The Dust of 100 Dogs
by King, A.S.
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Book list Saffron Adams is a typical teenager, longing to escape her dreadful family and upbringing into a sunnier future. What sets her apart, however, is that she actually has the means to such a future via the buried treasure she left on an island300 years prior. As Emer Morrisey, she was the scourge of the Caribbean butwas then cursed to live the life of 100 dogs. Interludes explore what she learned during her dog lives until she is reborn, memories intact, as a present-day girl. The dual stories of Emer and Saffronprogress in parallel, but as the pirate tale gains momentum, the modern strand meanders; readers will likely flash through Saffron's teenage doldrumsto return to Emer's vainglorious exploits. But don't mistake this for a romanticized romp on the high seas; the sex is occasionally graphic and disturbing, and the violence is particularly gruesome. Readers will be frustrated by a few plot holes and contrivances, but for the most part this is an undeniably original book that overreaches, yes, but only as a byproduct of its ambition.--Chipman, Ian Copyright 2009 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly Seventeenth-century pirate Emer Morrisey, murdered and cursed to live the lives of 100 dogs, finally rematerializes as Saffron Adams, 1980s teenager, in King's far-reaching but uneven debut. Cognizant of her past lives, Saffron's sole ambition is to unearth a treasure buried in Jamaica, even as her oblivious parents urge her toward conventional success. Chapters alternate between Saffron's struggles to conceal her swashbuckling instincts and Emer's falling for a lackluster country boy-then escaping an arranged marriage-while en route to the high seas. Emer's dog incarnations appear in short chapters entitled "Dog Facts," which, though charming, feel superimposed; additional sections are devoted to an aggressive alcoholic living in modern Jamaica. The litany of narratives leaves authentic characters like Saffron's emotionally crippled mother vying for page time, and Saffron's (Emer-inspired) hostility-"Why was she forcing me to take a cutlass to the ligaments at the back of her knees?" thinks Saffron, imagining taking down her mother-feel like intrusion on otherwise poignant glimpses of an unraveling family. Readers will want to love this book, but may not find enough to sink their teeth into. Ages 14-up. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved