Title: The Dust Feast
Series: Hollow Folk: Book Three
Author: Gregory Ashe
Length: 498 Pages
Category: Mystery/Suspense, Paranormal, Teen Fiction
At a Glance: The pivotal climactic scene in this installment of the Hollow Folk series is vividly choreographed, and the newest twist promises to lead to some fruitful storytelling in Ashe’s more than capable hands. This series just continues to get more intriguing with each new revelation.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Only days have passed since Vie Eliot’s murderous half-brother—a dangerous, out-of-control psychic—was stopped from killing the people Vie loves most, but Vie is ready for his life to return to normal. He has plans. Big plans. Make the cross country team, pick up his grades, and spend a lot of time with his boyfriend.
On the day of cross country tryouts, though, Vie finds one of the teachers dead—and Vie refuses to believe that the death was a suicide. As he searches for the killer, or killers, he discovers that a conspiracy exists in the small town of Vehpese: a conspiracy that might be older and deeper than Vie first suspects, a conspiracy of drugs and human trafficking that might also be tied, in some way Vie can’t quite understand, to his own abilities—and to the other psychic abilities in his town.
When the murderers turn their attention to Vie, though, he discovers that his powers might not be up to the task. He faces ghosts, ancient monsters, and even an evil substitute teacher, but unless he can confront his past, and the trauma that lies there, he might not manage to save the people he cares about.
He might not even survive himself.
Review: Strange things are afoot in Vehpese, Wyoming. And Vie Eliot might just be one of them. So, so much is revealed in The Dust Feast, book three in the Hollow Folk series, enough that I thought it was going to end in a trilogy, but just when I believed Gregory Ashe was going to wrap things up—boom baby!—he introduced something so mysterious and sinister that I’m feasting on the anticipation of the next book in this stellar series. As it turns out, Mr. Big Empty…isn’t Vie’s most formidable adversary.
The return of two girls, both of whom were presumed dead, is the catalyst for everything that comes after their dramatic return to Vehpese. Their miraculous reappearance went a long way in restoring Emmett Bradley’s rep—since he was under suspicion for their disappearances—but their return isn’t without its own suspicion. The girls may be playing a deadly game, one wrapped up in murder and corruption and tied together in a horrific web of criminal activity. Vie’s interactions with local entrepreneur and shady character, Lawayne Karkkanew, have only brought him closer to trouble with a capital T, and now Vie is in possession of a damning piece of evidence that someone is willing to kill him for.
One of the most prominent revelations in this installment of the series isn’t that Vehpese is a hotbed of crime, though. It’s that the town appears to be a virtual breeding ground of metaphysical activity, wrapped up in Native American mysticism, and Ashe peels back the thin veneer of a mundane small town to reveal that Vie is not alone in his extraordinary abilities. Now, the greater question may be, how did he ‘become’? And this is what I’ve come to love about this author’s storytelling prowess. There’s always a new element of intrigue. There’s never a dull moment, never a point where the story progresses at an off-pace or takes a wrong turn into unnecessary territory to the whole of the storyline. Every single moment is decisive and becomes another investment in the wholesale of the world Ashe is creating.
The townful of characters in this series is robust and delivers some strong antagonists—some who, by rights, should be the good guys; some who are incorporeal—as well as a system of support that Vie doesn’t always quite know how to manage. I love his best friend, Becca, a computer mastermind who is a significant cog in the story machine, and he’s now found a saving grace in Sara Miller, his foster mother. Vie’s still working out how to be a good boyfriend to Austin—while also trying to figure out the temptation and frustration that is Emmett Bradley. Vie works through some major hurdles in The Dust Feast, makes a significant breakthrough that allows him to tap deeper into his psychic abilities, and while he still grapples with processing his conflicting feelings for two very different boys, he also grows a lot in this book.
Once again, the author puts on full display his propensity for leading readers, with an Ariadne’s thread of narrative, into, around, and through a labyrinth that, in Vehpese, passes for reality. The pivotal climactic scene in this installment of the Hollow Folk series is vividly choreographed, and the newest twist promises to lead to some fruitful storytelling in Ashe’s more than capable hands. This series just continues to get more intriguing with each new revelation, and my fangirling of it grows with each new book I read.
You can buy The Dust Feast here:
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