book review, Dystopian, netgalley, romance, Young Adult

Dustborn | ARC Review

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Title: Dustborn

Author: Erin Bowman

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 432

Publication Date: 4/20/21

Categories: Dystopia, Post Apocalyptic, Romance, Survival, Young Adult

Disclaimer: **I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

Delta of Dead River has always been told to hide her back, where a map is branded on her skin to a rumored paradise called the Verdant. In a wasteland plagued by dust squalls, geomagnetic storms, and solar flares, many would kill for it—even if no one can read it. So when raiders sent by a man known as the General attack her village, Delta suspects he is searching for her. 

Delta sets out to rescue her family but quickly learns that in the Wastes no one can be trusted—perhaps not even her childhood friend, Asher, who has been missing for nearly a decade. If Delta can trust Asher, she just might decode the map and trade evidence of the Verdant to the General for her family. What Delta doesn’t count on is what waits at the Verdant: a long-forgotten secret that will shake the foundation of her entire world.

  • When it takes me days to read a book it usually means I’m not into it. This isn’t the case with Dustborn ~ I think I’ve been so immersed in fantasy worlds that coming back to dystopian takes some getting used to, but really I enjoyed how cutthroat and no F’s given is this world that Delta lives in. I would not survive…at all.
  • Aesthetic ~ the cover made me request the book! Love how fiery it looks.
  • World Building ~ you get a sense right away, life is tough in this world where water is scarce, and dust storms rage often. Think Mad Max, where people live in small groups or packs. I could really feel Delta’s despair from the first chapter when she needs to get her sister some help. From there everything went downhill for Delta. I think it was unique, especially parts where they described how to make water in desperate times and vehicles they use with old tech/parts that they find.
  • Characters ~ Delta is strong because she’s had to be in able to survive. The Wastes coddle to no one. Asher is Delta’s friend from long ago and when they meet again, she’s not sure if she can trust him. We meet other characters like the General who runs Bedrock and his people are loyal to him. The General has something Delta has and will do anything to get the information he seeks. Then there is the Prime who runs Powder Town, Delta gets caught in between trying to figure out who to trust in order to free her pack.
  • Romance ~ yes…I mean how can romance bloom in a world like this? But something grows between Delta and Asher, not that it takes over the story at all, this one is all about survival and truth.
  • I didn’t totally connect to Delta and Asher, but that’s not a bad thing, it gave the book more of a desperate vibe, and seriously…reading this made me feel like I would die on day one without barely any water! Haha, you know how in reality we always say to hydrate? How do you do that when you have to turn your pee into water and you are dehydrated?! Ugh…I’m so grateful to have water right now haha. I was really intrigued by the characters in Powder Town though. Loved that they had a female ruler and soldiers.
  • The twist in the end was good, we get to find out more history and what really happened in the early days.
  • Triggers: violence, death

If you like dystopian stories set in basically a desert world, then you will enjoy this one. Delta is practically alone in the world and has to save her pack. She has to do the impossible to do it. But when people come along can she trust them to help her reach her goal? Dustborn is a gritty dystopian story filled with adventure, desperation and even a little romance in the desert.

🧡 ~ Yolanda

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