Review: Dust by Devon Ashley

Posted December 30th, 2012 in book review / 6 comments

Of Dust and Darkness Series, #1

by Devon Ashley

Publisher: Self-Published (Sept. 2012)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Format: eBook (344 Pages)
Source: Review Request
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Rating: ★★★½☆ (3.5 stars)

4. The number of times my delicate wings have been broken and clamped behind my back.
68. The number inked upon my skin, marking me the sixty-eighth pixie to be stolen.
87. The number of days I’ve been wrongfully imprisoned.
88. The first day the faeries will regret stealing me.

Healthy. Cheery. Vivacious. All traits Rosalie has before becoming enslaved by the faeries to make an endless supply of pixie dust. Now that Rosalie has been traumatized by slave labor, extreme desolate conditions and multiple deaths, this hardened pixie is anything but. When this rebellious teenager attempts an escape, she’s isolated in cramped quarters until she learns her place. Just as she begins to let go of all that hope, she finds an unlikely friend in Jack, the faerie assigned to guard her. Interspecies dating is forbidden in the fae world, so their growing attraction is unacceptable. And even if Jack can find a way to free her, they know the prison is the only place they can truly be together.

At A Glance
I loved the unique concept and dark feel to Dust. I was glued to the pages, I just wish more happened.

The Good
Here’s The Story…
Rosalie is a young, energetic pixie who loves to spend her time with mother earth. That is until she is enslaved by fairies and used for free labor making pixie dust. In this pixie prison, Rosalie sees horrors and desolation beyond comprehension. Almost driven to the point of madness, Rosalie attempts to escape. But is soon captured and punished with isolation and torture. But Jack, her fairy guard, is different from the other fairies. He’s kind and supportive and cares for Rosalie more than he would like to admit. He is resolute in helping her escape but Rosalie’s growing feelings for Jack make her hesitant to leave him behind.

From Darkness to Light…
I read the summary of this book and was like, “Fairies? Pixies? Am all over it.” And yes, they were all only inches tall. So. Cute. But then I started reading the book and I was like, “Oh, not so cute. More like dark, sinister, and heart-breaking.” And I liked the book so much more for it. This is not a fairytale, this is a story about slavery, pain, endurance and love. Strange combination, right? But it worked. And though this story is dark, it also has light. Jack and Rosalie build this relationship in a dark hole of despair and find solace in one another.

Rosalie was so spirited and energetic in the beginning. She didn’t quite fit in with the rest of her people, but she found a place for herself within the plants and flowers. Her world was ripped from her when she was taken. She had known nothing but friendship and peace until she was introduced to starvation, non-stop manual labor, and death. The pixies in the prison die often from overwork and desolation. Rosalie held out for a long time. I was proud of her, but the air of hopelessness does finally catch up with her. It broke my heart to see her become like the rest of the catatonic pixies. Then the motherly figure, Juniper, builds Rosalie back up. I loved Juniper, she was so gentle and kind. She gave Rosalie her will to live back.

What Happens in the Hole, Stays in the Hole…
It was even more heartbreaking when Rosalie was thrown in a dark, deep hole where she was tortured repeatedly with the breaking of her wings. I could feel the pain she was going through with Ashley’s descriptive writing. I was so relieved when Jack came into the picture. It seemed like there was no hope before him. At first, Jack was not very likable. He was a spoiled brat who treated Rosalie like trash. But we soon learn the truth behind his bad behavior and his caring for her makes the reader start to love him. Jack and Rosalie go through things no one should have to go through. Ashley did not hold back on the indignities of imprisonment, which made the whole experience that much more realistic.

So Much More…
The writing was mesmerizing and detailed. I could picture every scene in great detail be it beautiful or horrible. The pixie/fairy aspect was so fun. It changes a lot of the dynamics because these people are no more than 7 inches tall. The the ending was both heart-breaking and exhilarating. And it stressed the crap out of me. I was so nervous and then Ashley had to end it at a vital part, so you can’t wait to read the second book. There is so much of the story left to be written. I can’t wait for book two.

The Bad
There is nothing big that I didn’t like about this book. But there was a sense of…lacking. As if something was missing. I think not enough happened to wow me. For me, something substantial must happen to make me say a book is amazing. But Dust focuses on the day to day happenings of an imprisoned pixie…and that’s it. I’m hoping the second book really picks up.

The Snuggly
This is a very clean book. The relationship between Jack and Rosalie hasn’t even scratched the surface in Dust.

Final Thoughts
Dust is like no other fairy book I have read. It’s a perfect mixture of dark and light. It takes you down a dismal path that will leave you aching for the characters, but you know there has to be a happy ending somewhere. Or at least we can hope. A very recommended read.

“Why can’t our existence be like the stars? Happily twinkling and dancing in the night sky, bringing light and entertainment to all who see? The stars make everyone ponder unanswered questions, makes everyone smile. And no matter who you are, where you are or what you’ve done, they’re always there for you. No matter what.” 


“My name is Rosalie. I may be smaller, I may be weaker, but I was born free, should die free. You will not take this from me.” 

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6 Responses to “Review: Dust by Devon Ashley”

  1. Sarah Elizabeth

    I totally get what you mean about there not being much happeneing. Now that I think of it you are spot on! I’m just hoping that book 2 is a bit faster paced. This really was a different sort of fairytale though 🙂 glad you enjoyed it 🙂

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