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Town Called Dust by Justin Woolley

A Town Called DustA review by C J Dee

ISBN: 9781760081898
Format: eBook
Publisher: Momentum Books

The zombie apocalypse is a dusty memory for the residents of Alice, Australia’s stronghold in the red centre. They have adjusted over hundreds of years to a way of life in the Territory and behind the extensive fence that keeps out the ghouls.

Squid and Lynnette are new apprentices from very different sides of the tracks. Squid has been conscripted from a dirt farm on the outer regions of the Territory. Lynnette is the daughter of a deceased General who will stop at nothing to make it into the Territory’s army. Against all odds, the two become fast friends.

But when a horde of ghouls break through the fence, it falls to the army to defend their people from over ten thousand bloodthirsty enemies. Will Squid and Lynnette survive their enemies, ghoul and human alike?

A Town Called Dust is the first book in The Territory series.

I’m going to be honest with you, dear reader, because I feel it’s only right. I groaned a little bit when I saw another zombie story. I agreed to give A Town Called Dust a go because it was set in Australia and this was not something I had seen or read before. I am so very glad I did.

A Town Called Dust is not a book about the zombie apocalypse. It is a book that details life hundreds of years after the zombie apocalypse. The still vigilant defence against the ghouls. The new religion that has taken over. The politics that are greatly controlled by and even overruled by the church.

There was one particular chapter that I found most entertaining. Lynnette’s foster-brother Melbourne, a newly graduated soldier, is regaling his superiors with his ‘academy’ tales. His success on one particular unbeatable course brings to mind one Captain James Tiberius Kirk’s defeat of the Kobayashi Maru. Intentional homage? Happy accident? Either way — loved it!

While I wouldn’t say Squid is a likeable character, he invokes a strong feeling of pity and isn’t actively unlikeable. So I shall reserve judgement. For now.

Lynnette is similar in likeability but replace ‘pity’ with ‘admiration’. She is strong and determined but she is still learning to control her temper and her tongue. At times this can come across as intentionally petulant. Though both teens have their demons, they form an interesting pair and I look forward to seeing them develop further in future novels.

If you enjoy a good dystopian novel but not horror, don’t let the zombies put you off A Town Called Dust. The horror is non-existent and the zombies are purely a catalyst to the YA adventure that takes place.

Rating: full starfull starfull starfull starfull star 5 out of 5 stars

Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


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