Dust City by Robert Paul Weston
New York: Razorbill, 2010
299 pages (digital edition)
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
His son, that's who.
Ever since his father's arrest for the murder of Little Red Riding Hood, teen wolf Henry Whelp has kept a low profile in a Home for Wayward Wolves...until a murder at the Home leads Henry to believe his father may have been framed.
Now, with the help of his kleptomaniac roommate, Jack, and a daring she-wolf named Fiona, Henry will have to venture deep into the heart of Dust City: a rundown, gritty metropolis where fairydust is craved by everyone-and controlled by a dangerous mob of Water Nixies and their crime boss leader, Skinner.
Can Henry solve the mystery of his family's sinister past? Or, like his father before him, is he destined for life as a big bad wolf? (Description from Amazon).
Henry brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "teen wolf." He actually is a teenaged wolf, typically thought to be of the big and bad variety. Residents of Dust City tend to recoil in fear when a wolf is nearby because they have terrible reputations. It's worse for Henry because his dad is THE big bad wolf.
This is an interesting and entertaining tale with elements of mystery and suspense. Other fairy tale characters are also involved including, Cinderella, Snow White, Jack of Jack and the Beanstalk fame, and others. The world presented here is one possibility of what it might be like if fairy tale characters were part of a real world.
But it also makes you think. Though framed as a fractured fairy tale, I felt there was also a bit of social commentary. The species were judged based on looks and the behaviors of earlier generations since the animal species had only evolved more recently to take on the characteristics of humanoids. This specifically includes wolves, foxes, and ravens. Also, the reason the city is called Dust city is based on the fairy dust trade. It can be purchased legally in refined forms meant for specific ailments, or in a purer form on the street. These are just two elements of the novel that I felt parallel aspects of reality.
I enjoyed this book and was often disappointed to put it down.
Disclosure: I borrowed this ebook title from my local library.