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THE DUST OF 100 DOGS By: A.S. King February 22, 2010

Posted by lycan librarian in book reviews, Books and reading.

     The Lycan Librarian loves pirates, dogs, and reincarnation, but as much as she wanted to, she could not fully love this book. First, it must be said, that any author who can come up with such an outrageously fresh concept deserves to be read. THE DUST OF 100 DOGS is a young adult novel about a female pirate who is cursed and forced to live the lives of 100 dogs before she can be reincarnated again into human form. Fascinating!!
     The downfall of this book is the voice of the characters — the narration that tells the reader who is speaking. The author hops from the points of views of Emer, the pirate from 1600s Jamaica, to Saffron, an American teenager in the 1990s, to only a handful of the 100 dogs — and they all sound the same. One has to sometimes read a paragraph or two before realizing where they are in time in a particular chapter, and that realization strikes because of what happens, not because the very essential voices of the characters are revealing themselves.

     When the author is telling the stories of the dogs, it is apparent she is a dog lover, but she misses her chance to really instill in people the responsibility a dog owner has to their pet, even though I believe this is something she is trying to do. It is particularly important to get such a concept through to the young people who will be reading this book, so it is a shame she has failed in this area.

     I think if King had allowed herself to truly sort out her characters, research the times she was writing about, and better think out exactly what it was that she wanted to say, that she could have had a magnificent book. The bottom line — it will sell and be read for its terrific concept alone.



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