Book Review: DUST, by Kara Swanson

by | 17 April 2020 | Books | 14 comments

2020 is a glorious year as far as book releases go. There’s been so many amazing books already, and so many more to come!!

I’m here to squeal about one of those upcoming books today. I definitely squealed out loud when I first saw the cover, and I have possibly not stopped squealing since. 🤷🏻‍♀️ You know me, I’m a bit of a squealer when it comes to gorgeous books.

And today’s spotlight, DUST, is truly gorgeous inside and out! Let’s jump into the blurb so you know what I’m raving about.

Art by Lisa Mettler


The truth about Neverland is far more dangerous than a fairy tale.

Claire Kenton believes the world is too dark for magic to be real—since her twin brother was stolen away as a child. Now Claire’s desperate search points to London… and a boy who shouldn’t exist.

Peter Pan is having a beastly time getting back to Neverland. Grounded in London and hunted by his own Lost Boys, Peter searches for the last hope of restoring his crumbling island: a lass with magic in her veins.

The girl who fears her own destiny is on a collision course with the boy who never wanted to grow up. The truth behind this fairy tale is about to unravel everything Claire thought she knew about Peter Pan—and herself.

DUST, book #1 in the Heirs of Neverland duology, releases from Enclave Escape (imprint of Enclave Publishing) in July 2020!


– Goodreads – Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Book Depository –


What a gloriously magical tale! This book is so full of whimsy and beauty, but so deep and resounding in how it deals with darkness and trauma. I was so captivated by this story from the first page.


The characters are so real and complex. Each new chapter reveals another layer of who they are, right down to the darkest shadows of their souls. Peter’s struggles of growing up and taking responsibility, Claire’s of not fitting in and fear of her powers. Both of them not yet sure who they are. Both of them dealing with trauma from the past in different ways.

I connected with them so deeply, and instantly fell in love with this wild ride of a fairytale.


This whole book is so vibrant and magical. I adored the setting of the London streets and how real it felt, while also so coated in pixie dust and magic. It had the same aesthetic and core as the original Peter Pan story, but in an even more real, engaging way.

The magic was so perfectly balanced out against the darker scenes, the mistakes the characters kept making, the lies, the fears, the trauma.


I was so entangled in this story, I couldn’t put it down. The action, the stakes, the deep connection to the characters, it kept me thinking about the book and itching to pick it up again. The ending wrenched my heart out, but it was also perfect. It wasn’t what I expected, but it was even better than I hoped.

I officially CANNOT WAIT for the sequel, Shadow!!


For content/trigger warnings, see my Goodreads review.


I loved this story so much and recommend it hugely to all lovers of fairytales and magic! (Also, you can pre-order now and grab some gorgeous goodies too, if you’re that kind of person.)


I received a complimentary copy from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.


Have you read any great books recently? What was/is your most anticipated read of 2020? Let’s chat in the comments!!

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. Evelyn Kelly

    *stares hard at wallet*

    • Jane Maree

      I relate to this so hardddd. 😭😂

  2. Mem


    • Jane Maree

      YES YES YES. It was just as good as I’d hoped!!

    • Jane Maree

      The book inside is just as gorgeous and magical as the cover!! 😍

      Aw, thank you! I’ll check it out. 😊

  3. Emma Starr


    I’m a hardcore Peter Pan fangirl (JM Barrie is so quotable!!)

    This is so exciting.

    Is there any romance in the book? I’m interested because of the whole Peter Pan/Wendy thing and a lot of reviews say that Peter grows up so I’m curious.

    • Jane Maree

      YAASSS. I’m so excited for it to release!!

      Okay so there IS a bit of romance, but it’s done so. well. It’s not a main part of the plot, and it doesn’t end at all how the romantic side of me wanted it to, but it works so perfectly for the character arcs. That’s all I can say without spoiling it too much!! 😏 Overall, I really loved the romance elements. They were SO GOOD.

      • Emma Starr

        I LOVE a good romance subplot. (I’m not a main plot romance person haha)

        Sounds good!! You’re making me want to read it even more! :))

        • Jane Maree

          Yess, well this is perfect for you then. When you read it, be sure to come squeal to mee!!

  4. Jem Jones

    1. This book sounds lovely and it’s now on my [never-ending] TBR!
    2. I have tagged you for a LotR thing -here-, if you’d like.
    3. I feel bad commenting just because I tagged you?? PLS KNOW THAT I DO READ YOUR POSTS, JANE. they come straight to my email and I read them there, I’m just… bad at clicking through. 😐

    • Jane Maree

      Yesss, read it!! It’s gorgeous!

      Haha, that’s okay! Thanks for reading, and thanks for tagging me! I’ll definitely check it out. 🥰

  5. Abigail Blessing

    Love, love, love this! I can’t wait to read it. 😍

    • Jane Maree

      Yaass, it’s so good! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!!

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