Rise of the Dust Child by James Young
|Rise of the Dust Child by James Young|
|Category: Science Fiction|
|Reviewer: Luke Marlowe|
|Summary: A dark post apocalyptic tale, Rise of the Dust Child sends its well crafted characters out into a brutally grim world - making for a gripping and moving read.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 478||Date: October 2016|
|External links: Author's website|
An age has passed since the fall of the old world, and the rise of the malignant Dust people. Amongst the terrors of this new age, humanity still lingers within the wreckage of civilisation, held together by the promise of a better existence in the next life. But not all are satisfied by this dogma. Within the smoggy city of Fort Palmer, eight year old Doran and his friend Alena stand apart, struggling to retain the lost glory of their faith. But the unquiet dead and the forces of faith do not take kindly to those who try to fix a broken world. As the quest to save the future leads each of them down a dark path, they are cast apart - struggling to overcome the monstrous dusters and the fear within themselves, desperate to see each other again.
This is British-based author James Young's first novel. It's a complex beast of a book - a post apocalyptic tale with hints of the Mad Max films and BioShock videogames. Worldbuilding is clearly a huge skill of Young's - I've no doubt that this is a world he's been crafting in his head for quite some time, and it's a fascinating, scary place and the reader gets some deep glimpses into the society and people. The characters here are strong too - Doren and Alena are well drawn to start with, but grow and evolve as the book goes on. I did have slight issues initially with how grown up Doren seemed to be for his age - but given the rather savage nature of this world, it's no surprise that he's somewhat more grown up than a regular child would be at that age. The relationship between these two characters forms the backbone of the book - even when they're not together it's something that's still clearly important to the characters, and this really underlines the importance to the reader, making them creations that one really cares about - rooting for them to find justice and hope in the dark, dark world they live in.
The darkness is in fact rather startling - Young opens the book with a rather horrific and immediate chapter that shocks with its grim content, and whilst Young's lead characters lend an air of enthusiasm and youth to the landscape, it's a read that hits hard, the hugely high stakes laid out very clearly from the off. One little touch that also works wonderfully well is the drawings provided in the book. Small, pencil drawn and appearing every few chapters or so, they're wonderfully sketched evocations of objects and creatures of this world, direct enough to give the reader an idea of what they're looking at, but simple enough to leave plenty to the reader's imagination. All in all, it's a very strong debut - dark, powerful, and well worth a read. I look forward very much to the sequel, and many thanks to the publisher for the copy.
For further reading I'd recommend Fever Crumb (Mortal Engines Quartet Prequel) by Philip Reeve, in which, much like Rise of the Dust Child, strong characters and elaborate world building are celebrated in dark, a dark, twisting plot.
You can read more about James Young here
You can read more book reviews or buy Rise of the Dust Child by James Young at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Rise of the Dust Child by James Young at Amazon.com.
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