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The Dust of 100 Dogs
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The Dust of 100 Dogs [Kindle Edition]

A.S. King
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

A Spring 2009 Children's Indie Next List Pick for Teens! 

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.

Exciting, fascinating, spellbinding. I'd follow Saffron into the briny deep.
Heather Brewer, author of The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod

A non-traditional pirate tale with a dangerously raw, mystical edge and a unique modern twist. Deliciously fresh and starkly unforgettable. Lisa McMann,
New York Times best-selling author of Wake

Sparkling, original, both swashbuckling and contemporary...This gripping adventure is sure to be devoured by both teens and adults.Lauren Baratz-Logsted,
author of Angel's Choice


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1876 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Flux (13 Jan 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002WGJX4E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #366,634 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too 13 Jan 2010
By TeensReadToo TOP 500 REVIEWER
As soon as I saw the title of this book, I was intrigued. However, I must admit I had it on my TBR pile for quite some time and kept sliding it down a book or two. Why did I do that? I'm kicking myself now because it is a great book. Definitely not your usual adventure tale, but definitely worth reading.

THE DUST OF 100 DOGS is a story-within-a-story. Emer Morrisey is an Irish girl living a turbulent life back in the late 1600's. When her tiny village is attacked and pillaged, she is the lone survivor of her family. Rescued by an angry uncle, she lives with his family until he deems her old enough to be sold off as a wife. Emer bids a sad farewell to the young love of her life and travels to Paris.

When she meets her husband-to-be, she is repulsed and immediately makes plans for escape. What follows are miserable months slaving away for a group of nuns until Emer hears news of a ship departing for Tortuga where it is said women are in great demand. Perhaps a life in the Caribbean holds the future that will help Emer forget her family and her lost love.

The interesting thing about this novel is the parallel story running alongside Emer's. This second story is about a modern-day protagonist named Saffron. She has problems of her own. Highly intelligent and excellent at her schoolwork, Saffron has been raised by parents who hold her up as their only hope in the world. Her siblings, especially her brother, Junior, are bitter disappointments, leaving her as the beacon bound to be the light of their lives. Saffron, however, has other plans.

What readers soon learn is that Emer and Saffron are connected in an unusual way. Emer's Caribbean life turned into a wild adventure with her as a pirate who pillaged and plundered Spanish treasure.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read 17 Feb 2009
The Dust of 100 Dogs is a pirate novel with a difference. Dark, sassy, both tragic and at times very funny, it is in many ways a classic 'coming of age' story but not like you've ever read before. Highly recommended for any girl who ever wanted to be a pirate (and their dads, like me!).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read! 7 Feb 2009
An absolutely gripping and fascinating adventure. Pirates, battles, reincarnations and enduring love. Who could ask for more? Read it! I loved it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great debut by an incredibly talented author! 15 Aug 2011
One of the books that the cat was most impressed with this year was A.S. King's Please Ignore Vera Dietz. It was so more-ish, that King's debut The Dust of 100 Dogs, just couldn't go unread. Not really knowing what to expect (or really not expecting very much at all) of a story that was advertized as a `pirate story', two things became abundantly clear: 1) this is definitely not Pirates of the Caribbean! 2) A.S. King does like to shake things up! That is both a good and a bad thing!

The Good

1. The Dust of 100 Dogs is time- as well as genre-bending.
The novel starts with Emer - 17th century infamous teenage pirate - who is cursed by a Frenchman to live the life of 100 dogs before she will become human again. From then on, we get shifts through time and space, from Emer in Ireland in the 1650s, to Emer in Paris, Tortuga in the 1660s..., to Saffron in America in the 20th century, to Fred Livingston in Jamaica, etc. It takes the reader a while to figure out what is what, or who is who, but in all that is not necessarily a bad thing. It forces the reader to get all in, and to think outside of the box. Boxes and cages, after all, can never be a dog's best friend. Also when it comes to genre, King likes to shake things up a little: is this a pirate story? Is it a coming of age story? Is it chicklit? Is it any of these, none of these? What is genre anyway? What is, for that matter, a YA-book anyway, and is The Dust of 100 Dogs one? It is a question that A.S. King is asked as well, and in the interview at the end of the book she says that whatever it is "it is, by no means, exact." (p. 325)

2. The Dust of 100 Dogs is oozing with ideas that linger on.
Just like it is difficult to pinpoint the exact genre (Historical fiction? Contemporary coming of age?
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  81 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This one is just really, really great. 14 Jan 2009
By Steph - Published on
The Dust of 100 Dogs isn't really a young adult novel. I'm not quite sure what age group it belongs to, actually. It's for the most part narrated by a teenager, sure, but said teenager is only a teenager on a technicality. She's been alive for over 300 years, first as a human named Emer, then as 100 dogs, then as Emer's second-coming, Saffron. Emer surpassed her adolescent years, but she never really grew and appreciated her adulthood. Saffron is still a teenager when the story takes place. Still, all her years as a dog gave her a keen insight on human nature. Really, there's no easy answer where this book is concerned, and hopefully--as Leila Roy said--it will be one more step in blurring the line between YA and adult.

Now, how do I begin this? I agree with both other reviews I've read. This is a peculiar book and it stands out from whatever else you were or have been reading. I'd say it takes awhile to grow on you, too. Because it's such an unorthodox approach to the YA I'm used to--which as I've said before, this is most assuredly not, but I didn't know that--I didn't know how to react to it at first. I thought it was exceptional, whatever it was, but how do I review this? So, if you plan to read it, get that notion out of your head. It only limits this book's potential. Once it dawned to me this is genre-bending, it escalated from exceptional to superb. Aside from its own literary merit, this book's got that genre-bending thing going for it. That's awesome, y'all.

This book has three recurring storylines: Emer's youth in Ireland, her travails in the name of true love, and her coming to be a pirate; Saffron's voyage to Jamaica to unearth the treasure she buried there three centuries prior; and Fred Livingstone's life in Jamaica. They're all connected, the first two in obvious manners, Fred's in a way you'll only understand reading the book. There are also nine dog facts thrown in, which depict dog psychology. An interesting bit about these Dog Facts is that you can apply many of them to humans, too. It's a unique parallel.

This is an odd mix of contemporary and historical without time-travel. (I keep telling you guys that this book breaks all the rules. It's true, see?) The historical locales are well-drawn, and since part of it takes place in Ireland, you get to see a bit of A.S. King's life experience. (She lived on an Irish self-sufficient farm for over a decade.) The wide array of settings in here--the US, Ireland, and pirate locales--are well-realized, at any rate.

And now for my favorite part in any book: characters. The dynamics here--Emer/Saffron's reincarnations, Saffron's dysfunctional family, and certain aspects of Fred's life--make for a very extensive amount of discussion questions. Like Jen Robinson said:

What would it be like to live as a child, with knowledge that you weren't supposed to have? How frustrating would it be to be the sole hope of your downtrodden family, when that hope conflicted with what you wanted from life? If you were reincarnated, and remembered everything, how would you ever separate your current self from your past selves? Or would you need to?

Moreover, I'd be interested in hearing more about Fred Livingstone and the arrangement he has with his assistant. Now that I've finally reviewed this I'll be able to talk to the author more about it; it's curious-making.

And finally, the writing and storytelling: A.S. King is incredibly talented. That's all I'm saying on that subject. (Okay, okay, and also, Saffron's wry voice = LOVE.)

I had built up my idea of this book in my mind and it did worry me it wouldn't meet my expectations. Know what? It didn't. It was something else altogether, and while incomparable to what I was expecting (I am telling you, you don't know what this book will be like), it pleased me. It's well-rounded, cultural, and depicts the world beyond. And aside from that, like I mentioned above, there are a lot of external things going for it. I expect big things from this one. Wait for it.

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars D100D video review (ie: This book is packed with pirate goodness) 25 April 2009
By Jackson Pearce - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My first book comes out August 25, 2009! Check it out: As You Wish
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A phenomenal concept - wonderfully executed 23 Mar 2009
By Sara J. Henry - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was hooked from the book's description: "In the late 17th century, famed pirate Emer Morrisey was on the cusp of escaping pirate life with her one true love and unfathomable riches when she was slain and cursed with the dust of 100 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."

Generally I'm leery of books that switch back and forth between viewpoints, let alone centuries - because usually I like one of the stories much more than the other, and am impatient to get back to the other POV. But A.S. King has pulled it off. This book is mesmerizing whether you're reading about young Saffron in the present day, or Emer as a 6-year-old in Ireland (an exceptionally vivid chapter you won't soon forget), or later when she falls into the pirate life.

And sprinkled throughout are "Dog Facts," moving little vignettes of the lives of some of the 100 dogs. (Painlessly imparting some history lessons along the way.)

If I were nitpicking, I would have preferred a little less of the eccentric, mind-apparently-melting Fred Livingston, and perhaps a compassionate resolution to Saffron's mother's life, especially after the moving tale she told of her life as a young child. But those are minor points.

This book is classified Young Adult(14+), an age I haven't seen for quite a while. Loved it. Can't tell you the last time I've found a book this satisfying. Didn't put it down until I finished, reading long into the night.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic read--couldn't put it down! 10 Mar 2009
By Robin Brande - Published on
I just finished reading this book about five minutes ago, and I have to tell somebody: IT'S INCREDIBLE! So imaginative, so clever and exciting and fun and absorbing--I had to put aside my own work for the past two days so I could just keep reading and reading. And then by the end I wished it weren't over!

This is a masterfully-told tale of a modern girl too smart for herself and everyone around her, and of the brave, resourceful young woman she once was in a past life. If that alone doesn't grab you, the fact that we learn proper dog care and training throughout the book--from the dogs' point of view--should be the clincher.

Hate to say more because it might give away too much, but rest assured that this is a fantastic read, and one that you'll be recommending to everyone you can think of. Ahh, such a satisfying book!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sizzling read! 30 Nov 2009
By M. Lamba - Published on
Pirates -- scurvy foul creatures with a greed for gold and a thirst for blood. An innocent girl born into war-torn Ireland, who views the world with caution, who finally finds love, and who then has everything violently ripped away. A teen in Pennsylvania, biding her time, and hiding her secret. And a curse. Oh, and some dog care tips. If this all sounds like an unusual combination, you are dead on, and this is what makes the young adult novel The Dust of 100 Dogs (Flux) by A.S. King a fresh and original hit.

King's main character Saffron, is a brilliant teen born into a needy family that see's Saffron's brilliance as the ticket to a bright future. But what they don't know is that Saffron is actually the soul of Emer, an Irish girl who had turned to pirating many centuries ago, and who was cursed to embody the souls of 100 dogs before she finally found herself human again. Along with teen angst, Saffron must tamp down the savage instincts of her pirating past, and wait just a bit longer until she is 18 and has the money and the freedom to pursue the treasure buried on a Caribbean isle long ago.

The author does an amazing job of grabbing the reader by the throat, and pulling you through this epic adventure. As we travel with Emer's soul through her past lives, there is heartbreak and triumph, blood and gore, history and humor. Because of some disturbing scenes, I would restrict this read to older teens and adults. It's a fantastic novel, but there is a rape and one seriously disturbed villain, so be advised.

That said, I now say grab this book and read it. Share it with others. Channel your inner pirate. Yo-ho!
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