Dust by Kara Swanson

August 8, 2020

Authors: Kara Swanson
Series: Heirs of Neverland, Book 1
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: July 21, 2020

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.

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First of all let's gawk at this beautiful cover!! I love to appreciate a beautiful cover don't you? This one just takes you back to memories of childhood stories and beautiful fantasy reads but this is definitely not the typical Peter Pan story that we are used to reading or watching in movies. While we still see characters like Hook (James Hocken), the lost boys and Tiger Lily This takes a different outlook on our beloved Peter Pan and we see him basically years after he has encountered Wendy and he is put into our timeline. It is a perfect blend of the real world and make-believe. 

The story revolves around Claire and the search for her brother Connor who has been kidnapped. Claire is an orphan who sees herself as broken and  not wanted. She struggles with who she is and what her purpose is. We see this throughout the book and the story and your heart simply breaks for her. She is so relatable that at times I could feel her pain. Her growth throughout the story is beautiful and powerful. 

Peter is definitely not portrayed here as the imaginative, whimsical being we are used to in stories. He is in London trying to find his way back to Neverland. He is in search for the one person who he believes can set Neverland back to order. 

I loved, loved the way that Peter and Claire interact with each other. The way their relationship evolves is beautiful and heartbreaking all at the same time. 

The content was clean and at times can get a bit dark but not overly so. There is a mention of a possible attempt of suicide but nothing that goes into detail but if that's a trigger for you be aware. There is fighting and some references to someone burning but nothing gruesome. The spiritual themes in this book are beautiful and although it doesn't reference God or redemption by name as a Christian you know that is what they are referring to. 

As her debut novel Swanson does a beautiful job with this story and it keeps you captivated and engaged THE WHOLE TIME!! I could not put it down. I had to know what came next! I will say that at the end she leaves you in a cliffhanger and yes I shouted in glee!! I love when books give you that feeling of wanting more and she definitely did that. So I cannot wait to read the next one and I am hoping and praying its sooner rather than later! 

I recommend this book to everyone not just young adults!! It truly is a magical book and I would love to tell you all the things about it but I don't want to spoil it!

My Rating: 5 Stars/ Loved it! It was amazing!

Favorite Quotes: There were SO many quotes I loved from this book but these are just some of my favorites:

"We all have our shadows to fight, but maybe that's so we can grow stronger."

"You were created for more than to bear the weight of your shadows -- but you have to choose to no longer let them define you. You have to choose to let the light shine through the shattered pieces."

"This caring for someone is not what I thought it would be. It's not losing who I am. It's finding my soul interwoven with another-- and chasing the stars together. And that might just be the greatest adventure of them all."

( I received this book from the author as part of the Celebrate Lit Tour. I was not required to post a positive review. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
As the daughter of missionaries, Kara Swanson spent her childhood running barefoot through the lush jungles of Papua New Guinea. Able to relate with characters dropped into a unique new world, she quickly fell in love with the fantasy genre. The award-winning author of The Girl Who Could See, Kara is passionate about crafting stories of light shattering darkness, connecting with readers, and becoming best friends with a mermaid—though not necessarily in that order. Kara chats about coffee, fairy tales and bookish things online (@karaswansonauthor) and at karaswanson.com

I wrote Dust not just for those who grew up loving the original Peter Pan story — but especially for the children who were left behind. Those of us who never escaped through a window to a magical world, whose childhoods oftentimes felt a little shadowed.
Dust follows Peter Pan when he is cast out of Neverland, grounded in London. For the first time, this Peter has to start thinking about someone other than himself—and become a beacon to remind any Lost ones that there is still magic to be found.
Dust also follows a young woman named Claire who can create pixie dust, but is desperately afraid of herself because when her fears and insecurities leak out, her dust starts to burn. Claire has seen too many shadows to believe in fairytales anymore and is doing everything she can just to lock away the strange dust dripping from her fingertips. But when she meets Peter, he challenges everything she thought she knew.
I wrote Claire for those of us who may feel too weighted to even remember what it feels like to have hope lift your soul. Who can look at ourselves and all we see are our own shadows and shortcomings.
Throughout the course of the novel, Peter has to teach Claire how to see the spark of light inside herself that is far brighter than the darkness. As he helps this girl learn how to fly, Peter rediscovers what it is that truly makes him Peter Pan: the unquenchable childlike belief that there are weightless thoughts in all of us that can lift us out of the shadows.
This story is a love letter to anyone who has ever needed that reminder. We have value simply because we exist. We do not have to be weighed down by our shadows. There is still light that can lift our hearts if we have faith, trust…and a dash of the impossible.

To celebrate her tour, Kara is giving away the grand prize package of a Dust-themed bundle that includes a signed hardcover, bookmarks, character cards, Peter + Claire art print, and an exclusive Dust pin!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

This giveaway is hosted by Celebrate Lit, not myself.
Follow along with the tour by clicking the banner below!


  1. Excellent review! I'm looking forward to reading "Dust". Thank you for sharing.