Emer Morrisey was one of the most feared pirates in the seventeenth century. She went about scooping eyeballs out of her victims and building up quite a large stack of loot over her years. When she is finally given the chance to be with her one true love and escape the pirate life for good with unfathomable riches, her past catches up with her and she is slain and cursed with the dust of one hundred dogs. What does this curse entail you might ask? Well Ms. Emer will have to live out 100 lives out as a dog before she can return to her human body, the catch being, her memory stays intact.
Emer has now finally returned to a human body, in the form of Saffron, a contemporary American teenager. Getting to live without being bossed around is a huge plus for the Emer-persona who lives inside of Saffron, but she doesn’t expect the dysfunctional family that she finds herself in. Saffron though is unlike many teenagers, as she is incredibly smart and all she cares about it getting down to Jamaica with a shovel.
Well, this book was interesting to say the least. There was quite a bit going on and it definitely took time to adjust to the switch between past and present story telling, but once the reader got into the swing of things (after about 100 pages), it was definitely worth it.
The plot was intriguing and very unique. The whole idea of a pirate living as 100 different types of dogs and then going to live life as human, with all those memories in tact is absolutely crazy and fun and just plain delightful. A. S. King’s writing also had a big impact on how I received the plot. She had all these fun dog facts interspersed throughout the story that were quite intriguing and her sense of detail really made me understand what was going on, as I have to say there were many parts were I just kind of sat there with a dazed look on my face trying to figure out what just happened/was going on. What I did love about this book though was the ending. It was cute and a tad bit unexpected and just all around great.
The characters in THE DUST OF 100 DOGS were average. The Emer persona was witty and could be vulgar at times, but was a decent character. Saffron I found was quite interesting as well. It frustrated me at times that she didn’t respect her parents, but hey she was soon out of that environment and that thought quickly left my mind.
Overall I found that I preferred this book more after I sat down and thought about it, as the story kept running through my brain even after I was finished with it. I think that A. S. King has definitely made a prominent step into the world of YA fiction, creating a modern-esque pirate tale that will thrill many readers.