Review - A Town Called Dust by Justin Woolley

Thank you to Momentum Books for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

Now America I do love you but oh my goodness, this book is that rare wonder of a dystopian set outside North America!

Yes a Town Called Dust is set in Australia, the end of the world has gone down under and it is such a refreshing change, don't get me wrong most of my favourite dystopian novels are set in America but it is nice to read about somewhere different, somewhere that is barren and inhospitable and that somewhere is the red centre of Oz.

Straight away you get the sense of vastness as we join a pilot in his airship patrolling the fence. The fence protects the population against the ghouls, zombiesque creatures who suck their victims dry. 

The fence is all that stands between life and death, the last of mankind needs to make sure it stays intact.  Unfortunately the fence is damaged when the pilot loses control of his ship and hits the fence letting through the horde of ghouls on the other side, letting them make their way to the juicy humans on the other side.

Told from the POV's of Squid, an orphan who lives with his relatives outside the town of Dust and Lynn who has lived in the relative safety of the walled city of Alice.  The story deals with the journeys from their homes in to the ranks of the diggers, the armed forces who protect the population, Squid is conscripted but Lynn, well she has to resort to pretending to be a boy to join the ranks.

Why are they in the diggers?, well I'll let you read the story to fill in those blanks but together Squid and Lynn face their worst nightmares in the form of the ghouls who are, well I was going to say marching but more like shambling upon them. The horde is coming closer and closer, they are young, unprepared and scared will they survive a fight against them.

This is a good read, the different setting makes all the difference, the depiction of the countryside is perfect, red and dusty, hot and unforgiving full of wide open spaces that the ghouls roam in.  The story is good and it is unusual to have a main male character - Squid - who is not macho and an instant love interest. In fact there is not a speck of insta-love in this book.  Squid and Lynn have a Harry and Hermione type of friendship.

Dystopian fiction is everywhere, to stand out in my eyes a book needs to give me somthing different, this story has both man vs ghoul, it also has man vs man as of course an end of the world setting always turns people into total megalomaniacs, this is a common theme throughout dystopian books but what makes this different is Australia itself. 

My only complaint about this book is that I didn't really find out how this happened and what has happened to the rest of Oz but I am about to start book two in this series and I think it will sort this out for me.

Awarded 4 stars!

Random Redheaded Ramblings


  1. Oooh this sounds really good! I am quite a fan of dystopian myself, but I agree that things have gotten a little... blah in that arena lately. I LOVE that it isn't in America. I mean, sure, I live here and all, but come ON, there ARE other countries! And ghouls!? I don't think I have ever heard of ghouls in a dystopian, so that sounds pretty good too. I think I shall look into this one, thanks for the great review!

    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

  2. I know, I love America and I don't live there but yes there are quite a few other countries in the world, I don't ever remember reading a dystopian in Canada or New Zealand!!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!


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