Why this doesn’t suck: Dust by Arthur Slade

I really like this book.  I meant to review it ages ago, but it slipped off the list.  On the other hand, since it’s just been released as an ebook, maybe the time is right.  It’s a few years old, but if you’re looking for something to compel the attention of a tween or a teen (or me) Arthur Slade’s Dust is just the thing.  In its delicious combination of horror and the fantastic in a depression-era setting, it calls to mind both Ray Bradbury and Stephen King.

The story?  A determined boy searches for his missing brother in a small Saskatchewan farming community while a backdrop of odd and disturbing events — ghost voices, eggs with blood inside them, parents who won’t awake from a daydream — begins to suggest at something supernatural or alien at work.  It’s got a taste of Something Wicked This Way Comes, and more than a dash of pretty deep horror, but Slade’s direct no-nonsense prose keeps it all grounded and moving along fast enough that younger readers will not be too disturbed.

As I said at the start, I really like this book.  Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Slade himself obviously really likes the things I like.  It’s dedicated to Ray Bradbury, Wallace Stegner and W.O. Mitchell, and the main character is entranced by the Martian books of Edgar Rice Burroughs.  I just wish this book had been around when I was twelve.  I would have loved it even more then.


About davidlomax

Writer, teacher, husband, dad. Geek from way back. Author of the totally pre-orderable Backward Glass, out in October 2013 from Flux Books (http://goo.gl/4FOM2). View all posts by davidlomax

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