Keep together. Keep your eyes open. Keep your wits about you.
The desert is unkind in the best of times. And the decade since the Civil War has been anything but the best of times for Daisy Wilcox—call her Willie—and her family. This tense, heart-pounding alternate history about a young woman fighting to survive the unthinkable will keep fans of Westworld and The Walking Dead reading late into the night.
A horrifying sickness has spread across the West Texas desert. Infected people—shakes—attack the living, and the surviving towns are only as safe as their perimeter walls are strong. The state is all but quarantined from the rest of the country. Glory, Texas, is a near ghost town. Still, seventeen-year-old Willie has managed to keep her siblings safe, even after the sickness took their mother. But then her good-for-nothing father steals a fortune from one of the most merciless shake hunters in town, and Willie is left on the hook for his debt. With two young hunters as guides, Willie sets out across the desert to find her father. And the desert holds more dangers than just shakes.
This riveting debut novel blends True Grit with 28 Days Later for an unforgettable journey.
“A tale of survival as gritty as its desert setting. Stubbornness, strength and survival come head to head with blowing sands and creeping sickness in this feminist tale.” — Mindy McGinnis, author of the award-winning The Female of the Species
“I could vividly feel the heat, desperation, heartache and hope. Devils Unto Dust is truly a zombie western with heart!” — Kristin Trevino, Irving Public Library
“Much like the undead Willie fights, once this story grabs you, it won’t let go. Prepare to be consumed.” — Ryan Graudin, award-winning author of Wolf by Wolf
“Berquist cleverly riffs on the work of Cormac McCarthy, blending the excitement and harsh beauty of the frontier with a straight shot of zombie terror. This wild western will delight horror and adventure fans alike.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Dark and gritty, this ...novel doesn’t shy away from death or danger. Berquist wonderfully balances the pace of the plot. ...Full of surprising twists and turns, this is a story of determination and perseverance as well as survival in hard times.” — School Library Journal
“Die-hard fans of the zombie genre will find a new, carefully hewn setting to sink their teeth into and a gritty protagonist to root for. ...an audacious climax and Willie’s nerves of steel elevate this suspense adventure. A refreshing genre-bender.” — Kirkus Reviews
“All the hallmarks of a classic Western are here, from the greasy bad guys to the stoic gunslinger on a quest to a dusty Texas setting...A girl with a gun and a slew of shambling zombies make for quick entertainment, and Willie’s desert trek will have readers riveted.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“With a setting unlike any other in young adult fiction—where horror meets western—and a fast-paced narrative with strong characters, Berquist’s debut, genre-bending novel is sure to entice the zombie-loving crowd as well as adventure seekers.” — Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
“Berquist strikes an appealing balance between the Western and “infected” genres. ...all sorts of readers should be drawn in to this absorbing hybrid tale in which the people are far more monstrous than the monsters.”
— The Horn Book