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September 19, 2022

Dustborn by Erin Bowman ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

In a harsh post-apocalyptic world where water is a scarce commodity, clans and communities trust one another about as far as they can throw them. Yet, at times they are dependent on each other. There is a fabled Eden called the Verdant where water flows plentifully yet no one knows where it is - even with a map.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.i

book cover of young adult dystopian novel Dustborn by Erin Bowman
April 2021; Clarion Books; 978-0358244431
audio, ebook, print (432 pages); YA dystopian

by Erin Bowman has been on my reading list for a while. I pitched it last year to my post-apocalyptic book club but it didn't make it onto the schedule. I suggested it again this year and we are reading it for our October meeting.

I forgot that it was classified as young adult. While the protagonist is 17 years old, it doesn't really read fully like a young adult novel. I felt that it was believable for Delta to be as mature as she is. She lives in an extremely harsh environment where she constantly encounters life and death situations. 

The evil guy is truly evil - he enslaves his workers by drugging the water. And I understand wanting to make him as evil as possible but killing someone every 3 days unless Delta reads the map just seemed over the top. If she or anyone in her clan could read the map they would have gone looking for the Verdant by now. 

The prominent themes of loyalty, trust, betrayal, and faith are similar to what you would find in other YA dystopian novels. 

The world Bowman has created is reminiscent of the Wild West days yet the story is set in the far future. 

I liked the characters and became engrossed in the story easily. Delta is mature for her age but she still possesses some of the idealism of her youth. The adult characters were used well and weren't there just because there needed to be adults. They have wisdom and the caution that comes with age.

If you enjoy young adult dystopian novels then I recommend checking out this book.

Buy Dustborn at Amazon

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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