Monday, June 28, 2010

ARC Review: Dust by Joan Frances Turner

Title: Dust
Author: Joan Frances Turner
Release Date: 9/7/2010
Publisher: Ace
Number of pages: 384
Reading level: Adult

4.5 out of 5 Stars

Thanks Book it Forward Tours for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book.

Description from Goodreads:

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 ancient, skeletal Florian and his memories of time gone by. She’s in love with Joe, a maggot-infested corpse. They fight, hunt, dance together as one—something humans can never understand. There are dark places humans have learned to avoid, lest they run into the zombie gangs.

But now, Jessie and the Fly-by-Nights have seen new creatures in the woods—things not human and not zombie. A strange new illness has flamed up out of nowhere, causing the undeads to become more alive and the living to exist on the brink of death. As bits and pieces of the truth fall around Jessie, like the flesh off her bones, she’ll have to choose between looking away or staring down the madness—and hanging onto everything she has come to know as life…

First Line:

My right arm fell off today. Lucky for me, I’m left-handed.

My thoughts:

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 get out of your head. It has been days since I finished and I’m still thinking about it. 

Dust is a fresh and exciting addition to zombie culture. Jessie was an excellent narrator and seemed to embrace her new life. I love books with a strong female lead, dead or not. I was drawn in by the idea that they retain their memories and even some emotions. I loved the idea that they have the ability to understand the speech of humans as well as communicate amongst themselves. Their behavior was similar to pack animals, and the bonds they formed were fascinating. This book will make you forget everything you thought you knew about zombies. An engaging plot combined with an almost poetic writing style made for late nights of reading. I don’t want to give too much away because there is so much to be discovered in this novel. It’s about time the undead told their side of the story. 

This book does contain violence as well as adult language. The squeamish may want to proceed with caution. Lots of talk of decay and the likes. I must say I’ve never had the description of maggots and rot presented in such beautifully worded sentences. The author’s writing style drags you in and makes you feel like you’re experiencing it first hand. I’m thrilled to learn there will be a sequel.

Dust Trailer:

Joan Frances Turner on the web:

Pre-order from Amazon:


  1. OK, WOW, this is my reaction.;) I have never read a zombie book, but I admit, this one sounds really interesting. Great review!

  2. wow that first line definitely caught my attention. sounds like an interesting read. i'm definitely adding it to my tbr. thanks for linking in the trailer too!

  3. I am really trying to read this one and I just can't get into it. It is probably me, but it just seems really stupid..maybe it gets better but the stupid fighting and I don't know, I just picture zombies as something other than dumb acting regular I don't know.

  4. ladystorm, It does get better, but is definitely not a book for everyone.