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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: #549,603 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  83 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
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointed + mislead = waste of time 14 July 2009
By CellySands - Published on
I'm really surprised that the lowest rating for this book so far has been 4 stars. One of my main problems with this book is how the storyline is just kind of everywhere. For example, the book is about this girl Emer, who was an abused and socially lost child turned hopelessly in love cursed pirate who is reincarnated after living 300 years as dogs with all of her memories intact. Her new form is as a current day love sick girl named Saffron who has a troubled family life and just wants to escape to find her buried treasure...See what I mean?

I was really excited to start reading because it just sounded interesting and completely different with the whole dust of 100 dogs and the main character's continuing reincarnation. It turns out that it only mentions the whole dog thing in like 9 pages in the form of these weird dog rules (which, to me, don't make much sense, if any, to the story). I mean, she spends 300 years as would think that could be a major part of the book.

Overall, I feel like King just tried too hard to incorporate EVERYTHING. Drugs, sex, abuse, long lost love, lust, murder, war, mystery, rape, piracy, re-embodiment, animals, poverty, family relations, rebellion, torture, magic etc. It's just too much, it doesn't tie together, and a lot of it was unnecessary.

However, I do see how some could like Dust of 100 Dogs. There's no doubt that it's a creative, imaginative, and adventurous story. So if you enjoy those characteristics and can easily look past some major irritating and misleading features, this book is for you! It's not like I hated the book or couldn't finish, I just read it with no enthusiasm whatsoever.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular! 17 Jan 2009
By Rachael Stein - Published on
Emer Morrisey, named after a female hero from an Irish tale, has almost lived up to her namesake. But history and circumstance has separated her from her one true love and eventually forced her into a life of piracy. Years later, this young and independent woman is ready to renounce her pirating ways, keeping only a small portion of her stolen riches, to be with her long lost love. Tragically, they are bother killed, and Emer is cursed with "the dust of one hundred dogs," forcing her to endure one hundred lifetimes as a canine. Three hundred years later, she's an American teenager named Saffron Adams, and she remembers everything. Now all she needs is a shovel and a way to Jamaica.

In all honesty, The Dust of 100 Dogs can be summed up on one word: spectacular. I am not kidding when I say this novel blew my mind. There are several other tales of female pirates, such as To Catch a Pirate, but The Dust of 100 Dogs outshines them by far, and for several reasons. The plot is a unique and compelling fusion of seventeenth-century swashbuckling danger and romance, contemporary teen issues, and dog humor. All parts were written exceptionally well, and it's difficult to say which I preferred because they were all so interesting. Emer/Saffron was such an original character; in all her lives, no matter how young, she always seemed so determined and mature. I really liked how she could keep her head amidst all the circumstances she encountered. I also enjoyed trying to equate the characters from the contemporary portion of this story with their seventeenth-century counterparts, if any. King's writing is so powerful that at times, I felt I was in the story alongside Emer or Saffron; she succeeded in creating a romantic and unforgettable tale of everlasting love with magic and mystery. The Dust of 100 Dogs is sure to be a favorite as soon as it hits shelves among all readers, because this is a story that spans age and time.

I don't think it would be fair to compare The Dust of 100 Dogs to books like To Catch a Pirate by Jade Parker and Reincarnation by Suzanne Weyn, even though it was a sort of combination of those two, because this story is nearly infinitely better. The Dust of 100 Dogs has earned a high spot on my favorites list and King is an author to watch.
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Misleading blurb 29 Jun 2011
By small review - Published on
~This is not the book I signed up for~

I was expecting a high seas adventure with pirates, epic love, reincarnation, a unique curse, and exciting treasure hunts. Instead I got a fractured story that never went anywhere and had gratuitous rape, sex, animal abuse, and violence. Based on the description, I really wanted to read this book. I still do. Unfortunately, that isn't the book A. S. King wrote.

~The plot that went nowhere~

I felt like an abused donkey with a carrot hung in front of my face and, like the donkey, I never got that carrot. I slogged through boring and hugely depressing scenes as first Emer and then Saffron (who is Emer reincarnated, sort of) recount their tortured existences. Emer starved in Ireland during the 1600s and Saffron lived through the 1970s-`90s with her alcoholic, trashy, do-nothing parents and drug addicted brother. I read through chapters and chapters of this and, looking back, they served very little purpose. Saffron's scenes were especially superfluous, providing neither character growth nor plot advancement. To say the conclusion of her storyline (and the book) was anticlimactic is an understatement.

Emer's story was at least somewhat satisfying. Like the blurb, I thought it was a great idea. There was epic love, unrequited love, pirating, battles, and treasure. Except, this was more told than shown, and the telling was far too brief. More time is spent in dreary, depressing Ireland with a young and starving Emer than on the high seas treasure seeking. I didn't care so much for Emer as I did for the idea of a woman in her position. She was more like a legend than an actual character. Her romance was equally hollow with her barely there and almost entirely unknown love interest (like a Disney prince back in the day, Seanie spoke about five lines).

The curse was something I was very much looking forward to exploring, but it too failed to deliver. I wanted to know more about the curse, but at the very least I wanted to see how her time spent as 100 dogs affected her character. The answer, apparently, is that it didn't affect her. Saffron shows absolutely no growth or, really, any effects of having once been a dog. How do you go 300 years and over 100 lifetimes without ever growing as a character? The point of these lifetimes seemed to serve only to allow Saffron to be reincarnated 300 years later, which could have been accomplished without the unexplored curse. I was disappointed.

~Poor characterization~

All of the characters fell flat for me and felt like caricatures. The bad characters lacked any depth or nuance and are instead simply straight up vile people (really, if you want to make me hate your character, by all means make him a perverted, rapist, animal abuser. I'll hate him for sure, but I also might hate you a little for introducing me to him).

The "good" characters were almost as annoying, with few redeeming qualities themselves. None of the characters grew or changed throughout the book at all. This made their experiences seem pointless to read about.

Except, Emer and Saffron were not the same person at all. I'm unclear as to how the reincarnation worked exactly. Saffron was Emer, but she also wasn't. She shared Emer's memories and knowledge, but she did and thought things Emer wouldn't have, to her detriment. Is this poor and inconsistent characterization? Is this a convoluted plot point? I don't know, but that alone isn't a good sign.

~Shock and awe~

As stated above, there are copious amounts of gratuitous violence, abuse, rape, and sex (both hetero and homosexual). This is a YA book, but in name only. Abuse against dogs is written about repeatedly, and with little to no relevance to the plot. I have never read animal abuse that even comes close to this in both frequency and detail.

Emer is raped, and the act is described in detail. Again, this has only the barest relevance to the plot, and the graphic nature of the act is unnecessary to get the point across. She also crudely refers to sex in an off-hand manner that also serves no purpose. None of these acts help build character development, with the sex mentions coming across as especially irrelevant and "shocking" for the sake of being edgy.

There are a few attempts at making a point, but each time the message comes across more like an afterthought or a throwaway concession to try to half-heartedly justify the violent scenes. It is one thing to show scenes like this if there is a purpose, but there wasn't any here. It was just rambling violence that continually digressed from the barebones story.

~Bottom line~

I wish I had never read this book and it was only the hope of Emer's story improving that kept me reading until the end. I feel deceived by the false advertising and disappointed that I never got to read the book I was hoping this would be. In my library I do still recommend books I didn't like to my patrons because their tastes may be different, but I can't comfortably recommend this book to a YA patron. Their parents would kill me.
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