Dust Girl (The American Fairy, #1) by Sarah Zettel ~ A Review

Callie LeRoux lives in Slow Run, Kansas, helping her mother run their small hotel and trying not to think about the father she’s never met. Lately all of her energy is spent battling the constant storms plaguing the Dust Bowl and their effects on her health. Callie is left alone when her mother goes missing in a dust storm. Her only hope comes from a mysterious man offering a few clues about her destiny and the path she must take to find her parents in “the golden hills of the west”: California. 

Along the way she meets Jack, a young hobo boy who is happy to keep her company—there are dangerous, desperate people at every turn. And there’s also an otherworldly threat to Callie. Warring fae factions, attached to the creative communities of American society, are very much aware of the role this half-mortal, half-fae teenage girl plays in their fate.

Dust Girl wasn't really what I expected when I got it. It started out pretty awesome and it engaged me with its interwoven story and complex characters. Then it went downhill as I kept reading on. Sadly, it was a little more realism than fantasy and I had hoped to see more of the fae realm and world. I would have loved a bit more worldbuilding and less cardboardy type characters. There was a death towards the end of the book that felt forced and a Native American character that felt like he was just tacked on without any care for his character or culture. I did love the 1920s atmosphere, music and the fact that our heroine was bi-racial with her AA father as the King of Seelie Fae. It's a great twist with a diversity of characters we don't get much in this genre. Even though I didn't love Dust Girl, I still plan on continuing the series to see how the story arc and Callie LeRoux's fate turns out.

After reading and loving the Iron Fey series and coming from a fantasy reading background, I may be a bit biased in wanting more speculative elements but readers of historical fiction may enjoy reading Dust Girl.


Anonymous said...

Now I don't know what to do :-(
I do love fantasy stories, but I do love historical stories set in the Twenties too.

Oh, well, maybe I should just try this, no? ;-)

Rae Lori said...

Go for it, Jazzfeathers! I wasn't as satisfied because I was expecting another type of story but you may end up really enjoying it! Especially if it sounds right up your reading alley. Check out an excerpt of the book and see if you like it. :-)