A Town Called Dust (The Territory Book 1) by Justin Woolley

Posted February 20, 2018 by susan in Reviews / 1 Comment

A Town Called Dust (The Territory Book 1) by Justin WoolleyA Town Called Dust by Justin Woolley
Narrator: Hannah Engel
Series: The Territory #1
Published by Self Published / Indie on 23 May 2017
Length: 8 hrs and 33 mins
Genres: Dystopian, Horror, Post Apocalyptic, Young Adult, Zombie Apocalypse
Format: Audiobook
Rating Report
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Attention Holding
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Overall: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Stranded in the desert, the last of mankind is kept safe by a large border fence...until the fence falls.

Squid is a young orphan living under the oppressive rule of his uncle in the outskirts of the Territory. Lynn is a headstrong girl with an influential father who has spent her entire life within the walled city of Alice.

When the border fence is breached, the Territory is invaded by the largest horde of undead ghouls seen in 200 years. Squid is soon conscripted into the Diggers - the armed forces of the Territory. And after Lynn finds herself at odds with the Territory's powerful church, she too escapes to join the Diggers.

Together Squid and Lynn form an unlikely friendship as they march to battle against the ghouls. Their journey will take them further than they ever imagined, leading them closer to discovering secrets about themselves, their world, and a conspiracy that may spell the end of the Territory as they know it.

©2014 Justin Woolley (P)2017 Justin Woolley

ABR received this audiobook for free from the in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect our opinion of the audiobook or the content of our review.

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If I was a warrior, I would want to go to Dust for the holidays and knock some heads off of some thirsty ghouls. The setting really drew me in. These are not your average reanimated dead. They seek moisture, preferably of the human blood variety. They shamble and jerk through the Australian wastelands, consuming people wherever they find them. A recently satiated ghoul can be quick and quite deadly. A single bite can turn a person to the dead, mindless, dark side.

These kids are growing up this world, having not known a time without the ghouls. Fences and patrols and experienced, trained fighters (called Diggers) do their best to keep people safe. Young Lynette isn’t interested in joining the Sisterhood but her prestigious family can’t keep her out of their clutches. So she comes up with the brilliant plan to head off on her own and join the military under an assumed name (Max). Women aren’t allowed to serve in the military (and that is my one quibble with this book – it’s fiction and a fight to save humanity – let’s get some women on horses with swords!).

While in training, Lynn/Max meets young, small Squib. His parents are long dead but his aunt and uncle raised him on their dirt farm but forgot to use love and tenderness and instead went for the verbal abuse and head-slapping routine. Squib wasn’t sad to be conscripted into the military. The two bond over shared harassment from Darius and his gang. Things come to blows and there’s namecalling, blood, and punishment.

I totally fell in love with Squib and Lynn. I was rooting for them through the whole book. Later when the stakes are raised, I even come to understand Darius a bit and want him to succeed, because, hey, even jerks can be great at lopping off ghoul heads.

To follow up with the lack of women in the military, there are only a few female characters in the book but they are written well and most of the time they add something to the plot. I do wish there were a few more ladies to balance things out a little but I also like the intrigue we glimpse from the Sisterhood. Overall, this is a gripping dystopian with engaging characters.  4.5/5 stars.

The Narration: Hannah Engel gave a really good performance. She had the perfect voice for Lynn/Max, sounding like a young boy and then softening the same voice a little when she speaks as Lynn. I also liked her voice for Squib, another young boy. She also made a really good gruff older man for the training instructor (beard ponytails rock!). Her voice for the 70-year-old Sister, who is full of intrigue, was also very well done. She kept all her character voices distinct. There were no technical issues with the recording. 5/5 stars.

About Justin Woolley

Justin Woolley has been writing stories since he could first scrawl with a crayon. When he was six years old he wrote his first book, a 300 word pirate epic in unreadable handwriting called ‘The Ghost Ship’. He promptly declared that he was now an author and didn’t need to go to school. Despite being informed that this was, in fact, not the case, he continued to make things up and write them down.

Today Justin is the author of the Australian set dystopian trilogy The Territory Series consisting of the novels A Town Called Dust, A City Called Smoke and the recently released finale A World of Ash. He also writes the web serial Listening to the Other Side, a fictional blog about talking to the dead.

Justin lives in Melbourne, Australia with his wife and two sons. In his other life he’s been an engineer, a teacher and at one stage even a magician. His handwriting has not improved.

About susan

Staying sane one audiobook at a time. Susan lives in northern New Mexico where bear scat is a common occurrence. She grew up on Scifi and Fantasy books but eventually expanded her horizons to mysteries and historical fiction.

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