Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dust City by Robert Paul Weston

Dust City

Author: Robert Paul Weston

Publisher: Razorbill

5 out of 5 stars

The effects can be deadly.  Even worse than death.  Everyone’s hooked on it, despite what it can do to you.  Humans, wolves, ravens, foxes, pixies, and more can’t seem to get enough of it.  Some will kill just to experience the delicious fantasies that the dust holds just beyond their reach.  But what the dust gives never lasts.  All it does is takes, and takes, and takes… until there is nothing left.  Henry knows how that feels, and he’s about to take back what the dust stole from him his entire life.  So start running, because the son of the Big Bad Wolf is coming.

Fairydust, or dust as it is more commonly known, has hurt Henry more than it has helped him.  Dust is what took his mother’s life and sent him to the St. Remus Home for Wayward Youth in the first place.  Now Henry is stuck here with nowhere to go.  Being in a home for animal delinquents isn’t exactly helping Henry’s image either.  Being the son of the Big Bad Wolf, everyone expects him to follow in his father’s paw prints.  But Henry isn’t about to live up to that fairytale any time soon.

When Henry gets the chance to escape from St. Remus, he’s thrown into the corrupt world of Dust City, where under-the-table deals and black market trades are an everyday thing.  Once Henry starts to realize that everything is not as it seems, he starts to question his father’s crime.  Could it have all been a set up?

With the help of his new friend, the daring she-wolf, Fiona, Henry begins to dig deeper into the many folds of Dust City.  He immerses himself into the world of crime, lies, and deadly dust that his father came from.  Will Henry ever be able to prove his father’s innocence?  It’s no longer fun and games, but the real deal.  Is Henry getting himself into more than he can handle?  All is revealed in Robert Paul Weston’s grim look at the truth behind the fairytales in, Dust City!

Dust City combines the innocent fairytales of our childhood with a harsh slap of reality and weaves them into a story that blends into our modern times.  Weston’s illustrative and vivid writing sets the scene for a unique look at what really goes on behind the curtain of seemingly flawless fairytales.  In the Dust City that Henry knows, there is no “happily ever after.”  I recommend Dust City for older teens as it deals with the much darker side behind the fairytales that we know and love.

Weston’s dark and haunting writing couldn’t have been better for the tone of Dust City.  He knew just how to show off the dark alleys and murky crevices that made up Dust City.  Weston told it as it was, and didn’t sugarcoat things by presenting the reader with a false reality, like the fairydust does to its users.  I was able to get an incredibly clear image of not only what Dust City looked like, but what really goes on underneath the surface.

I also noticed that the title of every chapter seems to have a double meaning.  Many times the title can be found within the chapter, but after finishing the chapter, the title can suddenly mean so much more than at first glance.  To me this was reminiscent of how the fairydust and the entire dust industry in Dust City is much more than it seems.  Everything always needs to be examined further, and not looked at what it is said to be, but what it really is.

The world of Dust City felt part fantasy, yet also very realistic.  Dust City felt like it could be any large, metropolitan city in America, yet it had fairytale substitutes to take the places of many everyday things instead.  The landscape and structure of how things were run in the city felt very familiar.  You had the humans who lived in Eden, above the city in luxury, similar to the rich and influential living in the towering skyscrapers of New York City, out of touch with the harsh realities those below them face.  On the other hand there were the fantasy creatures and animals that were struggling to make it by, resorting to dust to delude themselves of their own realities, in the same way that there are those living on the streets with barely anything to call their own.  Dust City felt very real and within reach compared to our own modern day society.

I loved getting the chance to see the fairytales that I have read so many times before play out in Dust City.  There were many little side stories that were reminiscent of the classic fairytales, and I couldn’t help but be fascinated as they took off in different directions than I would have ever had thought.  Dust City reminded me of an older version of the Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley, which I enjoyed very much when I was younger as well.  Hopefully I’ll get to see Henry’s story and that of his friends continue in a sequel!

Dust City transported me into a world that paralleled our own, and had me question everything I thought I once knew about the fairytales.  Filled with action and mystery, Robert Paul Weston will take you on a wild ride that you never saw coming.  Join Henry as he travels the perilous streets of Dust City and huffs and puffs his way to exposing the truth in, Dust City!

-This is T.B. with Another Book Back on the Shelf…
Until Next Time, Keep Reading!

Check out Robert Paul Weston's website at


  1. What a clever idea to write a story about! Great review and I like how you noticed that the titles seemed to have double meanings :)

  2. I've never even looked twice at this book. I always thought it was just a vengeful werewolf story. I am so glad to have read your review. As always it tells me so much without giving anything away and make me want to run to the store and buy it. I know if you liked it, it's definitely going on my list to read. Thanks for the great review!



Hi, and welcome to From The Bookshelf of T.B.!

I can't wait to hear what you have to say! I do my best to try and respond to your comments, so check back often. Comment away!