Thursday, March 15, 2012
The Dust of 100 Dogs, by A.S. King
This book is so awesome! So much fun. There are some hard moments, but mostly it's very smart, very clever, and lots of fun to read.
The trouble is, it's almost impossible to describe, without giving everything away. Here's the blurb:
In the late seventeenth century, famed teenage pirate Emer Morrisey was on the cusp of escaping the pirate life with her one true love and unfathomable riches when she was slain and cursed with "the dust of one hundred dogs," dooming her to one hundred lives as a dog before returning to a human body-with her memories intact.
Now she's a contemporary American teenager and all she needs is a shovel and a ride to Jamaica.
However, that really doesn't do it justice. Reincarnation, piracy, jewels, escape, defiance, canine psychology, true love, devotion, patois, roots, rock, reggae ... I could go on. There are a hundred amazing things that make this book great, but with the interwoven plot lines, and the vast stretch of history that is covered, it's difficult to talk about what happens, or why you should love it.
I suppose I can only say this: sometimes it's a bit tough to keep track of where our character, Emer/Saffron/100 Dogs is at, but never once does she leave you bored, or uninspired. She endures such harsh cruelty, and such apathy, that you can easily imagine her giving up countless times, but she has this determination, this knowledge of self, and the greatness of courage, that she simply cannot give up, and does whatever it takes, throughout the centuries, to achieve her goals. I rooted for our multifaceted protagonist every step of the way, even when she was being slightly, albeit gloriously, evil.