Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King

If you haven't yet, you should definitely check out the YAedge Bookclub. I just finished reading April's book The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King. I'd been wanting to read this one anyway ever since I first heard about it (can't remember where, I think it was Twitter). As a result I was quite excited when D100D was chosen in the book club poll (especially since I'd already bought it). I just finished reading it, and I had to blog about it. This book is definitely worth the buzz I've been hearing.

The Dust of 100 Dogs
A.S. King
ISBN: 9780738714264

from the publisher's site:

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.

The Dust of 100 Dogs is a very different story compared to the books I normally read. But I like that. Different is good. A.S. King has a writing style that I think I'm going to really enjoy. I like the way the story flows back and forth in time. We see Emer's life as a child in Ireland through her growing up and becoming a pirate; we also see her life as Saffron a modern teenager who has the knowledge of lifetimes past, but is still struggling to not be a loser. There are even little glimpses of some of her doggie lives and just a touch of practical advice when dealing with our canine friends.

There are many parallels between her two lives, but there are many differences also. Emer and Saffron are the same, yet they are very different women. They each yearn for something just out of reach, then when the opportunity arises they do something about their yearnings. The differences lie in how they go about it.

I am being intentionally vague here because this is one of those books where it is very difficult to not give too much away. Just trust me that this is a book that you've got to check out for yourself. I mean it; read it! The Dust of 100 Dogs held me enthralled. When I read the end I had to stop and blink and check again. I'd been so engrossed in the story that I just wasn't ready to leave it behind. I'm hooked on A.S. King and can't wait for more.

If you're interested it's not too late to join the discussions over at the YAedge Book Club. The first non-spoiler thread has been started and an interview with A.S. King should be posted soon. The final discussion including spoilers will be closer to the end of the month.


Tami Klockau said...

Awesome review and thanks for pimping YAedge Book Club! :)

I totally agree with you. I was reading along, going back and forth between Saffron and Emer's world. Poof, it was over and I couldn't believe my eyes. I went back and read the last chapter again, making sure I read it right (don't want to give anything away).

At first the change in setting was very jarring for me, but in the end I think it really worked. A.S King shaped both worlds so they would be able to stand alone, yet come together when needed.

I can't wait to read what everyone thinks of the ending at the book club!

Lenore said...

I'm in love with this one! Thanks for the tip about the club. I will check it out. Did you see my interview with Saffron on my blog? It really cleared up a lot of my questions regarding the dog lives. Here's the link:

HeatherMarie said...

Thanks Lenore, I'll take a look. :)

C.J. Redwine said...

Sounds fantastic! I'll look for it on my next hunt through the YA section. Thanks for reviewing this.

HeatherMarie said...

Thanks again C.J. I hope they've got it when you go looking. I noticed my store was late to get it in. I actually ordered mine from cuz I didn't think my store was going to carry it. We've got it in stock now though. I've actually noticed that with quite a few YA titles lately. Hmmmm