Saturday, March 31, 2018

Review: Devils Unto Dust by Emma Berquist

Devils Unto DustTitle: Devils Unto Dust 
Author:  Emma Berquist
Publisher: Greenwillow
Publishing Date:  April 10th, 2018
Pages: 496
Genre:  YA Western Horror
Series:  Stand Alone
Source: ARC
Ten years ago, a horrifying disease began spreading across the West Texas desert. Infected people—shakes—attacked the living and created havoc and destruction. No one has ever survived the infection. Daisy Wilcox, known as Willie, has been protecting her siblings within the relatively safe walls of Glory, Texas. When Willie’s good-for-nothing father steals a fortune from one of the most dangerous shake-hunters in town, she finds herself on the hook for his debt. With two hunters, including the gruff and handsome Ben, to accompany her, she sets out across the desert in search of her father. But the desert is not kind to travelers, and not everyone will pass through alive.

Western meets horror for this riveting story about survival, family, and inner strength. Tense, short chapters propel readers from one action-packed scene to the next, while Willie’s distinctive, introspective voice deepens the emotional stakes with every turn of the page. High concept and character-driven, Emma Berquist’s debut will satisfy fans of The Magnificent Seven, Rae Carson’s Walk on Earth a Stranger, and HBO’s Westworld.

This book was a very anticipated read for me. I have recently found a love for YA Westerns and I have a long-lived love for zombies. So a mash-up of both. Yup, that made my day. I was so very very excited to get this book in my hands. The cover is just beautiful and creepy too right? Well I got it and I read it and I LOVED it! It was just what I wanted and just what I needed. A great mix of western and post-apocalyptic and of course ZOMBIES! Oh, and it takes place in home state... Yes! 
So this book takes place in an alternate history in Texas. After the civil war and after a sickness destroys half of mankind and turns them into Shakers... which are zombies. Willie has lost her mother to the virus and her father is pretty much worthless. She is the oldest and takes care of her brothers and sister. It's hard, money is not easy to come by and the taxes they have to pay are outrageous. When Willie's worthless father gets them all in trouble and is nowhere to be seen, Willie needs to find him and bring him back home before her life becomes forfeit. So she enlists the help of two hunters, Ben and Curtis, to go out in the crazy wild west of Shakers to find and drag her father home. Of course, this doesn't go as planned at all! There are unexpected guests, trouble with shakers, trouble with other hunters, lack of provisions, dust storms, and so much more. 

Okay, so I loved this book. It wasn't quite what I expected but I am not sure what I expected. Western and zombie I have not done before but I knew I liked both. One thing is that this is not a horror book. Its super creepy and at times pretty dang gross but I would call it more on the lines of suspenseful than horror. I think many assume horror because of zombies... which like I said creepy and gross are in there but I didn't find too much of me being horrified or scared... which is what I think is horror. I was on the edge of my seat quite a few times though. This story is really hard to put into the category... but it is western, has a journey, and there are zombies. So that sums it up.If you like any of those, really read this book. 

I really loved the main the character, Willie. She was one tough cookie. She was determined and she was full of strength and smarts. She was caring and responsible, selfless. I really admired her. I feel that many times in historical fiction we lack the strong the heroine and the boy has to save the day. Not in this book. First off the only love in this story is family love and friendship. It was a breath of fresh air not to have a heroine falling head over heels for the boy in the story and lose her head for a bit. Willie was only interested in one thing, saving her family. 

The relationship she had with her brothers and sister was remarkable. She was parent and sibling in one.  There is the brother that is just a bit younger than Willie and they are really really close more like siblings and friends. Then there are the twins, one girl, one boy, that are quite a bit younger than Willie. She is more parent to them. 

The friendships in this story, old and new, are quite powerful too. I love a story with great friendship aspects. I feel, especially among YA, friendships come in second to romances. Not in this story. Friendship and family are at the top. And they are so well done. 

The two brother hunters, Ben and Curtis were fun too. Curtis was the sweet one, the more forgiving, the easy-going one. Been, a little aloof, harder, colder, rough around the edges but soft on the inside type. They were a great addition to the story. They had a great relationship too, 

There some more characters too and everyone really added to the dynamics and made it all just so fun and entertaining, and oh the emotions.

 This story was emotional too. Oh, my goodness. There is no shying away from bad stuff happening in this story. Things that just tore my heart open and yes the tears did come. I was sobbing at parts. There were also parts I was laughing out loud and parts that angered me and I wanted to slap someone. In the end, though I could say there were even amounts of all the feels. 

So if you are looking for a read with an emotional and actual journey, zombies, the Texas West, family bondings and strong friendships.... this is definitely the read for you. 

Oh my heart, this book owns it. 

Emma Berquist

Emma Berquist grew up in Austin, TX and currently lives in New Zealand. She likes horror movies and dogs and dislikes brushing her hair and writing bios. Twitter@eeberquist

Wee Reads: Flo by Kyo Maclear

Ever since Finn was born, and even before then, we would read to him. We wanted to show him reading from an early age. Now he loves us to read the same books, over, and over, and over. But it is the sweetest thing, when he likes to pick out a book and climb into our laps. 

FloFlo by Kyo Maclear


Meet Flo! Flo is the littlest panda. She likes to explore, relax, and enjoy everything around her. She is never in a hurry. But . . . sometimes she takes too much time, and the other pandas get impatient. One day they find themselves in trouble. Can Flo’s floppy ways save the day? With Kyo Maclear’s sweet, spare text and Jay Fleck’s bold, bright illustrations, Flo is sure to be a favorite for even the busiest little pandas!

Do you like this book?
Yeah because I like the pandas because they're eating and blowing bubbles.

What's your favorite part of the book?
When Flo was playing a shovel like it was a trumpet. And I love when the pandas are just sleeping in the trees. It makes me feel happy and sleepy because I want to sleep in trees. 

What do you think of the cover?
I like it because Flo is blowing bubbles and F-L-O spells flo!

Do you want me to read it again?
Next time.

This is a great book with really adorable and beautifully colored illustrations. It's all about having fun and relaxing, and not having to follow a schedule constantly. It teaches to be able to enjoy life and not take everything too seriously.

Similar Books..
Dear PandaXander's Panda PartyPanda Bear's PaintboxPanda and Polar BearPlease, Mr. Panda

Kyo Maclear is a children’s author, novelist and essayist. She was born in London, England and moved to Toronto at the age of four.
Kyo is the author of several critically-acclaimed children’s books including: Spork (2010) and Virginia Wolf (2012), both illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault; Mr. Flux (2013), illustrated by Matte Stephens; Julia, Child (2014), illustrated by Julie Morstad; The Specific Ocean (2015) with Katty Maurey; The Good Little Book (2015) with Marion Arbona; The Liszts (2016) with Júlia Sardà; The Wish Tree (2016) with Chris Turnham; The Fog (2017) with Kenard Pak; and Yak and Dove (2017) with Esmé Shapiro. Her newest picture book is Bloom: A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli, illustrated by Julie Morstad (2018).

Kyo's non-fiction book Birds Art Life follows two artists on a yearlong adventure to find birds in a big city. It is an intimate and exuberant meditation on creativity and life—a field guide to things small and significant. She is also the author of two novels: The Letter Opener (2007) and Stray Love (2012).
Her essays and art criticism have been widely published and anthologized in North America, Europe and Asia/Australia.
She lives in Toronto with a singer, two children and two cats.

Stacking The Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is a hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Come join the fun and share all the book you received this week. 


For Review:

Mean GirlA Town Called VengeanceInvisible Ghosts


DamselflyNightshifted (Edie Spence, #1)Not If I Save You FirstThe Isle of the Lost (Descendants, #1)Dream a Little Dream (The Silver Trilogy, #1)And Then There Were Four

For Kindle:

Daddy Darkest (Doctors of Darkness, #1)Over Raging Tides (Lady Pirates, #1)This Body Won't Break (The O-Negative Series #1)Twelve Steps to NormalI Scream, You Scream (A Mystery A-la-mode Book 1)New Corpse In Town (Secret Seal Isle Mysteries, #1)Sisters of Blood and Spirit (The Sisters of Blood and Spirit, #1)

Books Purchased: 

Chaotic GoodThe Window


For review:

Always Forever MaybeWe'll Fly AwaySleightA Lite Too BrightQuestions I Want to Ask You


The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)A Wrinkle in Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #1)Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons, #1)Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe, #2)The Recruit (Cherub, #1)The School for Good and Evil (The School for Good and Evil, #1)

Gifted (from Jenn):

The Wendy (Tales of The Wendy, #1)


Ever Shade (A Dark Faerie Tale, #1)Sink (Mermaid Royalty, #1)Sinful Cinderella (Dark Fairy Tale Queen, #1)


Olivia TwistThe Wicked DeepCrazy House



The Last Star (The 5th Wave, #3)


For Review:

This Is a TacoThe Grand Expedition

Gifted (from Nani0 Jenn):

UnpluggedIdea Jar

Gifted (from Nani0 Jenn):

When I Imagine

What did you get this week?

Imagination Designs