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Publisher's Summary

Stranded in the desert, the last of mankind is kept safe by a large border fence...until the fence falls.

Squid is a young orphan living under the oppressive rule of his uncle in the outskirts of the Territory. Lynn is a headstrong girl with an influential father who has spent her entire life within the walled city of Alice.

When the border fence is breached, the Territory is invaded by the largest horde of undead ghouls seen in 200 years. Squid is soon conscripted into the Diggers - the armed forces of the Territory. And after Lynn finds herself at odds with the Territory's powerful church, she too escapes to join the Diggers.

Together Squid and Lynn form an unlikely friendship as they march to battle against the ghouls. Their journey will take them further than they ever imagined, leading them closer to discovering secrets about themselves, their world, and a conspiracy that may spell the end of the Territory as they know it.

©2014 Justin Woolley (P)2017 Justin Woolley

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Book 1

This was your average good fantasy book - enjoyable and action-packed for the most part. There were a few parts where I felt the story dragged a bit and a couple of in my opinion unnecessary scenes. I really liked Lynn, but I think there were not enough chapters from her point of view, especially as I felt that she and Squid were equally protagonists

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great start!

This was actually really really good!! Not perfect but near enough that I'll give it the 4.5 stars. Set in the Australian outback centuries after The Reckoning, this focuses on Lynnette, who wants to be a Digger but can't because she is a girl and Squid, who is recruited into the Diggers.

The world building was great, though I wanted a little more back story on the Reckoning. I loved the setting of this, especially where the Diggers were located. I also loved the spin the author took on the typical Zombies, named Ghouls here!! These ones are dry. They literally suck the moisture from a person and then that person becomes a Ghoul too.

The best thing about the book though, are the characters. I loved both Squid and Lynette. Squid grew up on his uncles farm and was badly treated. He is conscripted to the diggers but starts to shine in certain ways. Lynette meanwhile was awesome. Her dad was in the Diggers and that's all she wants to do, but because she is a girl she can't! But when the fence is breached and the ghouls come through, it's all hands on deck!

In all, this was a well written and developed story. I loved so much about it and devoured the audio. There is so much going on during the book that it's very hard to put down. Plus the ending was intriguing and I can't wait to read it!!

Hannah Engel surprised me!! This seems to be her debut narration and she pretty much nailed it. She showed emotion and really brought the characters to life. I look forward to hearing more from her.

I was voluntarily provided this audiobook for free from the author, narrator, or publisher. This in no way affected nor influenced my thoughts.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

gripping dystopian with engaging characters

If I was a warrior, I would want to go to Dust for the holidays and knock some heads off of some thirsty ghouls. The setting really drew me in. These are not your average reanimated dead. They seek moisture, preferably of the human blood variety. They shamble and jerk through the Australian wastelands, consuming people wherever they find them. A recently satiated ghoul can be quick and quite deadly. A single bite can turn a person to the dead, mindless, dark side.

These kids are growing up this world, having not known a time without the ghouls. Fences and patrols and experienced, trained fighters (called Diggers) do their best to keep people safe. Young Lynette isn't interested in joining the Sisterhood but her prestigious family can't keep her out of their clutches. So she comes up with the brilliant plan to head off on her own and join the military under an assumed name (Max). Women aren't allowed to serve in the military (and that is my one quibble with this book - it's fiction and a fight to save humanity - let's get some women on horses with swords!).

While in training, Lynn/Max meets young, small Squib. His parents are long dead but his aunt and uncle raised him on their dirt farm but forgot to use love and tenderness and instead went for the verbal abuse and head-slapping routine. Squib wasn't sad to be conscripted into the military. The two bond over shared harassment from Darius and his gang. Things come to blows and there's namecalling, blood, and punishment.

I totally fell in love with Squib and Lynn. I was rooting for them through the whole book. Later when the stakes are raised, I even come to understand Darius a bit and want him to succeed, because, hey, even jerks can be great at lopping off ghoul heads.

To follow up with the lack of women in the military, there are only a few female characters in the book but they are written well and most of the time they add something to the plot. I do wish there were a few more ladies to balance things out a little but I also like the intrigue we glimpse from the Sisterhood. Overall, this is a gripping dystopian with engaging characters.  4.5/5 stars.

The Narration: Hannah Engel gave a really good performance. She had the perfect voice for Lynn/Max, sounding like a young boy and then softening the same voice a little when she speaks as Lynn. I also liked her voice for Squib, another young boy. She also made a really good gruff older man for the training instructor (beard ponytails rock!). Her voice for the 70-year-old Sister, who is full of intrigue, was also very well done. She kept all her character voices distinct. There were no technical issues with the recording. 5/5 stars.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good start to a series

Any additional comments?

3.5 stars
Good start to a series. The story started off a little slow and it took me a while to really be pulled in. Even though it started off slow it actually turned into a very entertaining, enjoyable and interesting story. Once the story and characters were set up and it really started moving I listened every chance I could. By the time it was over I was ready for more. With the way this books ends the next book should be really interesting. I'm looking forward to it.

While it's still an apocalyptic tale about a very changed world and zombies(ghouls), they aren't your typical zombies, they have a creative little twist that makes them a bit different. It added a refreshing and unusual dimension to the story. It went well with the story taking place in Australia.

Even though it's a story involving zombies, death and a vastly changed world, it's less gruesome than most. The story doesn't concentrate on fighting and running from zombie hordes there is much more going on. Secrets, betrayal, deceit, lies and manipulation are just some of the things going on in this very structured and strict society. As if trying to survive in a very harsh and dangerous world isn't enough a power struggle is brewing between the Church and Government. The church has a major amount of control and will do anything to keep it. At whatever cost is necessary.

Lynn and Squid were both great characters. Interesting little twist with Squid.

Hannah Engel does a great job with the narration. She has a pleasant voice that sounded age appropriate for the characters. Clearly spoken with a nice even pace. Good character voices. Male and female. It was always easy to tell who was speaking. She brought the characters to life, you could feel their emotions through her narration. Very enjoyable.

I was provided this free review copy audiobook at my request and voluntarily provided this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Captivating!!!

I absolutely LOVED this story. I quickly became invested in Lynne and Squid and was hanging on every word. I really enjoyed how the Author went into great detail outlining each of their lives so that the reader understands why they behave the way they do. Lynne & Squid are complete opposites but that's what makes their friendship work. Hannah Engel was phenomenal as narrator bringing the characters to life. This story does have a cliffhanger ending so I am eager to read the next in series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A Town Called Dust

A great beginning to a dystopian series! Squid is a young boy of 16, living with Uncle and Aunt, on a dirt farm. He is not abused, but definitely suffers from a lack of love.

Lynette is a young woman whose father is a general in The Diggers, the military tasked with keeping people safe from the Ghouls. All that Lynette wants is to be a Digger, but since she is a girl, there is no hope of that.

This story of how Squid and Lynette meet and become the (possible) saviors of their world is well-written and engaging. It does drag a little at times, but I think most of this is necessary to build up the story.

The descriptions of the battles were a mix of zombie fighting and medieval warfare. The Ghouls were a unique type of Zombie (at least for me) in that they were after moisture from living beings.

There were several villains in the story, including the Administrator who rules the government/military and Priestess Patricia, who is anything but religiously minded. I would have liked to know more about how these two very different despots came into power, but this will probably be addressed further along in the series.

The writing was good and kept my interest and the narration was just right for the story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Start to the Series

This book is very good. The characters are well written and relatable. The narrator did a great job bringing the characters and story to life.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • S
  • 02-01-18

Terrifying ghouls

The Territory is protected by a border fence, keeping the ghouls out and people safe inside.
Squid and Lynn are living lives as different as could be imagined, he slaves away on his uncle's farm while she is the beloved daughter of the Colonel. But they both end up in service to The Diggers, starting off at the lowest possible level. When a huge hoard of ghouls break through the fence they cause havoc and demolish any towns they pass through. Squid's hometown of Dust is in danger and the army is sent to destroy the hoard which is coming towards them.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A great book.

Would you consider the audio edition of A Town Called Dust to be better than the print version?

No I prefer print books.

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Town Called Dust?

A Town Called Dust has a really nice flow to the story.

Have you listened to any of Hannah Engel’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

NA

Any additional comments?

I love a good zombie book and this was a really good one.
Highly recommend this book it was well written, a well thought out plot, with likeable characters, and a nice difference from usual zombie novels.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved this book!

Such a great read. Good for teens but also adults.
I really loved how this post apocalyptic world was set in Australia. What a perfect place for this story to unfold!!!
I also really loved the world Justin has created, very detailed and very real. I can totally envision that this is how humans and society would evolve. My only wish is that there were more female characters.
But that won't stop me reading the next book.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Pat
  • 07-26-17

Awesome!

A quite unique take on the zombie genre. Set in a fascinating world of steam-punk post-apocalyptic central Australia. Highly recommended.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • ReviewerA
  • 07-04-17

Dystopian YA with Australian heart.

This story focuses on two characters who dream of being something they're not. Lynn wants to be a solider but she is not allowed to because she is a girl, and Squid wants to go to school and have the courage to face the world outside of the dirt farm upon which he lives. Set in the desert heart of Australia, this story examines war, politics, religion, and teenage isolation, amid a world overrun with ghouls. Despite this, it's not overly dark or depressing. The characters are well-rounded, the world-building great, and the evolving story is intriguing as characters scheme and lives hang in the balance. An exciting start to this series!