Young Adult Book Review: Vanished From Dust by Shea Norwood

Over the past few years, I have really grown to enjoy young adult, paranormal mysteries and thrillers.  Of course, I often find myself quickly previewing these books before my daughters read them since their reading levels and a books' age appropriateness do not always mesh well.  I recently had the opportunity to read and review Vanished From Dust by author Shea Norwood.  What did I think of the book?

I received an advanced release copy of this book for review.  All opinions are my own.  We may also receive slight compensation from affiliate linking within our posts.

Quick Summary of Vanished From Dust by Shea Norwood. 
He sees them watching, and waiting...Fourteen-year-old Eric Stark is not insane. Or at least he doesn’t think he is. 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? Now everyone knows that crazy train Eric sees phantoms.

No one understands. He's alone until Kyle Barrett moves to town. This new friendship drives Eric to seek the truth with Kyle by his side. They soon realize that something sinister is happening to the people 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 in 1922?

They set out on a heart-stopping adventure and find themselves lost in a disturbed and deserted version of their small Texas 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.Will they survive their encounter with these dark and mysterious beings? 

Vanished From Dust is a fast paced page turner.  I read this book in one evening sitting.  It's a quick, easy to follow storyline that pulls readers into the characters' lives and keeps them turning pages all the way to the very last words.  Some of the plot twists are predictable--but the story itself has a slightly different feel than so many of teen hero/heroine paranormal themed novels.  Norwood does a nice job building suspense throughout the books' scenes--and even creating a few spine tingling chills every now and then.

Norwood creates wonderful characters and a well balanced storyline.  The young characters in Vanished From Dust remain realistic teens--and the parents are portrayed as fairly realistic parents.  While the main characters are perhaps a little brighter and more perceptive than many teens, Norwood portrays Eric and Kyle as young boys--not superheros or adults.  I loved the characters and the chemistry between the boys that was so well illustrated.  Readers will simply want the boys to succeed in their well played adventures..

Vanished From Dust ends in a cliffhanger.  I did not realize that this book was part of a series when I opted to read and review it--so I found myself a bit surprised as the book's action ended and the boys' stories were not yet resolved.  It doesn't leave readers feeling let down--it leaves readers absolutely ready to continue the story!  

Would I recommend Vanished From Dust by Shea Norwood?  I loved this book and will certainly read future books from this series and author.  While younger tweens could certainly read, understand and enjoy the book--I think it's best suited for older middle school ages and teens.  Some of the paranormal scenes may be a little difficult for younger imaginations.   This is a wonderful introduction to characters with a unique storyline that is well suited to a series.

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About the Author:
Shea Norwood is a West Texas native that currently lives in the DFW area with his wife and son. He's an avid reader and enjoys the craft of writing. The fictional town of Dust is loosely based on a small town south of Odessa, TX.

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