time keeping up with each event and the side characters. I would get the names mixed up and the characters just kinda blended together. All in all, this one ...more
I'd So Rather Be Reading {Nat}
Stopped at page 28. I am not a fan of zombie books but thought this one sounded good, so I signed up for an ARC tour. I can tell that it is a well-written book with a good plot and interesting premise, I just can't stomach reading about decaying flesh, maggots, blowflies, eating people, etc.
Apr 27, 2010 rated it did not like it

This is probably a great Zombie book. But when the word maggot is used on repeated, then I know it's not a book for me.
Jul 20, 2010 rated it did not like it
Story was off to a good start, but it was too gory to read on. Can't stand maggots.
May 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
dnf. great idea, pretty not fun for me. i guess i'll go watch izombie instead...
Dec 29, 2010 rated it liked it
I got an advanced reading copy of this book through the Amazon Vine program. When I saw this book which promised to be "a different type of zombie book" I was excited. I love zombie books and was looking for a fresh take. Overall the story is okay, but didn't seem all that original to me. The most notable thing about the book was the extremely graphic and gory descriptions given of all things putrid and nasty.

Jessica Anne Porter has been dead for nine years and she has been shambling around with
If you can get past the fact that the heroine of this novel is a flesh-eating zombie, you might just enjoy this stand-alone novel. While the gross-out level is very high (these are zombies, after all) the story does have some poignant and tender moments (really, it does).

In this world, buried bodies rise as zombies; only cremated bodies stay dead. Nine years ago, 15-year-old Jessie was killed in an automobile accident along with her parents. Now, Jessie lives in the woods near the Indiana-Illi
Jul 22, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Now this was quite interesting. I think I bought this for 2 euros because I thought it was another book. Well, because I bought it, I decided to read it, too. And it was surprising, not really what I was expecting. The beginning was quite close to that: zombies that are quite... well, human, in a sense, that feel love and help each other out, at least to some extent.

But then it changed. Suddenly there were less of the love and more of the violence, the gore and the things we regret. I'm not com
Sep 15, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook
The premise for this book is terrific. What if zombies weren't mindless shambling corpses but rather mindful shambling corpses with brains that could communicate with the other undeads? Unfortunately, the mythos of this alternate history set on/in/near the banks of Lake Michigan, doesn't hold up at all. For example, the only way to kill a zombie is to burn them. If people are buried and then rise as zombies, why isn't it the law that everyone is cremated? If the situation has been going on since ...more
Eva Mitnick
Nov 28, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, grown-ups, ya
Do NOT read this while eating! This being a zombie - or rather, undead - novel from the point of view of the flesh-eaters, there is plenty of rotting flesh, seething bugs, eating of raw meat, brain-stomping, and that is far from all. This novel purports to show that the undead have feelings and souls, too - and when they are threatened by a virus that kills them just as surely as it does humans, one might start to feel sorry for undead Jessie, who died and rose again 9 years ago, when she was on ...more
Oct 28, 2010 rated it it was ok
I'm a zombie purist in that I don't think zombies should have any sort of consciousness. It's something that greatly annoys me. So I almost gave up on this book after the first chapter. I don't really know what to think about it now that I finished. It wasn't terrible, but the prose was a bit weak at times and there was a lot of unnecessary repetition. The author tried so hard to make the reader think that the reader didn't have to think, if that makes much sense. There were several scenes that ...more
Jul 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Yeah, I know: I said I was done with zombies.

It seems like every time I decide that, something comes along that sounds just interesting enough that I have to try it. I'm glad I did.

Turner has a fresh take on zombies, and gives us a zombie-eye view of her world. You can't help but root for Jessie, and there are some pretty amazing twists and turns to be had here. It's gross and horrible and funny and sad and an excellent read.
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Joan Frances Turner is the author of Dust, forthcoming from Ace Books on September 7, 2010. Dust is a story of the undead from their own point of view, as they battle time, decay, the loved ones they left behind, encroaching humanity and each other. Or, think Watership Down with zombies instead of rabbits. She is currently working on a sequel, tentatively titled Frail, from the all-important human ...more
More about Joan Frances Turner

Other books in the series

The Resurgam Trilogy (3 books)
  • Frail (Dust, #2)
  • Grave (The Resurgam Trilogy #3)

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“Isn't it wonderful when people do that, when you put all your faith in their being selfish and self -centered and not giving a damn and it turns out, all that time, you were wrong?” 5 likes
“Be nice to her,” I muttered under my breath. “She’s my sister; she got sick. She lost her kid. For all I know, she may have eaten her.” 3 likes
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