The Dust of 100 Dogs- A. S King.

Synopsis from Goodreads.

In the late seventeenth century, famed teenage pirate Emer Morrisey was on the cusp of escaping the pirate life with her one true love and unfathomable riches when she was slain and cursed with “the dust of one hundred dogs,” dooming her to one hundred lives as a dog before returning to a human body-with her memories intact.
Now she’s a contemporary American teenager and all she needs is a shovel and a ride to Jamaica.

“Emer…eventually found she enjoyed ripping an eye from the men she killed. Especially the men who glared at her body. It was a way to remind them to never underestimate a woman, she figured. One less eye to ogle with.”

High Points.
The cover. Seriously, how gorgeous is that cover? It’s definitely one of my favourites from this year. The idea. Emer’s childhood. Adventures on the high seas. Treasure.

Low Points.
The execution. I just feel so very disappointed because I can’t help but think this book should have been so amazing. I think it spent too much time with scenes that didn’t need to be in there (basically when Emer became a captain for no reason and that thread of story line) and less time developing the characters. I found myself not really caring about what happened to them, which is no good.
Also, I would have liked to have spent more time with Saffron, I think Ms King missed a trick with not putting in a few scenes about a teenager who had lived for 300 years as a dog… oh and yeah, been a bloodthirsty pirate. They could have been hilarious anecdotes like when she won a fencing tournament the first time she’d played or, I don’t know, accidentally peed on a lamp post or something.
I just really wanted more from this book.

Heroine.
It’s going to annoy me keep referring to our heroine as Emer/Saffron so I’m going to call her Emerron. OK?
I felt about Emerron in the way I felt about this entire book: I want more from you. I knew that she had the potential to be awesome and a complete BAMF but just when she was in the brink of doing something amazing she got her rocks off with a poor sap who was devoted to her even though she knew she didn’t feel the same way became a captain of a ship for no explicable reason pranced around in a bikini on a beach never really mentions the time when she was.. um, yeah… A DOG FOR 300 YEARS did something silly.
She seemed to be missing her spark and it was like her wish to get her treasure (not even revenge! Never is revenge mentioned once in this whole book. Surely that would be a factor if you had lost everything you’d ever loved and then had the ashes of dead dogs thrown at you be a crazy Jamaican?!) eclipsed her personality.
I don’t know. Maybe it’s because I kept wishing she would suddenly become Vera Dietz and she continued to disappoint me when in the next chapter she was Emerron talking about her capes.

Baddie.
OK, I’m not sure whether it’s just because I secretly hope know that every person with a European accent will be a baddie in films and books (Any excuse.) I kind of guessed straight away the twist in this book.
Although I’m not sure that it even was a twist.
I don’t know.
I feel, in a book about mother-effin’ pirates and pillaging and pilfering and phfighting, there needed to be more peril. But alas. Like it kept being like ‘Oooh oooh, something bad is going to happen now… wait… no. You couldn’t handle it’ and cutting at the last minute.
It felt like this all over again.
A Keyser Soze cameo would have made this book infinitely better. That would have had Emerron shaking in her booties.

Love Interest.
I always root for the underdog (ba-bum-bum) so I didn’t really care for Seanie. Yeah, he was sweet but it was difficult to get on his side because it was so obvious that he and Emer were going to end up together. Because it’s fate, y’all.
I think I would have been a lot more inclined to care about him if Ms King had spent more time developing his character without being smitten with Emer from the get go. But yeah, he was too clean cut and obvious.
My alliances were well and truly with David. Poor little pup.

Theme Tune.
Dog Days are Over- Florence + the Machine.
Too obvious?
Fine.. um… OK.
How about

Purely because it talks about dogs and diamonds and David Bowie is a complete fox would definitely wear one of Emer’s capes and he likes to wear eye-patches.

Angst Level.
5/10. These points are for the first few chapters of Emer’s life… because they were really well written and I felt true sympathy for Emer and her situation.
But that’s pretty much it.

Recommended For.
Dog people. People who believe there is still buried treasure out there. People who want to have an adventure… that ends with you getting stuck in an airport. People who don’t mind cliché serendipitous endings that are dipped in sugar and, apparently, rugged hiking boots. People who still fancy Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber. People who fancy Alan Rickman especially as Hans Gruber. People who want a fairy godmother to hand them their keys. People who fashion eye-patches out of cardboard and knicker-elastic and pretend to be pirates and/or David Bowie.

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