By Shea Norwood
Publisher: Dust Devil Press
Published: Oct. 1, 2013
A chill runs through his skin as the phantom appears.
He sees them everywhere. . .
Eric Stark is not insane. Or at least he doesn’t think so. He wishes everyone in Dust, Texas, felt the same way. But that’s not going to happen since the whole town thinks he’s crazy. Why didn’t he keep his mouth shut?
No one understands. Eric is alone as he battles his sanity in a town of tormenters. Suddenly a new friendship emerges after the new kid, Kyle Barrett, moves to town. Eric reluctantly reveals his secret. Is it a curse or a gift? He isn’t certain, but with Kyle by his side he finds the courage to seek the truth.
They soon realize that something sinister is descending on the residents of Dust. Is it caused by Eric’s phantoms or is it something else? Is it connected to the mysterious death of hundreds of townspeople over sixty years ago? One thing is certain—only Eric and Kyle can save them.
They set out on a heart-pounding adventure and find themselves transported to a disturbed and deserted version of their small southern town. They quickly discover that this new world has mysteries of its own to uncover. What they find could prove more than they bargained for, and it only leads to more questions. Eric and Kyle must face a horrifying fact—they may never get out alive.
“We’re gonna die here,” Kyle muttered.
“I don’t believe that,” Eric said. “And neither do you.”
Will they survive their encounter with these dark and mysterious beings?
Will they find a way back home?
Or will they be lost forever?
The Vanished from Dust series is perfect for anyone who craves a hair-raising thriller packed with mystery and suspense. This paranormal story for young adults can be compared to Stand by Me, mixed with Odd Thomas, and a twist of The Dark Tower.
Eric Stark is a seventh grader who is picked on by classmates because he used to see phantoms. Now they call him crazy train Eric. He only has a couple of friends at school, Josh, a fat kid who still calls his mother mommy that Eric rally doesn't like all that much and his new friend Kyle Barrett.
No one but Eric can see these phantoms that Eric sees and so they think he is either crazy or very imaginative. His parents have taken him to see a psychologist. He has seen the creatures since he was 8 years old. Now he doesn't admit to seeing them anymore because he doesn't want to be thought of as strange. But still he gets picked on. The only one who believes him is the town drunk and Kyle.
I didn't care much for the first part of the book when we were introduced to the characters because the adults in the story didn't seem to do anything about the bullying. The parents also swore at their children which I felt was wrong. Then Kyle and Eric were sneaking out of the house in the middle of the night to pull pranks on the townspeople. It seemed to me they were hoodlums in the making. I almost gave up reading the book. I'm glad I didn't.
Eric decided he had to figure out once and for all if he was crazy or not, so he and Kyle head to the local theatre that has been long abandoned and where a young girl disappeared from 5 years before. This is where the adventure really begins and the book takes flight.
From this point on the book is fast-paced and exciting. It was hard to put down and was a great read. Eric and Kyle demonstrated undecided loyalty to each other like the blood brothers they were. Through all the strange things that happened they stuck together and had one another's backs. They were resourceful but through it all they still remained the teenaged boys the author had set their characters up to be in the first part of the book. We just got to see the side of them that came out when under pressure and when necessity required.
Vanished From Dust is definitely part one of a series for the story doesn't end with this book. I hit the right side of my iPad several times trying to turn the page before I realized I was at the end of it. Hopefully it won't be long before book 2 is out because I want to find out what happens to these boys who have vanished from dust,
Due to the language the boys used and the other things I mentioned about the first part of the book, I am giving Vanished From Dust 3 stars out of 5. The second half of the book definitely rates higher than 3 stars but the first half pulls it down.
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