Delta of Dead River sets out to rescue her family from a ruthless dictator rising to power in the Wastes and discovers a secret that will reshape her world in this postapocalyptic Western mashup for fans of Mad Max and Gunslinger Girl.
Delta of Dead River has always been told to hide her back, where a map is branded on her skin to a rumored paradise called the Verdant. In a wasteland plagued by dust squalls, geomagnetic storms, and solar flares, many would kill for it—even if no one can read it. So when raiders sent by a man known as the General attack her village, Delta suspects he is searching for her.
Delta sets out to rescue her family but quickly learns that in the Wastes no one can be trusted—perhaps not even her childhood friend, Asher, who has been missing for nearly a decade. If Delta can trust Asher, she just might decode the map and trade evidence of the Verdant to the General for her family. What Delta doesn’t count on is what waits at the Verdant: a long-forgotten secret that will shake the foundation of her entire world.
Author: Erin Bowman
Publication Date: April 20, 2021
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi
DUSTBORN was interestingly new, heartbreakingly necessary, and even taught me an important lesson (which I’ve taken the liberty of shortening into one cliche line (refer to the end)).
This world was fabulously built, meticulously outlined, and intriguing to no end. I couldn’t get over how amazing this world was even as I continued to learn about it. It was just so unique to any other world I’ve read about. It was almost like crash-landing on some world from Star Wars and getting to stay on it instead of jetting to the next world. But without all the creatures.
I thought Delta, the main character, was a good main character. She had to endure so much heartbreak in this book, on top of all the hard things she already went through in her life, but she remains strong. She was the only character who could have been the heroine in this book. I also thought her development from girl-who-is-just-trying-to-survive, into girl-who-will-help-others-to-thrive was fabulous. She’s truly one of the most thoughtless characters out there.
Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the romance. You better stack up the wood and sit back with a nice glass of whatever you drink because this is a sloooooooow burn. She burns long and slow and is agonizingly agonizing (in the best way). I loved getting to know Asher and seeing how he contrasted and clashed with Delta. They were so good together!
Moral of the Story: Don’t drink the kool-aid.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed a gifted and advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
About the Author
Erin Bowman is the critically acclaimed author of numerous books for children and teens, including the Taken Trilogy, Vengeance Road, Retribution Rails, the Edgar Award-nominated Contagion duology, The Girl and the Witch’s Garden, and the forthcoming Dustborn. A web designer turned author, Erin has always been invested in telling stories—both visually and with words. Erin lives in New Hampshire with her husband and children. You can visit her online at embowman.com, on twitter @erin_bowman, or on instagram @heyerin.