“Dust” by Arthur Slade
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Source: Kindle freebie
Summary from Goodreads:
Seven-year-old Matthew disappears one day on a walk into Horshoe, a dust bowl farm town in Depression-era Saskatchewan. Robert, his older brother, is determined to find Matthew, even when the grownups seem to give up. Other children go missing just as a strange man named Abram Harsich appears in town. He dazzles the townspeople, long plagued by the effects of drought, with magic mirrors and the promises of a rainmaking machine. Only Robert seems to be able to resist Abram, and to discover what happened to Matthew.
I’ve always been fairly indifferent to atmosphere in books. Sure I enjoy when a book has a good atmosphere but I’m not ‘hurt’ if a book doesn’t have one. Dust’s atmosphere was great. It was very spooky and unsettling. It wasn’t outright scary because that’s pretty easy to do. Instead, it’s just a little something off. You can never quite put your finger on what it is but it’s definitely there. It kind of reminded me of Stephen King (or at least what I remember his books are like. It’s been years since I’ve read one.)
I really liked the blending of reality with just a hint of magic. You go for most of the story assuming it’s a realistic fiction book. Most of the events could have easily happened. There’s nothing fantastical about a man capturing a town’s attention or the craziness that comes with a drought. Once the magic or fantastical elements make an appearance, it still feels normal. Don’t get me wrong, it still feels magical but it also feels very real. Like those events could happen. That was very cool.
The bottom line? I really enjoyed it.