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.