I feel like I waited forever to hold this book in my hands. Ahh! I have been looking forward to reading Dust by Kara Swanson since I first heard about the story and saw its spectacular cover. I have always loved Neverland, Peter Pan, and all the magic and child-like faith they invoke in readers. This story provides a thrilling and whimsical journey back to Neverland–even if the darker sides of our beloved hero and the island are exposed. And since I first started reading it, I have been talking about it non-stop. Anyone within earshot has heard how I have fallen head over heels for this book.
Dust is a beautifully written adventure, and one I hope you will have the courage to take alongside Claire, Lily and Peter. Keep reading to find out more about the book, the lovely and talented author, and the giveaway!
About the Book
Authors: Kara Swanson
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: July 21, 2020
The truth about Neverland is far more dangerous than a fairy tale Claire Kenton believes the world is too dark for magic to be real—since her twin brother was stolen away as a child. Now Claire’s desperate search points to London…and a boy who shouldn’t exist. Peter Pan is having a beastly time getting back to Neverland. Grounded in London and hunted by his own Lost Boys, Peter searches for the last hope of restoring his crumbling island: a lass with magic in her veins. The girl who fears her own destiny is on a collision course with the boy who never wanted to grow up. The truth behind this fairy tale is about to unravel everything Claire thought she knew about Peter Pan—and herself.
Click here to get your copy!
When reading the blurb for Dust by Kara Swanson, a child-like joy came over me, and I couldn’t wait to revisit the characters from Peter Pan that I loved so much growing up. And while the Neverland we may remember is full of adventure, pirates, and beautiful mermaids–the reality Peter is facing in Dust is much darker. The magic that charmed us in Barrie’s story is covering Neverland and its inhabitants in shadow.
I absolutely LOVED this story. The author does an amazing job of taking a childhood fairy tale and forcing it to ‘grow up.’ The insight into Peter and his twisted, immature, and selfish personality was fascinating. But we also see glimpses of the Pan we know–the one who flies with pixies and has fun all day long. It was frustrating how one could despise him and love him all at the same time.
But he isn’t the only character who steals the spotlight. Claire is beautifully written, a broken girl who never fit in anywhere. And yet, Peter shows her there is a place she belongs. I think there are many who can identify with Claire’s painful story–the self-doubt, self-loathing. The internal, physical pain caused by such tormented thoughts. The desperation to be free from it all. Her journey between shadow and light is an important one–ever for those of us without pixie dust. I hope Claire’s story reaches others who might also feel alone and unwanted.
And I can’t finish this review without mentioning Tiger Lily. What a confident, strong, and encouraging woman! I wish there was a whole book about her story. She is amazing–you will see!
The only thing I didn’t like about this story was realizing I’d reached the end! I will be eagerly anticipating the next novel in the series, Shadow, releasing next year.
Fans of YA Fantasy or fairytale retellings will love this book. I think Dust has some amazing emotional themes that would really speak to young adults today who may be struggling to find their place. It’s themes of light and choosing light over shadow are empowering to all.
I was given a copy of this book by the publisher with no expectation of a positive review. All opinions are my own.
About the Author
As the daughter of missionaries, Kara Swanson spent her childhood running barefoot through the lush jungles of Papua New Guinea. Able to relate with characters dropped into a unique new world, she quickly fell in love with the fantasy genre. The award-winning author of The Girl Who Could See, Kara is passionate about crafting stories of light shattering darkness, connecting with readers, and becoming best friends with a mermaid—though not necessarily in that order. Kara chats about coffee, fairy tales and bookish things online (@karaswansonauthor) and at karaswanson.com
More from Kara
I wrote Dust not just for those who grew up loving the original Peter Pan story — but especially for the children who were left behind. Those of us who never escaped through a window to a magical world, whose childhoods oftentimes felt a little shadowed.
Dust follows Peter Pan when he is cast out of Neverland, grounded in London. For the first time, this Peter has to start thinking about someone other than himself—and become a beacon to remind any Lost ones that there is still magic to be found.
Dust also follows a young woman named Claire who can create pixie dust, but is desperately afraid of herself because when her fears and insecurities leak out, her dust starts to burn. Claire has seen too many shadows to believe in fairytales anymore and is doing everything she can just to lock away the strange dust dripping from her fingertips. But when she meets Peter, he challenges everything she thought she knew.
I wrote Claire for those of us who may feel too weighted to even remember what it feels like to have hope lift your soul. Who can look at ourselves and all we see are our own shadows and shortcomings.
Throughout the course of the novel, Peter has to teach Claire how to see the spark of light inside herself that is far brighter than the darkness. As he helps this girl learn how to fly, Peter rediscovers what it is that truly makes him Peter Pan: the unquenchable childlike belief that there are weightless thoughts in all of us that can lift us out of the shadows.
This story is a love letter to anyone who has ever needed that reminder. We have value simply because we exist. We do not have to be weighed down by our shadows. There is still light that can lift our hearts if we have faith, trust…and a dash of the impossible.
Andrea Christenson, July 31
Rebecca Tews, July 31
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 1
Texas Book-aholic, August 1
For the Love of Literature, August 2
deb’s Book Review, August 2
Emily Yager, August 2
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 3
Blessed & Bookish, August 3
Through the Fire Blogs, August 4
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 4
Worthy2Read, August 5
Losing the Busyness, August 5
Adventures of A Travelers Wife, August 5
Remembrancy, August 6
Wishful Endings, August 6
Inklings and notions, August 7
April Hayman, Author, August 7
For Him and My Family, August 8
Musings of A Sassy Bookish Mama, August 8
Inside the Wong Mind, August 9
Locks, Hooks and Books, August 9
Nancy E Wood, August 9
Tell Tale Book Reviews, August 10
Mia Reads, August 10
Simple Harvest Reads, August 11 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
Faery Tales Are Real, August 11
Artistic Nobody, August 12
Ashley’s Bookshelf, August 12
Pause for Tales, August 12
Just the Write Escape, August 13
Blossoms and Blessings, August 13
To celebrate her tour, Kara is giving away the grand prize package of a Dust-themed bundle that includes a signed hardcover, bookmarks, character cards, Peter + Claire art print, and an exclusive Dust pin!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
Good luck in the giveaway!
Happy reading and God bless!