January 20, 2022

#BookReview: Dustborn by Erin Bowman

Synopsis: Delta of Dead River sets out to rescue her family from a ruthless dictator rising to power in the Wastes and discovers a secret that will reshape her world in this postapocalyptic Western mashup for fans of Mad Max and Gunslinger Girl.

Delta of Dead River has always been told to hide her back, where a map is branded on her skin to a rumored paradise called the Verdant. In a wasteland plagued by dust squalls, geomagnetic storms, and solar flares, many would kill for it—even if no one can read it. So when raiders sent by a man known as the General attack her village, Delta suspects he is searching for her. 

Delta sets out to rescue her family but quickly learns that in the Wastes no one can be trusted—perhaps not even her childhood friend, Asher, who has been missing for nearly a decade. If Delta can trust Asher, she just might decode the map and trade evidence of the Verdant to the General for her family. What Delta doesn’t count on is what waits at the Verdant: a long-forgotten secret that will shake the foundation of her entire world.


Rating: 3 Stars
My Review: I loved the start of this book. I even went out and grabbed me a finished copy, because I fell in love with it so much!! But sadly, around the 70% mark the story took a turn and just became stagnate.  That love that I had for the story died a horrible death and the story just got so boring I ended up skipping to the end to see what happened.  

This reverse Waterworld story will be loved by fans of Mad Max and the like.  But fair warning the book slows way down towards the end. 

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-The 100 meets Rey from Star Wars in this apocalyptic Western. Delta and the rest of her Dead River pack are trapped between staying at their waterless river and trying to move in the fatally hot summer months. Returning from a trip to a neighboring settlement, Delta discovers raiders have kidnapped much of her pack and murdered the rest. Determined to save her family and get her revenge, Delta has the ultimate bargaining chip: a map to the Verdant, a lush and lost oasis, is branded onto her back. Bowman's newest dystopia features complicated characters fighting a high stakes war against an unforgiving world-and each other. Dystopian fans will love the mix of familiar Old World tech the heroes stumble upon during their quest across the desert. Bowman's deft hand manages to make both elaborate backstory and lore passages something to look forward to, as Delta and her childhood friend Asher try to find the Verdant. The story's pacing never flags and YA readers suffering from series fatigue will enjoy this standalone's premise and world-building. While there is diversity mentioned in the large cast, the main characters' skin colors are not defined. VERDICT Bowman sets high expectations and meets them in this standalone worthy of all YA shelves. An impeccably crafted dystopian full of beloved tropes and a generous helping of plot twists.-Emmy Neal, Lake Forest Lib., ILĪ±(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


★ "The 100 meets Rey from Star Wars in this apocalyptic Western....Bowman sets high expectations and meets them in this standalone worthy of all YA shelves. An impeccably crafted dystopian full of beloved tropes and a generous helping of plot twists."–School Library Journal, STARRED review

"If you love dystopian novels and post-apocalyptic worlds, Dustborn by Erin Bowman deserves a prominent place on your bookshelf."–Hypable

"[An] intense, gritty, and propulsive novel....Will keep readers turning the pages."–Kirkus

Bowman skillfully portrays the privation and grief that Delta bears, alongside her determination to overcome each obstacle. Absorbing world-building propels this fast-paced adventure, which has crossover appeal and series potential."–Publishers Weekly

Delta is a clever and hard heroine, and the cast of characters she forms tentative alliances with along the way are as likable as they are mysterious....a satisfying ending, sure to please readers."–Booklist

"The post-apocalyptic setting is richly drawn, with harrowing escapes from dust storms across parched land and a general sense of blistering doom...Readers will be left to ponder the sometimes warring forces of hope and truth—right after they find a cool drink of water."–Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"[Dustborn] continually reiterates the human need for friendship, love and connection...in this captivating post-apocalyptic YA thriller."–Shelf Awareness

With its unforgettable blend of science fiction, dystopia, and Old West, DUSTBORN is one of those stories that stays branded to your heart long after you turn the final page. Prepare to be transported.” -- Jodi Meadows, New York Times bestselling author of My Plain Jane and the Fallen Isles Trilogy

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