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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

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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

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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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good start to a series

Any additional comments?

3.5 stars<br/>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.<br/><br/>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.<br/><br/> 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. <br/><br/> Lynn and Squid were both great characters. Interesting little twist with Squid.<br/><br/>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. <br/><br/>I was provided this free review copy audiobook at my request and voluntarily provided this review.<br/>

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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

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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.<br/>Highly recommend this book it was well written, a well thought out plot, with likeable characters, and a nice difference from usual zombie novels.

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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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A good YA Story

A Town Called Dust is a light story of the world overrun by zombies trope with a unique twist on the zombies. As book one things start off slow as we learn about the world and our heroes backstories but it finds its flow and stays interesting. It was good to see the tensions between the different factions of The Territory, as well as the looming threat of the invading zombies.

Squid and Lynn are fun characters to follow and to see them grow, and its funny to see the contrast of the farm boy and city girl. I was afraid at first of the cringe worthy level of clichés in their personalities but it gets better.

So in the end I enjoyed this story as a light hearted adventure and a good start to a series so would recommend it.

***I was provided a free copy by the author, narrator, or publisher in exchange for an honest review***

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A new kind of YA dystopia book.

What did you love best about A Town Called Dust?

I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator. I really liked that this was set in Australia and not in the US and I also liked that there was very little romance. The zombie/ghouls are a nice change too, needing to drink body fluids instead of brains. It really fits the area that the zombies are in. I found myself feeling bad for Squid at first, his uncle and aunt don't treat him very good but then he was taken in by the Diggers and I was glad things were better for him. I wasn't quite sure what to think of Lynn for most of the book though. She's a bit of a trope but at least she was a strong character.

If you’ve listened to books by Justin Woolley before, how does this one compare?

I haven't listened to one of his books before but I might be interested in checking another one out.

What about Hannah Engel’s performance did you like?

I think Ms. Engel did a very good job. There could've been a bit more distinction between the voices, giving them their own voice, but overall she managed to convey how each character was feeling, their emotions and reactions to what was going on around them. She didn't rush during the actions scenes and she did well at keeping the slower sections moving at a decent pace. Her voice fits the characters and the story pretty well.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

This isn't a book you can listen to in one sitting. There's a lot that goes on and you need time to process everything. That was one of the things that I didn't like about the story. It went so slow for a good part of it. I understand we needed to learn about the world and Squid and Lynn but it seemed like forever before anything really interesting happened. Did I really need to know about Lynn's school as much as I did? How many times did I have to hear that Uncle hated Squid? There was a bunch of stuff, especially at the beginning, that could've been cut without hurting the story.

Any additional comments?

While this book was slow and got a bit heavy handed with some of the descriptions, the overall idea of it was interesting. I would like to learn what happens next to Squid and Lynn, what happens with the ghouls and if the bad guys get their comeuppance.

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.........

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

I wasn't sure what to expect when reading the beginning of this book but I quickly started to enjoy it! many twists and unexpected turns!

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Great beginning...looking forward to more!

I found this book to be very engaging and entertaining. The characters were very well developed and the story was very well conceived and told. I really enjoyed the two main protagonists, Squid and Lynnette (Lynn). The circumstances that brought them together were wonderfully woven together and their budding friendship is one that promises more to come. They have a great dynamic that allows them to work well together. The other characters were just as important and each was quickly and well established in the story. I specifically enjoyed the High Priestess and The Administrator. Their power struggle was tangible and their confrontations fraught with tension and disgust for each other, but the fact that they had to adhere to social norms and keep it civil was what made the exchanges so intriguing.

I thought the dialogue was great, along with the setup and progression of events that led to the cresendo, the attack by the diggers on the ghoul horde. I would liked to have known much more about the Reckoning. As it stands now, it's really only mentioned in passing without much detail. I hope that's a sign that further explanation is forthcoming.

One thing I really don't like is when characters act overtly stupid. At one point, I thought Squid was heading that direction. He had lost a very significant trinket given to him by his mother (who died when he was born) on at least two different occasions. Right after he retrieved it from a small group of ghouls, I thought to myself, "He should really find a better way to keep that key safe other than tying it haphazardly around his neck." Not five seconds later, the author put that exact same thought into Squid's internal dialogue. At that moment, I knew I would really like this book. The ability of an author to anticipate their reader's thoughts is so important to developing a good story.

Hannah Engel did a great job with the narration. She kept a very steady pace, didn't get too loud or emotional (which for me can tend to spoil an otherwise good story), and she captured the tone in a very real way. She definitely brought the book to life for me.

I'm excited to listen to the next books in this series. I might just go buy the actual books themselves to find out what happens next.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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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.

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  • 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!