Author: Erin Bowman
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: April 20, 2021
Page Count: 432
My rating: 4 stars
About the book:
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.
Dustborn by Erin Bowman is a young adult fantasy read that mixes in a lot of different elements. This one is a post apocalyptic with a western feel to it, think along the lines of Mad Max. Along with a sort of western dystopian setting you have a bit of sci fi and some romance making a good mix involved in the story.
Delta of Dead River is the main character in this dust covered fantasy world. Delta, her mother and sister live with their pack in a village in the desert. Venturing away is frowned upon as the thick dust encompasses all that surrounds the village but survival here is getting tougher and tougher each day. Delta’s sister however is pregnant and when things don’t go right with the birth Delta sets out to try to save her sister and her child.
I was quite taken with what the author created with these characters and setting immediately upon beginning to read this one which is sort of rare with me when it comes to fantasies these days. Most times picking up a chunky fantasy, which this one is over 400 pages, I will find myself bored as the stories seem to drag on instead of progressing any action. Thankfully Dustborn was full of action right from the start with a creative world that kept me focused on just what would come next for Delta and with one event after another with interesting elements all the way through I really enjoyed reading this story.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
Find this book online:
About the author:
Erin Bowman is the critically acclaimed author of numerous books for children and teens, including the Taken Trilogy, Vengeance Road, Retribution Rails, the Edgar Award-nominated Contagion duology, The Girl and the Witch’s Garden, and Dustborn. A web designer turned author, Erin has always been invested in telling stories—both visually and with words. Erin lives in New Hampshire with her husband and children. You can visit her online at embowman.com, on twitter @erin_bowman, or on instagram @heyerin.