Angel's Reviews > Dust Girl

Dust Girl by Sarah Zettel
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's review
May 10, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012-release, historical-ya, random-house, paranormal, ya

You can find this review and many more at Mermaid Vision Books!

Source: ARC received from publisher

Tell Me More: Stories of the fae are often tied to Irish and Scottish roots, and take place in the city or rural areas. Not so with Sarah Zettel's Dust Girl, where the Dust Bowl dictates what it wants to do with the people that live in its sphere. Helpless as Callie is against the dust storms, it was satisfying to find that nothing could smother her spirit and her story.

I wasn't sure what to expect from Dust Girl when I began reading it. The premise felt shaky and vague, and to my knowledge, there has never been a story like this before. To top it all off, Callie wasn't the usual Caucasian protagonist of a fae story. Just enough focus was placed on her skin colour and heritage to allow readers to know her, but her race never became a stereotype. Zettel pinpoints the parts of Callie that need to be shown to readers, and lets them discover the rest on their own. That faith pays off, because Callie is such an interesting, layered character by herself. Zettel surrounds here with other fascinating creatures and people, and the dynamics are not only beautiful, but also fun to see.

Dust Girl is a book that lends itself to storytelling. Adding the unique cadence of 1930s America only serves to improve the flow of the story--the dialogue feels natural enough to read lines aloud, and the action is snappy and electric.  I personally would love to hear the audiobook for this novel, because it's just that compelling. It's easy to feel the suspense Zettel writes into every event, and the development of the plot is organic, drawing from little clues spread throughout the book. The creative touches Zettel inserts into her fae mythology are refreshing enough to make me want to reread the book again and again, in addition to looking up the inspiration for her creatures. Then again, they're also terrifying enough to have me backing away very very slowly--a hallmark of a truly excellent and imaginative writer.

The Final Say: Sarah Zettel delivers an arresting story in Dust Girl, with characters that stay in one's mind long after the pages have been turned.


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