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Dust

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The truth about Neverland is far more dangerous than a fairy tale. Claire Kenton believes the world is too dark for magic to be real--since her twin brother was stolen away as a child. Now Claire's desperate search points to London... and a boy who shouldn't exist. Peter Pan is having a beastly time getting back to Neverland. Grounded in London and hunted by his own Lost Boy The truth about Neverland is far more dangerous than a fairy tale. Claire Kenton believes the world is too dark for magic to be real--since her twin brother was stolen away as a child. Now Claire's desperate search points to London... and a boy who shouldn't exist. Peter Pan is having a beastly time getting back to Neverland. Grounded in London and hunted by his own Lost Boys, Peter searches for the last hope of restoring his crumbling island: a lass with magic in her veins. The girl who fears her own destiny is on a collision course with the boy who never wanted to grow up. The truth behind this fairy tale is about to unravel everything Claire thought she knew about Peter Pan--and herself.


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The truth about Neverland is far more dangerous than a fairy tale. Claire Kenton believes the world is too dark for magic to be real--since her twin brother was stolen away as a child. Now Claire's desperate search points to London... and a boy who shouldn't exist. Peter Pan is having a beastly time getting back to Neverland. Grounded in London and hunted by his own Lost Boy The truth about Neverland is far more dangerous than a fairy tale. Claire Kenton believes the world is too dark for magic to be real--since her twin brother was stolen away as a child. Now Claire's desperate search points to London... and a boy who shouldn't exist. Peter Pan is having a beastly time getting back to Neverland. Grounded in London and hunted by his own Lost Boys, Peter searches for the last hope of restoring his crumbling island: a lass with magic in her veins. The girl who fears her own destiny is on a collision course with the boy who never wanted to grow up. The truth behind this fairy tale is about to unravel everything Claire thought she knew about Peter Pan--and herself.

30 review for Dust

  1. 4 out of 5

    Olivia Jarmusch

    No big deal you guys, its just my favorite book EVER. Review to come!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Allison Tebo

    **Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review, but all thoughts contained are my own.** *hides* I really wanted to love this book. I now greatly dislike being one of the first dissenters on a new release, but I’m compelled to review and to be honest. Swanson’s writing is definitely good and there are some genuinely lovely spiritual themes in this novel about overcoming our pasts and our innate power to choose life over darkness – but I’m afraid this rather grown-u **Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review, but all thoughts contained are my own.** *hides* I really wanted to love this book. I now greatly dislike being one of the first dissenters on a new release, but I’m compelled to review and to be honest. Swanson’s writing is definitely good and there are some genuinely lovely spiritual themes in this novel about overcoming our pasts and our innate power to choose life over darkness – but I’m afraid this rather grown-up retelling didn’t appeal to me. All of the innocence of Peter Pan is missing. It has been replaced with a darkly ominous version where all the fun legends that we thought we knew are actually evil. The characters we loved are fallen and broken. Neverland is a place of nightmares. There is a slightly angst-ridden romance (possibly a triangle) and a tendency for all the male characters to be stupid and cowardly and the girls to be powerful and perfect. Also, being a duology, it was clear that a lot of story was being held back, making this first installment very slow. Lastly, there is one twist at the end that I found extremely upsetting and disturbing. In some ways, Dust is very comparable to many YA new releases today – but it is clean and it does have solid themes of truth to set it apart in the field. I’m sure this novel would appeal to a lot of readers! . . . it just wasn’t my cup of tea. All of the views above are based merely on my personal tastes.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rose (Adventurous Bookworm)

    rtc but oh my word, this was good ~~~ If you're like me, you spend what feels like hours searching on Google for retellings of some of your favorite stories. One of those books for me was Peter Pan. Imagine my joy when I found out that the author of one of my favorite novellas, The Girl Who Could See, was writing a retelling. This book definitely lived up to my expectations. Dust brought the much-loved characters to life in a way that was totally unique but still relied upon the original. It was rea rtc but oh my word, this was good ~~~ If you're like me, you spend what feels like hours searching on Google for retellings of some of your favorite stories. One of those books for me was Peter Pan. Imagine my joy when I found out that the author of one of my favorite novellas, The Girl Who Could See, was writing a retelling. This book definitely lived up to my expectations. Dust brought the much-loved characters to life in a way that was totally unique but still relied upon the original. It was really entertaining to read about Peter as he navigated growing up years worth in only a matter of a few weeks. He was awkward and sometimes rude, clumsy and fun. I really liked how this Peter Pan retelling had a twist. I won't say too much about it due to spoilers but Swanson's left me hanging. I sure hope that book two comes out soon. Now please excuse me, I have to go and find a finished copy of this novel. Rating: 5/5 Crude Language: N/A Romance: a kiss Spiritual: not much Violence: a bit but not really detailed *I received a copy of this book from the author. All thoughts are my own and a positive review was not required.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mara YA Mood Reader

    I'm always down for dark Pan *eeeek* This better freaking deliver! I'm always down for dark Pan *eeeek* This better freaking deliver!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    What a gloriously magical tale! This book is so full of whimsy and beauty, but so deep and resounding in how it deals with darkness and trauma. I was so captivated by this story from the first page. The characters are so real and complex. Each new chapter reveals another layer of who they are, right down to the darkest shadows of their souls. Peter’s struggles of growing up and taking responsibility, Claire’s of not fitting in. Both of them not yet sure who they are. Both of them dealing with tra What a gloriously magical tale! This book is so full of whimsy and beauty, but so deep and resounding in how it deals with darkness and trauma. I was so captivated by this story from the first page. The characters are so real and complex. Each new chapter reveals another layer of who they are, right down to the darkest shadows of their souls. Peter’s struggles of growing up and taking responsibility, Claire’s of not fitting in. Both of them not yet sure who they are. Both of them dealing with trauma from the past in different ways. I connected with them so deeply, and instantly fell in love with this wild ride of a fairytale. This whole book is so vibrant and magical. I adored the setting of the London streets and how real it felt, while also so coated in pixie dust and magic. But it was so perfectly balanced out against the darker scenes, the mistakes the characters kept making, the lies, the fears, the trauma. I was so entangled in this story, I couldn’t put it down. The action, the stakes, the deep connection to the characters, it kept me thinking about the book and itching to pick it up again. The ending wrenched my heart out, but it was also perfect, and I officially CANNOT WAIT for the sequel, Shadow!! Trigger/Content warnings: (view spoiler)[- character attempted suicide in the past - characters have self-harmed - a character had an abusive parent - a character has abused and emotionally manipulated in the past (and still is a bit during the story) - characters dealing with past trauma - mild action scenes - kidnappings - characters get burnt by magic - brief descriptions (not too detailed) of characters’ friends dying or turning evil (hide spoiler)] I loved this story so much and recommend it hugely to all lovers of fairytales and magic! I received a complimentary copy from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra Scarpello

    DNF I will read any Peter Pan retelling or adaptation. Any. I don't care. And because of this, I will read some really interesting stuff. I have tortured myself a lot for the sake of sinking into a possibly good Peter Pan retelling. I debated on giving this a 2 star because I didn't finish it, but I didn't finish it because I hated it that much. So lets talk about it. To start, it's risky, but not absolutely unheard of, to add your OCs to these retellings. Ive seen that calculated risk pay off ra DNF I will read any Peter Pan retelling or adaptation. Any. I don't care. And because of this, I will read some really interesting stuff. I have tortured myself a lot for the sake of sinking into a possibly good Peter Pan retelling. I debated on giving this a 2 star because I didn't finish it, but I didn't finish it because I hated it that much. So lets talk about it. To start, it's risky, but not absolutely unheard of, to add your OCs to these retellings. Ive seen that calculated risk pay off rarely. Most often, and in this case, it didn't work. Claire as a character is pretty average overall, but she's spoken about by the characters as if she's incredibly pivotal to the canon. This is before she ever actually makes contact with them. She's also desperately trying to find her brother, who was one of Peter's lost boys. That could be interesting in concept, but her already "somebody" status among Neverland residence makes it all feel more about her than him. It wraps Claire up in this really frustrating Mary sue space that you definitely see from OCs in retellings like this. Contrasting that to Lost Boy, which manages a "random girl interacts with the Peter Pan characters without being the center of attention very well. Dust is all about telling and not showing. Almost half of what I read was Peter meeting up randomly with Tiger Lily and some lost boys and them vaguely glossing over the universe, the characters past, how the characters should feel about things, etc. Just an info dump filled chunk of exposition that felt like like author thought that readers would be too stupid to pick these points up through any form of subtlety. I was genuinely hoping for some dark! Pan, since the book seemingly sets up Peter as a slightly unreliable narrator thats driven away his gang of lost boys, but just as soon as that is done, Peter is quickly thrusted into the role of careless hero who has to save Neverland, and his failures as a leader felt like they were structured more to provide a tragic backstory for his character rather than deconstructing that he's a literal kidnapper. I felt like Kara Swanson wanted to go there, but still wanted to make Peter Pan sort of a "crushable" teen hero- so rather than focusing on the trauma he created, theres more of a "Im a failure, and it's about me" attitude. The Hook character, which is always sort of a nail in the coffin for me, was also super uninteresting. I might pick this back up a some point, but I just found it to be a boring and vanilla safe retelling when i've seen countless attempts at Peter Pan canon that felt smarter and more creative.

  7. 5 out of 5

    S.G. Willoughby

    *beams* WHERE IS BOOK 2?!?!?! I don't know why I *didn't* expect a cliffhanger. Anyway, this is going to be a very scattered review because I wasn't able to review it right away, but definitely read this. Dust was beautiful. It wasn't what I was expecting. I'm not sure what I was expecting, really, but I did read TGWCS and this was definitely its own unique style. I related so much to Claire, especially in unique ways as a chronic illness warrior. Chronic illness isn't mentioned in the book at all *beams* WHERE IS BOOK 2?!?!?! I don't know why I *didn't* expect a cliffhanger. Anyway, this is going to be a very scattered review because I wasn't able to review it right away, but definitely read this. Dust was beautiful. It wasn't what I was expecting. I'm not sure what I was expecting, really, but I did read TGWCS and this was definitely its own unique style. I related so much to Claire, especially in unique ways as a chronic illness warrior. Chronic illness isn't mentioned in the book at all, but so many of Claire's struggles were things I connected with because of my sickness. I don't know Kara well enough to know for sure, but I suspect that might be because parts of it *were* influenced by her own experience with Lyme disease. I especially LOVED how well done the magic was in this book. It was so creative and I could always picture it so clearly. It made me want to fly off into the London sky. Plus, it was set in London. So that was fun. All the characters were also very well-rounded. No one was too perfect, but I understood why they each did what they did. Content Warnings: -A character remembered a suicide attempt in their past (although I'm still unclear if it was a true suicide attempt or not) -Kidnapping, fighting, people almost getting burned to death, a pretty horrible (but not very described) death -A kiss -Words that I *think* were mild British cuss words? But I'd never heard most of them before, and so to me they didn't feel like cussing. Despite some of the gruesome stuff mentioned above, it really wasn't as dark as I had prepared myself for. It *is* about a boy who never wants to grow up, after all. :) Kara really is talented at creating such beautiful climaxes and scenes. I thought that kiss scene in TGWCS was so cool, but there are so many beautiful moments (not kissing) like that in Dust. Finally, the quotes. There are so many I can't share rn because of spoilers, but here are some of my favorite non-spoiler quotes: "You were created for more than to bear the weight of your shadows--but you have to choose to no longer let them define you. You have to choose to let the light shine through the shattered pieces." "Even the pirates are staring at me like I'm a monster. Maybe I am." "My dream was my darkest nightmare all along." "So, I do what I do best. The impossible." I guess I shall make myself stop there. But this was just... beautiful. Beautiful is the adjective I keep coming back to for this book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Savannah Grace

    Oh my GRACIOUS I love this book. What can I even say?? Swanson's Dust is the best retelling of Peter Pan I've ever seen. Even as a reread, it's /amazing/. It's a story that just overflows with magic. And the characters! Are amazing! They're some of the best I've ever read - and though this book switches between the POVs of the two main characters (Peter and Claire), they both felt so distinctly /themselves/ that I never wanted to skip one character's chapter to read the other's. I loved Peter's Oh my GRACIOUS I love this book. What can I even say?? Swanson's Dust is the best retelling of Peter Pan I've ever seen. Even as a reread, it's /amazing/. It's a story that just overflows with magic. And the characters! Are amazing! They're some of the best I've ever read - and though this book switches between the POVs of the two main characters (Peter and Claire), they both felt so distinctly /themselves/ that I never wanted to skip one character's chapter to read the other's. I loved Peter's snark and sass and general British-ness. And Claire is so very relatable - her growth throughout the book is /powerful/. Gah. I just legitimately have no words for this story. It's beautiful. It's amazing. I love it!!! It releases next month, so preorder thyself a copy. (I received an advance copy from the publisher, all opinions are my own)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    2/5stars originally DNF'd, decided to really quickly finish it just to make sure I didn't miss anything that would have helped in my thesis and I didn't lol this is pretty typical, pretty unoriginal, lots of "I'm not like other girls," told in multi POVs but cant tell the dif between any of them, and pretty unmemorable.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Emily Grant

    Peter Pan lovers, get the heck on board because THIS BOOK WAS A RIDE AND A HALF. Dust is about Claire, a nineteen-year-old girl who desperately wants to know what happened to her brother who disappeared six years ago. She refuses to believe in fairy tales, yet she can't tear herself away from the copy of Peter Pan that seems to hold clues to Connor's disappearance. And she also has mysterious dust that comes from her hands and til now has done nothing but harm. And then there's Peter, who is stuc Peter Pan lovers, get the heck on board because THIS BOOK WAS A RIDE AND A HALF. Dust is about Claire, a nineteen-year-old girl who desperately wants to know what happened to her brother who disappeared six years ago. She refuses to believe in fairy tales, yet she can't tear herself away from the copy of Peter Pan that seems to hold clues to Connor's disappearance. And she also has mysterious dust that comes from her hands and til now has done nothing but harm. And then there's Peter, who is stuck in London with no way of getting back to Neverland, which is falling apart more every second. His only hope might be Claire, whose dust might be able to do something good for a change. But there's one problem: Claire hates Peter Pan with a passion. So to start off with: if you're a fan of the Disney version of Peter Pan and not the book by J.M. Barrie, you should be prepared for a very different story than what you're expecting. The character Peter Pan is actually pretty twisted and a little dark, and that's what Dust plays off of. And may I just say that I think Kara nailed it. Peter in this story is an excellent older reflection of the troubling (now-troubled) boy we met in the original fairy tale. He's dealing with his past and Neverland's impending doom and he really just needs a hug. (Even if he IS still a bit of an imp.) And then there's Claire. First off, I related so hard to her #introvertproblems and therefore immediately adopted her. And speaking of characters who need hugs?? THIS GIRL RIGHT HERE. She's so unsure and afraid and angry and at the same time sweet and loveable and I JUST NEED HER TO BE HAPPY. Other things I loved: Tiger Lily! Our fierce, kind tribal princess with some seriously awesome outfits. The villain! And by "loved", I mean "was absolutely infuriated by and want thrown off a ship ASAP". The setting! Because LONDON. THE PLOT TWISTS. Because HOLY COW, you guys. I WAS NOT PREPARED FOR THIS. THE CLIFFHANGER. And by "loved", I mean "WHAT EVEN IS THIS HOW IS THIS LEGAL GIMME BOOK #2 IMMEDIATELY" Like, seriously. I'm still traumatized over that ending. Long story short: If you're a fan of the original Peter Pan story and want a sequel (so to speak) that honors it, THIS IS THE ONE FOR YOU. I absolutely cannot wait for book 2. Five stars!! (I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review!)

  11. 4 out of 5

    R.J.

    Did you ever have a crush on Peter Pan? I didn’t read the full version of Barrie’s novel until I was grown up (the horror!) but as a kid I had a big volume of fairy tales and children’s stories that included an excerpt, and I absolutely fell in love with Peter’s story. I thought the Disney cartoon was just OK, but I was a big fan of HOOK when it first came out (dating myself here!) and saw it several times. Anyway, one of the problems I have with retellings or spinoffs of Peter Pan is that they of Did you ever have a crush on Peter Pan? I didn’t read the full version of Barrie’s novel until I was grown up (the horror!) but as a kid I had a big volume of fairy tales and children’s stories that included an excerpt, and I absolutely fell in love with Peter’s story. I thought the Disney cartoon was just OK, but I was a big fan of HOOK when it first came out (dating myself here!) and saw it several times. Anyway, one of the problems I have with retellings or spinoffs of Peter Pan is that they often focus on Peter’s charm, daring and boyish heroism, without acknowledging that canonically Peter is a deeply damaged kid who can be selfish, ruthless and even downright scary at times in his refusal to ever grow up. So any sequel that simply ages him into a magical YA boyfriend without acknowledging and addressing the darker side of his character or the consequences of his past actions just doesn’t cut it for me... which is why I loved DUST so, so much, because Kara Swanson knows her canon Peter and doesn’t shy away from those issues at. all. There are a lot of other things to love about DUST too — the term heroine’s traumatic past and her present struggles to believe in magic are well drawn, the unfolding backstory of how Peter ended up where he is and why is intriguing, and the nature of Tiger Lily’s “tribe” is addressed better than I’ve seen in other spinoffs, to name just a few. I even liked a couple of the new characters so much I had to DM Kara and beg to know if we’d be hearing more of their story! Anyway, if you like Peter Pan stories in general and Peter-grows-up stories in particular, I think you’ll really enjoy this one. I know I did.

  12. 5 out of 5

    ryan elizabeth

    4/5 This book. So very magical. I personally liked The Girl Who Could See better than Dust, but think it was still awesome. The characters (my favorites were Peter and Lily!!) were all so deep and amazing...I loved the story (LOVE the dark fairytale aesthetic) but the pacing felt a little off, I think. Not too much actually happened until the end, and I would've liked it to be a little more exciting before then! Swanson's writing style is GORGEOUS though, and never fails to amaze me. 😍 Also, I hate 4/5 This book. So very magical. I personally liked The Girl Who Could See better than Dust, but think it was still awesome. The characters (my favorites were Peter and Lily!!) were all so deep and amazing...I loved the story (LOVE the dark fairytale aesthetic) but the pacing felt a little off, I think. Not too much actually happened until the end, and I would've liked it to be a little more exciting before then! Swanson's writing style is GORGEOUS though, and never fails to amaze me. 😍 Also, I hated the cliffhanger. Grrrr. In all honesty, I thought it should've ended a bit differently because not much was cleared up. Yet again, it's a duology, so I guess all I can say is this - Can't wait for Shadow to come out next year. :) SPOILER(ISH?) BELOW: Tinkerbell. Whyyyyyyyyyyy. I really wanted her to make an appearance but then I found out.....😭😭😭😭😭

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

    This book is amazing. I especially love how Kara captured the boyish recklessness, immatureness of Peter Pan while still making him so much deeper of a character. Claire's personal journey of discovering who she is, what her dust is, and about her scars is inspiring and I'm sure can touch many hearts. I LOVED the growing relationship between Claire and Lily. We need more good girl relationships in fiction. Dust was a book full of magic and whimsy and nostalgia, but also something deeper and dark This book is amazing. I especially love how Kara captured the boyish recklessness, immatureness of Peter Pan while still making him so much deeper of a character. Claire's personal journey of discovering who she is, what her dust is, and about her scars is inspiring and I'm sure can touch many hearts. I LOVED the growing relationship between Claire and Lily. We need more good girl relationships in fiction. Dust was a book full of magic and whimsy and nostalgia, but also something deeper and darker. But all still laced with hope and light. Oh and I nEED THE SECOND BOOK RIGHT NOW PLEASE.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Gabrielle Pollack

    Reviewing Dust was a pretty daunting task because there are not enough words in the human language to describe how fantastic this story is. The characters are real and dimensional, the conflict is gripping and emotional, and the story world is convincing. I geeked out over the perfectly placed Peter Pan references and thought the story's message was personal, relatable, and needed. The central relationship between Peter and Claire was fantastic! Both characters are incredibly complex and nuanced, Reviewing Dust was a pretty daunting task because there are not enough words in the human language to describe how fantastic this story is. The characters are real and dimensional, the conflict is gripping and emotional, and the story world is convincing. I geeked out over the perfectly placed Peter Pan references and thought the story's message was personal, relatable, and needed. The central relationship between Peter and Claire was fantastic! Both characters are incredibly complex and nuanced, and they make a dynamic (and sometimes explosive) duo. It was honest, raw, and depicted well. I can't wait for the next story to see where Peter and Claire end up. The story felt a tad on-the-nose at certain parts, but I understand why it's there. What didn't resound with me might resound with other readers; we're all different, and we cling to different things in our stories. But back to the fangirling. Peter was my favorite character. His brokenness made sense, and I love how honest Kara was with him. He's so unique and real. I'm really looking forward to who he becomes. This story gets an A+ for authentic characters, fearless storytelling, and a message of hope amidst darkness. I one hundred percent recommend this book to anyone looking for the next epic Peter Pan retelling.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ewe Linka

    Dust is a Peter Pan retelling introducing a brand new character called Claire who desperately wants to reunite with her lost brother. Kara takes us on a mesmerising adventure with the way she weaves her descriptions throughout the whole book and I am left speechless with her way with words. I adore well written descriptions and she had matched that expectation so well. This is the first book in the series and it doesn't answer many of the questions I may have by reaching the end of Dust. It defini Dust is a Peter Pan retelling introducing a brand new character called Claire who desperately wants to reunite with her lost brother. Kara takes us on a mesmerising adventure with the way she weaves her descriptions throughout the whole book and I am left speechless with her way with words. I adore well written descriptions and she had matched that expectation so well. This is the first book in the series and it doesn't answer many of the questions I may have by reaching the end of Dust. It definitely needs the second book, Shadow, coming out in July 2021, to answer my questions and see how the story unravels! If you like retellings and/or magic, look no further ;)

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bryn Shutt

    This book was a fantastic blend of old fashioned fairy tale and modern urban fantasy. The pacing was quick, the pov deep and the stakes high. I loved the humor and dialogue style Swanson chose for this story. But aside from all the fun, fantasy and villainry, the message of hope and a way over and through the darkness was beautifully presented and heart-touching. But seriously … someone make Peter eat vegetables. Too many sweets is not good for a growing boy ;).

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alysha (For The Love of Christian Fiction)

    Are ALL of the stars an option?! 😍😍😍 Full review to come.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Veronica Lynn

    This book is the most magical and meaningful book I have ever read. Which is saying a lot because I read more than Belle and Hermione combined!!! I was captivated from page one of this story and delighted throughout. The Peter Pan character in this book is such a glorious hybrid of the classic Peter we all know and love and a Peter that is current and original and exciting. He's daring, and whimsical, and hilarious and he is also troubled in a way that is interesting and endearing. Every scene with P This book is the most magical and meaningful book I have ever read. Which is saying a lot because I read more than Belle and Hermione combined!!! I was captivated from page one of this story and delighted throughout. The Peter Pan character in this book is such a glorious hybrid of the classic Peter we all know and love and a Peter that is current and original and exciting. He's daring, and whimsical, and hilarious and he is also troubled in a way that is interesting and endearing. Every scene with Peter is a delightful adventure. Claire is everything I want in a heroine. She is intelligent, brave, resourceful and curious. I was deeply touched by how fearful of her own magic Claire was. As someone who has often felt misunderstood, I was greatly inspired and empowered by Claire's character arc, which is beautifully written. My own light is shining brighter because of the time I spent with Claire. I loved all the characters in the book, but will keep their identities secret so you can have the joy of discovering them yourself. The plot is amazing. I am a Developmental Editor and so am very particular in assessing whether or not an author does justice to their clever concept. I had extremely high expectations when it came to DUST and Kara Swanson exceeded them in every way. Swanson's imagery is beautiful and her descriptions are so vivid that I felt as if I were experiencing the sights, smells, and tastes along with the characters. There are so many wonderful magical moments in this book that it is impossible to pick a favorite. I have read this story multiple times and have found something new to love each time. The magic your heart is longing for awaits you in this book!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bella Putt

    I never read retellings. I don’t read many fairytales. Going into Dust, I had no idea what to expect. All I knew was that I loved Kara Swanson’s writing, and I was eager to read her work. I was completely blown away. I read Dust at the very beginning of quarantine, and in such an unprecedented, odd, and even scary time, Dust was a beacon of hope. A gripping, magical, and beautiful story, I could hardly stop reading. From the very beginning, I was hooked. The plot was complex and detailed, and I lo I never read retellings. I don’t read many fairytales. Going into Dust, I had no idea what to expect. All I knew was that I loved Kara Swanson’s writing, and I was eager to read her work. I was completely blown away. I read Dust at the very beginning of quarantine, and in such an unprecedented, odd, and even scary time, Dust was a beacon of hope. A gripping, magical, and beautiful story, I could hardly stop reading. From the very beginning, I was hooked. The plot was complex and detailed, and I loved how the chapters jumped back and forth between Claire’s and Peter’s point of views. This added to the suspense, giving me plot details from both characters’ sides of the story, and I could hardly stop reading. And then the magic. Oh my goodness, the magic was beautiful. I don’t read much fantasy, but the magic in Dust was GREAT! It gave the book such a warm, cozy feeling. The pixies were adorable and creative, and I loved how they brought out neat aspects of Peter’s character. I could go on and on about the characters. Peter and Claire were ADORABLE, and it was just so cute, I could hardly stand it. 😍 If you’re looking for books to read, Dust should be added to the top of your list! It was a truly beautiful and magical story, and I highly recommend it!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lizzy

    -stunned silence- I loved this so much. Dust instantly dragged me in and captivated me the whole time I was reading (and even when I wasn't). It's so beautiful and broken and hope-filled. Through Claire's and Peter's journeys, it shows the pain of not fitting in, of growing up, and of loss. But it also reveals the light in the darkness, the stars that peek through the shadows, and it's so amazing to read. If the beginning of this gorgeous adventure is any indication, then Shadow will be epic, too -stunned silence- I loved this so much. Dust instantly dragged me in and captivated me the whole time I was reading (and even when I wasn't). It's so beautiful and broken and hope-filled. Through Claire's and Peter's journeys, it shows the pain of not fitting in, of growing up, and of loss. But it also reveals the light in the darkness, the stars that peek through the shadows, and it's so amazing to read. If the beginning of this gorgeous adventure is any indication, then Shadow will be epic, too. And I can't wait to read the sequel. <33 **I received an eARC of this book and later purchased my own copy. I was not required to purchase the book or write a positive review.** (Post-release reread) Still such a beautiful story, and guys, the hardcover even smells perfect for this story. XD <33

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tabi⁷ (ᕗツ)ᕗ

    I know I've been absent from Goodreads BUT LONG ENOUGH TO MISS A NEW PETER PAN BOOK?? tragic

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Townsend

    A vibrant, heartbreaking, and magical story of hope and discovering that—with faith, trust, and a little pixie dust—the way to your home is the second star to the right, and straight on till morning. This truly felt like J.M. Barrie’s classic come to life in our world! Peter felt like he WAS a more mature version of the Peter Pan I grew up reading. Kara set the tone of his personality and character so I heard him crow triumphantly, or pictured Peter flying on his belly, taunting Hook with an impi A vibrant, heartbreaking, and magical story of hope and discovering that—with faith, trust, and a little pixie dust—the way to your home is the second star to the right, and straight on till morning. This truly felt like J.M. Barrie’s classic come to life in our world! Peter felt like he WAS a more mature version of the Peter Pan I grew up reading. Kara set the tone of his personality and character so I heard him crow triumphantly, or pictured Peter flying on his belly, taunting Hook with an impish grin. His cheekiness got to me!! 💞✨💞 And Claire was so real—her struggles and fears—and I loved witnessing her courage to let others in, even when they disappointed and betrayed her. The twists and turns of this story were delightful and kept me wondering about Hook’s plot and the scheme to find Neverland. I need Book II PRONTO!!! Dust releases this July, so be sure to preorder to get one of the limited release hardcovers!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    This Peter Pan retelling/sequel is just as whimsical, adventurous, and deep as its stunning cover. I love how Kara made the characters of Neverland her own while remaining true to their hearts, flaws, and personalities. Tiger Lily is a fierce and confident warrior princess. Peter is still a brat - but a mischievous, heroic lovable one who's learning. Hook is suave and creepy. And at the heart of it is a sister who just wants to find her brother, and maybe while she's at it her place in this worl This Peter Pan retelling/sequel is just as whimsical, adventurous, and deep as its stunning cover. I love how Kara made the characters of Neverland her own while remaining true to their hearts, flaws, and personalities. Tiger Lily is a fierce and confident warrior princess. Peter is still a brat - but a mischievous, heroic lovable one who's learning. Hook is suave and creepy. And at the heart of it is a sister who just wants to find her brother, and maybe while she's at it her place in this world (or another). Dust is the first in the Heirs of Neverland duology. I'm so excited for my pre-order to arrive in July, so I can enjoy this cover up close and personal while I reread it again with page flags! (I received an eARC from the publisher for my honest review.)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    Can I just say this book is truly magical?! “Dust” by Kara Swanson is a “Peter Pan” retelling that takes place after the events of the original story, so it is also a sequel. This story has many of the whimsical, magical elements that one expects from a “Peter Pan” retelling, but it also has a darker, more gritty side to it as well. “Dust” is truly a masterpiece. The way Ms. Swanson writes is lyrical and witty. I especially love how she portrays Peter Pan and how she writes his voice in the stor Can I just say this book is truly magical?! “Dust” by Kara Swanson is a “Peter Pan” retelling that takes place after the events of the original story, so it is also a sequel. This story has many of the whimsical, magical elements that one expects from a “Peter Pan” retelling, but it also has a darker, more gritty side to it as well. “Dust” is truly a masterpiece. The way Ms. Swanson writes is lyrical and witty. I especially love how she portrays Peter Pan and how she writes his voice in the story. She seems to capture the Pan we all know and love—cocky, mischievous, loveable. But he is also flawed and selfish and needs to grow up. Claire, our heroine, deals with mental health issues, a rough past and not fitting in. Peter helps Claire learn that she can fly and to not let the hard stuff drag her down. Through this relationship and story, faith is explored and the need to believe in who we are and do what we were born to do. One must find the light in their shadows and always hold on to hope. These are such amazing lessons expertly woven into a gripping story that I could not put down. “Dust” kept me reading and wanting to find out what went wrong in Neverland, where Claire’s brother is and many other questions. My only complaint (if you can call it that) is the cliffhanger. I need book two; NOW! Take a step into this magical story, you will not regret it. Content: I give this book a PG-13 rating. Some examples of the content are: a person curses, but the words aren’t actually written; a girl tries to commit suicide; talk of bullies and violent parents; reference to a drunk parent; reference to the devil; a girl has a past of cutting herself. Rating: I give this book 5 magical stars. I want to thank Celebrate Lit, Kara Swanson and Enclave Publishing for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Bethany Rose

    I knew this book would make me cry, and it did. Dust is SUCH a beautiful story. It was unique, too. I don't want to give out spoilers, but I would *highly* recommend preordering this lovely Peter Pan retelling! You'll love the main character, Claire, and the characterization of Peter is spot on and such fun. From one Neverland lover to another, please read this book! (I received an eARC in exchange for an honest review. ❤️)

  26. 4 out of 5

    Chautona Havig

    Can this Retelling Make Me Love a Book I Never Liked? Well, I don't know if I'll ever like the original Peter Pan, but this book... oh boy! Kara Swanson skillfully—almost magically, in fact—weaves a believable tale of... Sorry.  I have to do it.  It's true.  Faith. Trust. Pixie dust! Without ever referring directly to Jesus (and really, this is one book where I think that was a solid developmental choice), Swanson dives into this tale and shows both what a lack of faith does, how our actions can in Can this Retelling Make Me Love a Book I Never Liked? Well, I don't know if I'll ever like the original Peter Pan, but this book... oh boy! Kara Swanson skillfully—almost magically, in fact—weaves a believable tale of... Sorry.  I have to do it.  It's true.  Faith. Trust. Pixie dust! Without ever referring directly to Jesus (and really, this is one book where I think that was a solid developmental choice), Swanson dives into this tale and shows both what a lack of faith does, how our actions can influence someone else's faith, and what happens when we finally grasp at that faith once more.  In a beautiful, symbolic picture of faith in the Christian life, she reminds us of  Where our faith comes from and why we need to value and trust it. Though she never said anything about it, I couldn't get that scripture in Matthew about the mustard seed out of my mind. Faith is powerful—both its existence and the lack thereof. And throughout Dust, Claire's interactions with Peter Pan show this. In this book,  Trust is just as powerful. Over and over Claire puts trust in all the wrong things, and as a result, she's conflicted at every turn. There's a solid lesson in this illustration. However, it could easily be misconstrued as promoting the idea that we need to trust ourselves or our hearts to guide us.  I don't think that's what the author means at all, but of the three strong elements, this one was the easiest to "get wrong" so to speak. The truth, however, is that well-placed trust in the One who is truly trustworthy is fertile soil for that faith.  Swanson demonstrates how easy it is to grow the wrong thing if one isn't careful and all without a single hint at "teaching a lesson."  Instead, she uses excellent storytelling to show what she hopes to convey. Pixie dust—a metaphor?  Perhaps for the transforming power of Jesus' blood?  One can't help but see parallels.  All through the story, that blood has the power to save or destroy—all based on darkness and light.  Peter Pan helps her see why she needs to turn to Light and reject darkness. In the process, Claire's humanity still affects how she sees things and how she uses that dust. Did Swanson do it?  Did she make me like Peter Pan? She made me love her rendering of him.  Every objection I've ever had was addressed, not necessarily ironed out and tied with a neat bow, but definitely solved. Well written, imaginative, relatable, and even the present tense writing was mostly bearable!  That's some skillful storytelling. Recommended for lovers of Peter Pan and those who don't alike. Not recommended for those who don't enjoy speculative fiction featuring magical people and worlds.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ariel Masters

    This book left me with all the feels! From the first page, it snagged my attention. The characters felt alive, the pace was quick, and I truly couldn't guess most plot points, minus the dust, of course 😜. Amazing read! I'll definitely be reading its sequel next year. *so loonggg*

  28. 4 out of 5

    Coralie

    Kara Swanson delivers the most vibrant, glittering Stars and lurking, heart-wrenching Shadows in an enchanting tale. I cannot say that Peter Pan was ever one of my childhood favorites, but Kara brings the story to such life and truly makes the characters feel so utterly magical. Reading this book made me want to read the original. And it very much made me want to read the sequel! Man! The characters are what make this story! Peter. I simply adored Peter from the first moment I met him. He captiva Kara Swanson delivers the most vibrant, glittering Stars and lurking, heart-wrenching Shadows in an enchanting tale. I cannot say that Peter Pan was ever one of my childhood favorites, but Kara brings the story to such life and truly makes the characters feel so utterly magical. Reading this book made me want to read the original. And it very much made me want to read the sequel! Man! The characters are what make this story! Peter. I simply adored Peter from the first moment I met him. He captivated me and I was sold, hook, line, and sinker! I loved watching his character unfold and I can't wait to see more of him in the sequel. He felt so alive and real. His past and his motivations, his raw fear and determination, his crazy wiles and playful nature. I loved the innocence that warred within him like a desperate plea slipping from his grasp and the hint of something deeper, more mature struggling to take root. Claire was positively magical. A girl who drips pixie dust? Count me in! Sign me up! She was so easy to identify with that it wasn't even funny. This girl was devoted to her brother, the last remnant of her family, and scarred by a broken world. She was fiercely loyal, but struggled to trust. And I loved her for it. The Guardian fascinated me. I just loved the duality of his role and the responsibility he held in his hands, the precarious balance his inheritance demanded. I hope we see more of him and his story at some point. Lily was super cool. She was sweet and strong and not someone I ever really considered much before. Kara brings a new side of her to life that piqued my interest. And, of course, Hook and the Lost Boys at odds in a new dynamic. My heart went out to the Lost Boys. Their dynamic with Peter, that loss, betrayal, hurt, confusion, and deep-rooted companionship was the stuff of stories. I've always admired their brotherhood and seeing it brought to life in such a way was really satisfying. I know there's more to Hook's story (and I can't wait to see that croc!), and I'm honestly intrigued by his past. Definitely hoping we get a bigger glimpse into that story. And then there are the characters to come. I'm so excited to see what the conclusion brings. The crocodile. Hopefully more pixies. Oh, man, and everyone knows I'm obsessed with Tinkerbell! I know Neverland is broken and twisted right now, but I still can't wait to see mermaids and fairies and magic and everything else Kara's dreamed up! The story starts out in California in a Circle K. I don't know why but this just made me smile. The first few scenes from Claire's perspective were so down to earth and zoomed in. I was right there with her. We moved to London and experienced the rich, historical town from both Peter and Claire's perspectives in the modern day. We saw some iconic spots and were introduced to a few special areas unique to this particular story. I really liked the pub, actually. That was a fun bit. Dust follows a broken girl who is searching desperately for her abducted twin brother. Claire's devotion to Conner was touching and I spent much of the book wondering if she would ever really see him again. Her desperate search brings her onto a collison course for Peter Pan, a boy trapped in a rotting world. He misses his home and he'll do anything to get back. He's facing his own battles, but I don't know that he was truly prepared to match wits with Claire. But the story is far from over. The conclusion will catapult us into the finale, and I'm so hoping it will be just as amazing as this first part! Kara writes with such a whimsical style! It's so fun to read her writing. She uses vivid imagery and powerful language to create an intense ride of a story. Reading her work is like being washed away by a wave to a whole new world in sharp focus. She fills her stories with magic and hope and contrasts dark and light, heavy and lightweight. The idea of flying in this story was almost tangible. I could practically taste the freedom Peter and Claire so yearned for. It truly is unique and captivating. The story does not have any foul language, though Peter swears some and some of his British phrases may be considered swearing in some areas. I personally loved his quips, but that may just be me. There is very little violence, though some flashbacks allude to violent memories and the characters are clearly emotionally scarred (and physically in some cases). The romance is sweet and subtle. There are a few kisses, but nothing graphic or explicit. The themes are strong and there is a lot of dark vs. light in the novel. The characters deal with worth and regret, anger and hurt. They face dark pasts and challenge an uncertain future. I'd be comfortable giving this to a teen. Note: I was given an advanced reader copy in order to post an early review. Also, can't wait to put this beauty on my shelf when it finally releases!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Narnian

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Claire believes she's abnormal; the flecks falling off her skin is unfixable. As long as she can find her brother Connor, she will have some sort of normal life. Her brother disappeared years ago, but when she receives a lead to where Connor was last seen she will do what she must to find him. She goes to London. Peter Pan is stuck in London. He can't go back to Neverland, not without magic, but that isn't the worst of his problems. The lost boys are against him and his past haunts him. He needs Claire believes she's abnormal; the flecks falling off her skin is unfixable. As long as she can find her brother Connor, she will have some sort of normal life. Her brother disappeared years ago, but when she receives a lead to where Connor was last seen she will do what she must to find him. She goes to London. Peter Pan is stuck in London. He can't go back to Neverland, not without magic, but that isn't the worst of his problems. The lost boys are against him and his past haunts him. He needs to return to Neverland, and the only one that can help him is a girl named Claire. She doesn't believe he exists. *I received a digital arc copy in exchange for my honest review. I read it a few months ago and was waiting for my thoughts to filter into a better review, but I think I waited a bit to long :P, so here's my best shot! * Peter was really relatable to me. He is stuck between childlike and growing up, and He DOESN't like it. No growing up! He is a little arrogant (I mean, he's Peter Pan, he's kinda got to be) and he is forcing himself not to remember something bad he did. It scares him too much. I really liked him. When I make mistakes I kinda struggle with forgiving myself and try to block it out, so in general, he was really relatable. Once or twice I was like "PETER noO." But I expected that. Claire... at first I was a little hesitant. I'm not a huge fan of girl pov characters (for some reason guys are more interesting to me), but after I saw her through Peter's eyes, I was like, yes. I like her. Her struggles felt real. She is a cute character. And I'm excited to see more of her story. Tiger Lily. 10/10. Awesome. She is sort of the mentor. The warrior princess. Like the best. I kinda wish Captain Hook was scarier. He didn't intimidate me as I'd hoped, but maybe that's just him being sneaky until the sequel. I also wish that the lost boys were meaner to Peter. The pacing was good. I think the only part that struck me a little was 75 percent of the way in. I didn't know at first that what was happening really wasn't a dream, but it wasn't too bad. The only part I really didn't like was that one of the characters lied to another. They believed the lie for almost the whole book. I don't like awkward situations or things that could have been avoided, but that was the only thing. It did create conflict though, which is good I suppose. The magic is super cool and beautiful. The cover is AWESOME. The characters are huggable and the plot ends on a little bit of a cliff hanger. So, grab this book and be prepared to fly into the sequel when Shadow releases!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

    Review from Elena Harris: Dust is honestly like no book I've ever read. It's a beautifully written modern fantasy... and a really clever Peter Pan retelling. After I finished it, I had to just think about it for a long time. The plot twist at the end was... kind of brilliant and totally broke my heart. I can't wait to see these beautiful characters again. Altogether, a well-done book that I'll read again like it's an old friend. I'm going to be waiting impatiently for the next book. :) I received Review from Elena Harris: Dust is honestly like no book I've ever read. It's a beautifully written modern fantasy... and a really clever Peter Pan retelling. After I finished it, I had to just think about it for a long time. The plot twist at the end was... kind of brilliant and totally broke my heart. I can't wait to see these beautiful characters again. Altogether, a well-done book that I'll read again like it's an old friend. I'm going to be waiting impatiently for the next book. :) I received an ARC of this book for review purposes, but all opinions are my own.

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