Rummanah Aasi
  Are you a zombie fan? Personally, the whole undead eating humans isn't very appealing. I prefer the other paranormal creatures like vampires, shape shifters, and the fey. When my friend and fellow blogger, Jen over at That's What I'm Talking About, asked if I could do a guest review on her blog for Joan Frances Turner's books, Dust and Frail, I really had no idea what kind of zombies I'd run into. I'll give you a hint, they are not the good kinds! Since my review of Frail is already posted at Jen's blog, here is my review for Dust.

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.


Review: If you've been reading my blog for quite some time, you know that I'm not a horror fan. I find gore scary just repulsive. I'm also not a big zombie fan either so please take this review with a grain of salt if you root for Team Zombie.
  Dust is not your stereotypical zombie book. Granted my personal knowledge of zombies are limited to movies like Shaun of the Dead, and the Night of the Living Dead, where your average zombie is eating humans while the humans go around and try to kill off the "invading" zombies. Dust far from this and actually present zombies in a new light. These zombies are capable of teaming up, communicating, and forming their own societies apart from human societies.
  Our main character, Jessie, is likeable. Her past made her a sympathetic character. I liked how Jessie desperately tried to hold on to her humanity even in her darkest hour. She was competent, aware of her surroundings, and over all a strong female character.
  Dust has a slew of secondary characters that was at times very hard to keep track of, but my favorite characters were Florian and Linc. Florian was old and wise man, always giving out helpful advise. I was sad to see him die and wanted more time with his character. Linc was a great, kind, caring, friend to Jessie. He was reliable and always supported her. 

  The concept of zombies and humans cohabiting and working together was interesting. As I said above, I'm not a zombie fan but I liked Turner's philosophical approach on what it means to live and to die, but I felt this fell short and flat in the book. In terms of a plot, there really isn't much besides the fact of a new virus out that makes another entire creature that isn't exactly human or zombie, but more like a hybrid. The narrative was very verbose and could have definitely used a lot more editing to take out the extraneous dialogue that didn't add to the story. My biggest problem with the book though it is the sheer amount of gore that is graphically detailed in the book. I lost my appetite many times while reading this book and I couldn't really eat long after I finished it either. I actually had to skim long passages due to the gore because I couldn't handle it. This book is definitely for those who have strong stomachs. 
  Had I not been requested to do a guest review for this book, I would honestly have to say I wouldn't have picked it up on my own. Readers who enjoy horror or zombies in particular may find this book interesting.


Rating: 2 stars

Words of Caution: There is extreme amount of gore and blood, strong language, and violence. For these reasons, I think the book is more appropriate for adults.

If you like this book try: Frail by Joan Frances Turner, Aftertime by Sophie Littlefield, or Rise Again by Ben Tripp
7 Responses
  1. Missie Says:

    What? This story has a sequel? Why?

    I read this one a long time ago, so I had to run over to my review to remember what I thought of it. Rated it slightly higher, but I did find it kind of dry and long winded, like you mentioned. Though I think I enjoyed the gory parts more than you did.

    Oh, and I remember really liking Linc, too.


  2. Jenny Says:

    I think I'll be passing on this one Rummanah! I'm not a fan of gore at all, movies or books, and you saying you couldn't eat for a while after is enough to make me realize this is definitely not the book for me! I don't mind a little, but excessive gore just makes me queasy.


  3. Lauren M Says:

    Ooh, creepy! I think the fact that the zombies are able to work together makes them even scarier! I've had this book on my shelf for a long time, but since I'm not the biggest fan of gore, either, I've put it aside. Thanks for the review, Rummanah!


  4. Missie: There's a companion novel that features some of the same characters from "Dust". I was a bit surprised she did another book in this world. I liked that one just a tad bit better but not much.

    Jenny: This is definitely a book you want around to deter you from eating snacks. I really couldn't handle it and skipped large chunks of the book because I got so queasy.

    Lauren: I liked that aspect too and how the zombies were a lot like humans. Too bad that wasn't much of a focus. I just found it a bit unbalance with the gore.


  5. I'm not a zombie fan either. I've read a few books that were okay, but I definitely don't want to read something that makes me lose my appetite.


  6. I am a zombie book lover, but that can only be taken so far.If there are other problems (ex-dialogue, etc..) The gore doesn't bother me so much, but if it's too scary, I'm a bit of a wimp. I actually think it sounds pretty good, but I don't know if its something I'll pick up.


  7. LoriStrongin Says:

    hehe, I'm with you. Shaun of the Dead zombies were okay (except for that one scene in the pub), but other than that, I'm not really interested in them. One author tried to make a joke out of a zombie love scene, and all I could think about were certain...parts falling off. Eww.


    Smiles!
    Lori


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