Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Review: The Dust of 100 Dogs
The Dust of 100 Dogs by A. S. King
released: February 2009
paperback, 330 pages
intended audience: Young Adult
(my recommended audience: 16 and up---the content of this one is alittle too graphic for the "younger" young adult, in my opinion.)
description from goodreads.com:
In the late seventeenth century, famed teenage pirate Emer Morrisey was on the cusp of escaping the pirate life with her one true love and unfathomable riches when she was slain and cursed with the dust of one hundred dogs, dooming her to one hundred lives as a dog before returning to a human body -- with her memories intact.
Now she's a contemporary American teenager and all she needs is a shovel and a ride to Jamaica.
Review: What an amazing adventure story! The story actually starts at the end, with the death of teenage pirate, Emer Morrisey, so you get alittle glimpse of her love, her enemies, and the curse being cast. It immediately shoots off into a few chaptes of her "dog lives", and then these are thrown in throughout the story, at times when these dog facts pertain loosely to what's going on in the main thread of the story. The book is told from a few different perspectives: Emer's whole story is told from her childhood to her death. And then there is Emer as Saffron, the teenage girl she has reincarnated into. Through Saffron, we get to see what it would be like to be someone who has seen and learned of the world a hundred times over, and now has to deal with a (somewhat) normal family in the 1980s. It's absolutely hilarious to hear what is going on in her head when she gets frustrated or angry with the people around her. She talks nice enough on the outside, but in her thoughts she is slicing off their kneecaps and tearing out their eyeballs.
We also get the perspective of a disgusting middle aged jerk of a man, whom, for awhile of reading, I really had no idea why I was being subjected to the vile things going on in his head. While I have to say, these chapters were the least enjoyable and I hated this guy (as is only right to feel that way about a villian!), it all made sense in the end and pulled the story together beautifully!
The one thing I didn't like about this story, is that in the beginning I thought of Saffron as just Emer reincarnated, Emer the pirate having to deal with the challenges of modern daily teenage life. Toward the end, they were written as two seperate people, almost like Emer's soul was inhabiting the body of a teenager named Saffron, like a split personality almost. The "spirit of Emer" would even disappear sometimes. To me, this one little detail didn't flow with the way the character was written from the beginning.
Still, this story had it all---adventure, true love, international chases, torture, treasure, magic, adventure on the high seas! It's all in there. Highly recommend this one!