Book Review: WHAT BLOOMS FROM DUST, James Markert

by | 14 September 2018 | Books | 18 comments

One of my favourite parts about being a reader is when I read what I thought was just a general book and then it smacks me in the face and jumps onto my favourites list right away. There’s nothing like a happy surprise. 😛

What Blooms From Dust was one of those sorts of books, and I’m SO glad I picked it up.


The Author

James Markert is a novelist, screenwriter, producer, and USPTA tennis pro from Louisville, Kentucky, where he lives with his wife and two children. He has a history degree from the University of Louisville. He won an IPPY Award for The Requiem Rose, which later became A White Wind Blew. He is the writer and co-producer of the new feature film and tennis comedy, 2nd Serve, starring Josh Hopkins from Cougar Town.

Check out his website at


The Book


Just as Jeremiah Goodbye is set to meet his fate in the electric chair, a tornado tears down the prison walls, and he is given a second chance at life. With the flip of a coin, he decides to return to his home town of Nowhere, Oklahoma, to settle the score with his twin brother Josiah. But upon his escape, he enters a world he doesn’t recognize—one that has been overtaken by the Dust Bowl. And the gift he once relied on to guide him is as unrecognizable as the path back to Nowhere.

After one jolt in Old Sparky, Jeremiah sees things more clearly and begins to question the mysterious circumstances surrounding the murders he was accused of. On his journey home, he accidentally rescues a young boy who follows him the rest of the way, and the pair arrive at their destination where they are greeted by darkened skies and fearful townspeople who have finally begun to let the past few years of hardship bury them under the weight of all that dust.

Unlikely heroes, Jeremiah and his new companion, Peter Cotton, try to protect the residents of Nowhere from themselves, but Jeremiah must face his nightmares and free himself from the guilt of his past and the secrets that destroyed his family.


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The Review


What Blooms From Dust is historical fiction set in the Dust Bowl, with a supernatural twist; an instantly gripping and high-stake story. The main character Jeremiah Goodbye is trying to escape the dark secrets in his past, but there’s no running from something that’s part of you.


When I first picked up this book, I wasn’t expecting this to become one of my favourite reads of the year. I was just hoping it’d be decent, but then I was sucked right in and taken on a crazy adventure.

What Blooms From Dust is a perfect example of why everyone should read out of their comfort zone once in a while. I rarely go for historical fiction, so I wasn’t sure about this book at first, but it hooked me right from the get-go and absolutely loved every moment of it.


The characters were stunning. From the very moment that Jeremiah appeared on the page, he already had so much personality and was so real. I loved all the characters and being a part of their story was the best thing ever.

Adopted father-son relationships are one of my favourite things ever, and there were a couple of scenes in this book where my heart was so warm and fuzzy. It was wonderful. There was some great romance relationships too, and they were done really well.


There’s a bit of mystery about the plot, and it’s only until right near the end that you find out the truth about everything, and I LOVED that. The whole concept was really intriguing and had me guessing the whole time.

Without giving away any spoilers…I adored the ending! It was just perfect.


This book completely flipped my expectations on end, and had me wanting more with every chapter. If you haven’t tried this yet–give it a go! Absolutely recommended.


NOTE: I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.


What books have you read recently that are out of your bookish comfort zone? When was the last time you were pleasantly surprised by a book? Chat with me!

Jane Maree

Jane Maree

Jane Maree is an Australian writer, adventurer at heart, beloved daughter of the King of Kings, and believer in at least six impossible things before breakfast. Raised on fairy tales, scraped knees, and makeshift swords, she has yet to outgrow any of them. In her day job, Jane teaches music and freelances as an editor, but by night she crafts daring stories of broken heroes overcoming extraordinary odds.


  1. J.A.Penrose

    Oooooh, that sounds cool! Admittedly, I will agree and say that I usually would not read a book based off that description but now… *sighs and adds it somewhere on the ever growing list*

    Gotta say that it’s ironic that you’re doing a review just after telling us how to afford books… xP

    Most out of comfort zone? Probably the Left Behind books. But they were actually really good. Just had to take them with a pinch of salt theologically.

    • Jane Maree

      I normally wouldn’t either, but I was picking from the list that BookLook Bloggers had available and it looked most interesting. I’m so glad I took the chance with it!

      Well I got this one for free so… 😂

      Ooh yes, I’ve heard of those books quite a bit. They sound quite interesting–if taken with the aforementioned salt. 😛

  2. Nicole Dust

    Wow, this book looks really good! *adds to TBR* It seems as though ever since I got Goodreads, my TBR has grown even LONGER – because apparently I will have time to read all these books. 🤦🏼‍♀️

    Great review! As for the book most out of my comfort zone . . . that’s a tough one. I’ll have to go with The Perfect Blindside. It’s a contemporary romance, but I didn’t realize that it was also a mystery until about 3/4s of the way through. It was actually really good!

    • Jane Maree

      I feel you. 😛 There are so many great books out there and I want to read them all!

      Ooh, I’m going to have to look at that one too. Lengthen my own TBR too. 🤣

  3. Sam Kowal

    You know, I don’t usually read out of like you said, my ‘comfort zone’, but this review makes me think I should do more of that. Maybe pick up What Blooms from Dust itself.

    • Jane Maree

      I should do it more often too, honestly. I stick to my speculative fiction books a lot and I’m probably missing a lot of hidden gems like this one.

      Be adventurous!

  4. Kendra Lynne

    This sounds like a really cool book! Historical fiction is normally my go-to genre to read, mainly because until now I haven’t found many GOOD fantasy books.

    An electric chair… intriguing!! I’ll have to put this on my TBR list. A book I’ve read that’s been out of my comfort zone is probably the one I’m reading now, The Space Trilogy by C.S. Lewis all in one volume. I’ve read very little science fiction before this, only a few of L’Engle’s Time quintet, and though its unlike anything I’ve read before I actually like TST! Have you read any of it?

    • Jane Maree

      I’m the exact opposite! I’m all for fantasy and science fiction, and historical often tends to bore me, to be honest. But this was amazing!

      The electric chair was what made me pick this book. XD I’m always in for a couple of electric chairs. 😛

      I’ve been meaning to read those books for ages! That’s so cool that you’re enjoying them so far.

  5. Jenna

    I always end up increasing my ‘want to read’ goodreads shelf when you do a book review. 😉

    • Jane Maree

      Sorry about that. 😂

  6. GJE

    I’m adding this to me TBR!

    • Jane Maree

      I hope you enjoy it!! 😀

  7. Gray Marie Cox

    That cover is so pretty! And this book sounds EPIC.

    • Jane Maree

      It is! At first I wasn’t totally convinced that I liked how it looked, but it definitely grew on me as I read the book. The cover and title fit with the story so perfectly.

  8. Quinley

    Awesome review, Jane. 🙂 This book sounds so awesome I will have to check it out sometime.

    • Jane Maree

      Thanks! I definitely recommend giving it a go, even though it’s not going to be for everyone. 😉

  9. Steward

    Oooh! Sounds interesting.

    Historical fiction was never a favourite. I never had much interest in history, to be honest, and I was always slightly uncomfortable with a book that was heavily biased on a certain topic, which a lot of historical fiction is (especially those that had to do with wars). I used to really enjoy any old children’s classic, but the fantasy was always what stuck with me. I guess it was always “my” genre—it just took me eight years of reading to realize it.

    I think the last book I was pleasantly surprised with was The Phantom Tollbooth. I started out thinking I wasn’t going to like it that much, but after a few pages I really enjoyed it.

    • Jane Maree

      Fantasy fans unite! I normally dodge the historical fiction too, but every now and then I do like to vary it up a bit. Speculative fiction will probably always be my favourite though. 😉

      Nice! That name sounds so strange and quirky.

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