Isn’t that an awesome cover? I shamelessly begged for an ARC of the upcoming novel, “Dirt,” by K. F Ridley. Shamelessly. I LOVE changelings. Seriously, one of my favorite children’s books (right after Ella Enchanted) is The Moorechild. I’m also a fan of Tithe, the Trylle series, and pretty much any other YA novel about changelings. They’re fascinating.
So without further ado, here’s the dirt on “Dirt”
Ashe has lived for eighteen years never knowing that she’s half human, half faery. Living in a small Montana town is safe and predictable until she finds out that her bithling blood is the elixir of immortality and the Dark Thorn needs a sacrifice. Now that Ashe is being hunted, her Dad’s homemade drug and her sentry aren’t enough to keep her alive
Her protector is the most beautiful guy she’s ever seen, Rowen, a faery from her dead mother’s world. Their forbidden attraction jeopardizes Ashe’s life, but she’s willing to take the risk. Longing for love and her own identity, she’s determined to have what she wants. Ashe faces her fears and insecurities, breaking all the rules.
Ashe brings present-day, young adult issues into a world of fantasy. This protagonist is forced to face guilt and isolation while fighting for the right to exist and protecting the ones she loves.
There’s a cool book trailer on the authors website here:
I only have one question about the trailer, and it has nothing to do with the book. What makes something an original story in terms of marketing? Dirt obviously is an original story, but would a remake of Cinderella or, say, Persephone, be unable to claim that headline? That would make sense, but I’m just really curious now.
I finished Dirt very fast. It was impossible not to, the book moved SO quickly that by the time I’d finished, I felt like I’d run…. well, I’d say a marathon, but I’ve never attempted that, I’m strictly a 5k kind of girl, but you get the idea.
The beginning was a bit slower, but that was good. I felt grounded in Ashe Leigh’s normal life. I was kind of surprised she was in college, because this is YA, and the school was in so little of the story it seemed to take more set up to establish it as a college than a high school, and the protagonist seemed much younger than a college student in terms of voice, but it wasn’t a bad surprise, it was a neutral one. It just threw me for a second. But in any case, I got a firm handle on Ashe Leigh, her friend, her family, and her fondness for art before the story went into hyper drive, which made me happy.
Once the action picked up, pretty much a scene or two before Ashe Leigh heads off to fairy land, also known as Durt, there wasn’t as much time for character development. The plot just had so much happening. It was exciting, and fun to read, but there were times when I wished it had slowed down just a little so I could really feel the impact of everything that was happening. There’s this big deal thing that happens to one of the characters, a tragic transformation I won’t go into by providing spoilers, and it should have been SO sad, but I couldn’t muster up the proper emotion because I met and lost that character in what felt like an eye blink. SO much happened in this book, and it was good stuff, great plot developments and twists, I just wanted more time to react and for the character to take more time to react.
But then again, pretty much every negative review of “Persephone” said I slowed it down too much in the middle, so wanting things to slow down is probably just personal preference, not a writing flaw (I hope). I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the trilogy when it comes out because I really am interested in the world Ridley has created here, and I love Ashe Leigh, and her best friend, and I want to get to know everyone else that much more. I just want to be clear that this isn’t a character development problem (it’s not a problem at all, it’s a preference). The characters are there. They are fully fleshed out and very clearly three dimensional. If they hadn’t been, I wouldn’t have cared one way or another how much time I got to know them. There’s a definite sense that the characters are there to get to know. It’s just that our main character doesn’t know them very well yet. This book takes place in less than a week (I think). The tragic thing with the character happened like the day after the protagonist met him. So the disconnect I felt, the sense of not knowing anyone other than the characters that were established in the very beginning, was very realistic. And I don’t think it’s a bad thing to put a book down and want more. That’s how sequels sell, right?