Maja (The Nocturnal Library)'s Reviews > Wander Dust

Wander Dust by Michelle Warren
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4.5 stars
I’ve been having some troubles with paranormal YA lately, to the point where I started wondering if it was somehow my fault. After the umpteenth book I’d read and hated, I figured that I’m either becoming too old for YA, or that I read too much (which is a distinct possibility). Wander Dust helped me realize where the blame really lies. To all those other young adult paranormal novels, I can finally say: It’s not me, it’s you.

Wander Dust is not without problems or without clichés, but all things considered, it certainly stands out in a very, very good way. Time travel plus a prestigious school (think Hex Hall with time travelers instead of witches and shapeshifters) plus a smart heroine and a swoon-worthy hero, extremely good worldbuilding and a great set of secondary characters equal a noteworthy book by anyone’s standards.

As soon as it becomes clear that Seraphina Parrish is not just an ordinary girl, she is sent to the prestigious Washington Square Academy, a boarding school for exceptionally gifted teens such as herself. There she is told that she is a Wanderer, a person with the ability to travel through time, just as her late mother was. She is to be trained and properly educated about the many laws that time travelers need to abide to. She is also introduced to her two other team members, as each team is made of a Wanderer (such as Seraphina), Seer and Protector. Seers have the ability to see the life path of inanimate objects, where they’d been and who they belonged to, which allows Wanderers and the Protectors to use these objects to travel to a specific time and place. Sera’s Seer is a blonde 13-year old girl named Sam, and her Protector is the mysterious boy whose photo she received in the mail while she was still living with her father. His name is Max Bishop and he is, of course, absolutely gorgeous, kind, and well-read. He is also dating another Protector named Perpetua.

In the army of YA heroines I’ve been reading about in the last year or so, Seraphina Parrish is one of the best. She is strong, she is fierce, she has principles she adheres to at all costs, she isn’t prone to rash decisions or self-indulgent behavior, but she also has just enough flaws to make her realistic and identifiable. When it became clear that she’s a Wanderer, she took everything in stride and dealt with it as best as she could. I also liked that she refused any kind of relationship with Bishop because he already had a girlfriend, regardless of how much she was drawn to him or how mean and obnoxious his girlfriend seem to be.

Unlike Sera, Bishop has no flaws that make him more real. I didn’t see him just as Sera’s love interest, but a hero in his own right, and he certainly proved to be worthy of the title. (His only flaw that I can think of is that he ever allowed himself to be in any way associated with a girl named Perpetua.) The only thing I’m still puzzling over is the matter of his photo in Sera’s mail (received long before they met) that was never properly explained, but I’m kind of hoping the sequel will take care of that.

(On a side note, I need to have a serious conversation with my mailman about the stuff he keeps bringing me. Books are fine and all, but I never get pics of mysterious hot guys in my mailbox, which is a damn shame, if you ask me.)

Wander Dust is self-published, but quite frankly, I barely even noticed. The self-publishing industry just keeps throwing surprises at me. Sure, there were a few grammar mistakes (by ‘a few’, I mean five or so, not more), and a spelling error here and there, but nothing that would stop me from thoroughly enjoying the book. I for one am more than willing to forgive such things (in reasonable amounts) as long as the story is good enough to keep me interested from start to finish. This one was that and much more.

Also posted at The Nocturnal Library

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Reading Progress

January 11, 2012 – Shelved
February 25, 2012 – Started Reading
March 5, 2012 –
49.0% "There's really nothing better than a gorgeous boy with a British accent. Gosh, I'm loving this!"
March 5, 2012 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-24 of 24) (24 new)

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Lisa This book has peaked my interest. Looking forward to your review to see what you think!

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) I'm almost done. Time travel books are always risky, but this one is keeping me on the edge of my seat. I'm loving it. I can barely tell that it's self-published.

Lisa This is going on my too read list. :)

message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

oh my, this is one of the few books I have ever bought JUST for the cover. 4.5 stars? :) I knew it

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Yes! Something just really worked for me here. I can't wait to get my hands on book 2. :( There isn't even a release date yet.

I'll do my best to review tomorrow.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Yup. There are some editing issues, but they really didn't bother me, all things considered. :)

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Well then, I hope you'll get around to it soon. I'm pretty sure you'll like Bishop... Ummm, the story!

Aly (Fantasy4eva) I could do with a great feisty and brave MC. Most have been a bit 'meh' until now. I keep seeing great reviews for this. Can't get over how lovely the cover is too!

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Oh, I liked Serraphina a lot. And I agree about the cover, I can't wait to see what book 2 will look like.

message 10: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn I couldn't agree with you more with your first paragraph Maja! lol Perhaps I should give this book a try to get myself into YA genre again? ;-)

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) I was really surprised by how much I liked it, and my co-blogger Lisa is reading it now and apparently liking it too. I'd say definitely give it a try. :)

message 12: by HєllyBєlly (new)

HєllyBєlly Great review! I have also had issues with paranormal YA, feeling that maybe I really should lay off as I am obviously not the target audience. Further, so many of them are actually just boy-girl-angst with a paranormal coating, and that is not what I am after. Have downloaded sample and have high hopes for this one!

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) I'm looking forward to your thoughts, HB. I really do hope you'll like it. I get easily distracted these days, but this one kept me interested from start to finish.

message 14: by ♥Rachel♥ (new)

♥Rachel♥ Maja, you had me with the comparison to Hex Hall. This sounds really good. Lovely review.

No word on when book 2 comes out? :)

message 15: by Rane (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rane Be still my beating heart thy name is Bishop!

With the photo I still think it has something to deal with his twin he doesn't (want to) talk about

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) I think in the fall, Rachel. I must have read it somewhere, but I'm not entirely sure.
Rane, that's probably true, but I still wanted to know! It doesn't matter, though, I just know book 2 will be awesome too.

oliviasbooks This sounds good ... but I really disliked "Hex Hall".

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) I gave Hex Hall 3 stars, mosty because of the heroine's behavior. I thought this was a lot better. :)

oliviasbooks Ohhhh....

message 20: by Arlene (new)

Arlene Best opening review paragraph EVER! LOL :) Awesome review Maja. I will be checking this out so I can renew my faith in YA books. :)

oliviasbooks We could option it for April, Arlene.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Thanks so much, Arlene. I think this book is up to the task. :)

Jasprit Awesome review yet again Maja, I saw this book pop up on my feed sometime back but completely overlooked it, but a great YA paranormal with a decent heroine?? I so need this, seriously my last couple of reads have been right doozys :-/

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Thank you, darling. I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy this. I had so much fun reading it, and Bishop... Ohhhh! :D

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