DUST Blog Tour Stop #30: Book Review and Author Interview

Hello Lost Boys and Girls! 

Congratulations on getting this far, and welcome to the next stop on this pixie dust-infused treasure hunt! Have you taken a splash in Mermaid Lagoon, or explored Skull Rock yet? Even if you haven’t, there’s plenty of Neverland to explore (just ask Peter).

I am excited to be involved in the DUST Blog Tour, and today’s post features a review of DUST and an interview with Kara. You can also find basic information and links for DUST at the bottom of this post. 

Kara has been an inspiration for me and she is awesome! It has been a pleasure to share about her book and I look forward to seeing what she does next. 

 Now I wager you Lost Ones are itching to find that treasure before that nasty codfish and his crew do, so let’s get flying! 

(In case you lost your way, here’s the link to the DUST Blog Tour Kick-off. Additionally, here is the link to the previous Stop: #29). 

DUST Book Review

Basic Info:

Genre: YA fantasy retelling/sequel

Author: Kara Swanson

Publisher: Enclave Publishing

My Rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.


Dust is a good book, and I like how  Kara fleshed out the character of Peter Pan. The book definitely had a whimsical and magical feel to it, but also contained thoughtful themes, and a beautiful message. While I didn’t love DUST, I did like it and will probably be reading the sequel.

Plot: Unfortunately, I was not hooked right away, and it wasn’t till about Chapter 8 that I got really excited. While there were times where it kept me turning the page, that wasn’t the case most of the time. While it wasn’t a “pull an all-nighter”, it was interesting. Additionally, DUST was not predictable and there were definitely surprises!

For me, the pacing was fine. Personally,  I probably would’ve liked it to be a little faster. Also,  one of the  things that I found disappointing, was that the big reveal near the end felt a bit anticlimactic. The reveal was still a surprise, it just wasn’t as big as I thought it was going to be. 

Character(s): Alas, I wasn’t able to really relate to Claire. However, she is a sympathetic character. I ended up gravitating toward Peter Pan a bit because of his cheeky personality, as well as him just being more relatable. Peter, unlike the classic one, was a character I found more likable and complex. He was a fun person to follow and I think the author did a good job on staying true to the original but building on it and giving him much more depth. So, big plus on that one! 

There were also other characters that were quite likable, and while Hook didn’t stand out to me a lot,  I think we might get a better glimpse of him in the sequel. In addition, character development was good and realistic, and the tension between Peter and Claire was pretty great. 

Content: Magic, mild violence, and some name calling. DUST does include some “dark” moments for a character (however, they’re not super dark and light/truth prevails).

Message/theme: The message and themes are positive, deep and beautiful. 

Overall opinion: This was a fun and whimsical read. Nevertheless, this was not “fluff”, and I’d encourage you to keep an eye out for these thoughtful and meaningful messages. Overall, I think the author did well in taking her own spin on the story, giving it a modern twist but keeping the magic. I also liked how she tactfully weaved in God without being preachy.

I’d recommend/not recommend: This was a good book. I think there are people who would enjoy it and could really resonate with it. I may not have loved it, but I think  people who like Peter Pan, magic, and meaningful stories, would enjoy this. So yes, I’d recommend it!

Interview with Kara Swanson

I had an awesome opportunity to interview the author! Here are my questions and Kara’s answers! 

  1. What inspired you to write “Dust”?

I was inspired to try my hand at my own unique take on a Peter Pan retelling after discussing with a friend how much I loved Peter Pan, and yet felt like few retellings truly did the character justice. I’d told her that if I wrote a Peter Pan retelling, I would want to keep it as true to the “original” Peter, the character Barrie created, as possible, while still building off of that foundation. I also told her that I would probably include a side character of my own, someone who maybe had to grow up too fast and could be the exact opposite of Peter, but push him to grow as he helped her rediscover her own belief in magic. 

I honestly was a little terrified of even trying a story like that, but when I had the chance to mention my concept for Dust to a few publishers at a writer’s conference, and they all loved the idea, I realized that I had something kind of special and needed the courage to just try and write it. ❤

  1. What do you think people will enjoy most about the book?

I’m not sure! Hopefully Peter’s mischief and charm, along with the deeper themes of soul and bits of whimsy.

  1. What was your favorite part of writing “Dust”?

Hmmm…I loved weaving in the themes on mental health and hope and light, as those were close to my heart. I also loved writing Peter’s crazy antics and all the whimsy and the progression of Claire discovering her courage.

  1. What was your least favorite part about writing “Dust”?

Capturing Peter’s voice just right took a long time, so that was difficult. All the research and juggling all the elements from the original book also were difficult, though worth it in the long run 🙂

  1. What are your favorite books? What books have inspired you?

I love the Chronicles of Narnia as well as books by authors like Nadine Brandes, Mary Weber, Sabaa Tahir, and Wayne Thomas Batson.

About DUST/Links

The truth about Neverland is far more dangerous than a fairy tale.

Claire Kenton believes the world is too dark for magic to be real–since her twin brother was stolen away as a child. Now Claire’s desperate search points to London… and a boy who shouldn’t exist.

Peter Pan is having a beastly time getting back to Neverland. Grounded in London and hunted by his own Lost Boys, Peter searches for the last hope of restoring his crumbling island: a lass with magic in her veins.

The girl who fears her own destiny is on a collision course with the boy who never wanted to grow up. The truth behind this fairy tale is about to unravel everything Claire thought she knew about Peter Pan–and herself.


  • Add Dust to your Goodreads list!
  • You can preorder Dust from Amazon (the e-book is only $5.99) or Barnes & Noble! You can also follow Kara on Amazon to stay tuned for all her new releases! 
  • Connect with Kara on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram for awesome bookish boards, photos, chats, and more! 
  • Follow Kara on Facebook or join her Starchasers group where we have loads of fun getting to know one another and nerding out on all things bookish!
  • And, lastly, you can find all things Kara on her website and even sign up on her newsletter to receive a free short story! 

Now, for the clue, here’s the keyword for this stop: the

Thanks for stopping by, and don’t forget that you need to fly fast Lost Ones! You’ve got a pirate and his crew on your tail, so don’t waste a moment!

Your next Stop (#31) is at A Baker’s Perspective: http://www.abakersperspective.com/?p=9688  

5 thoughts on “DUST Blog Tour Stop #30: Book Review and Author Interview

  1. Hope Beth Dougherty June 24, 2020 — 12:56 pm

    Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hope Beth Dougherty June 29, 2020 — 9:01 pm

    Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

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