Monday, January 24, 2011

Review: Dust City by Robert Paul Weston

From Inside Jacket: In a city as mean as this, even a big bad wolf should be afraid. And Henry Whelp is that Big Bad Wolf. Or will be, someday. His dad is doing time for the double murder of Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother, so everyone assumes crime is in Henry's blood. For years, he's kept a low profile in a Home for Wayward Wolves on the outskirts of Dust City - a gritty metropolis known for its black-market, mind-altering dust. And the entire population of foxes, ravens, and hominids are hooked. But it's not just any dust the creatures of this grim underground are slinging and sniffing. It's fairydust. When a murder at the Home forces Henry to escape, he begins to suspect his dad may have been framed. With a daring she-wolf named Fiona by his side, Henry travels into the dark alleyways and cavernous tunnels of Dust City. There, he'll come face to snout with legendary monster Skinner and his Water Nixie henchmen to discover what really happened to his father in the woods that infamous night ... and the shocking truth about fairydust.

My Rating: 4.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: For fans of fairy tales, Dust City by Robert Paul Weston is a highly creative story that’s full of mystery and suspense. From the dream Henry has involving Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother to Henry finding out why the fairies abandoned them, the dark atmosphere suffused throughout the novel made Dust City an enjoyable read.
I also really liked how Weston made fairydust a drug that people crave because it can help you achieve your destiny. However, it became even more unique in his book because it had the potential to not only just have good effects but also bad ones. What happens when fairydust brings out your most animalistic instincts?

On the lighter side, it was fun seeing the many characters from fairy tales scattered throughout Dust City. Although Weston puts his own spin on them and provides them with their own narratives, they were still identifiable. The character based on Rumpelstiltskin gave me a little trouble but I finally realized it was him at the end and felt like an idiot. For some reason, I kept wondering if the story of King Midas was a fairytale.

The only problem I really had with Dust City was that it was hard at the beginning to imagine how Henry looked. I assumed he was a wolf on all fours until it was mentioned that another wolf at St. Remus was over six feet when he stood up. Luckily, Weston (through Henry) explains a little later on that evolution has caused the animalia to evolve bigger brains for speech and features like thumbs so that they resemble hominids in some ways. Nevertheless, the animalia also retain properties like feathers and fur.

Dust City was released in September 2010 by Razorbill.     

Comments About the Cover: If not for the wolf’s eyes and the fact that I knew Dust City had some fairy tale elements, I probably wouldn’t have picked it up. However, the black used for the entire cover actually goes well with the story and makes the big white title really stand out.


  1. As soon as I saw "Little red riding hood" in the description I got hooked. Because after watching Hoodwinked and Shrek, I love any story that can put a spin on fairytales. I would definitely not pick up this book if I didn't read your review but thanks for the heads up. I'm all a quiver now....

  2. I really like this cover and has such an interesting premise. It is on my TBR list :)

  3. So I had no idea this book had fairytale elements. Epic fail. This book is now all the more interesting because of it as I'm a huge fan of fairytales! Wonderful review Zahida, I have to add this one to the list now when I otherwise would have let it sit on the shelf!

  4. This is such a strange book, l don't think l would pick it up from the blurb but l am glad you enjoyed it!

  5. This book has a very interesting premise! It reminds me a bit of the miniseries The 10th Kingdom, which I absolutely adore :oP I will be adding Dust City to my TBR list. Great review!

  6. Wow, this sounds awesome! I really wasn't aware too much of this book until now.

  7. This one does sound like a unique mash-up of fairytales! I'm particularly interested in the fairydust aspect, sounds like a dangerously addictive drug. Also, I thought the story of King Midas was a Greek myth or something? *now unsure*

  8. THose are some good hearts, 4.5. I have this book on my shelf. Excited about it now :)

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  9. I didn't know this one had fairy tale elements. Thanks for the heads up! Your review has me convinced I want to read this book.


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