Devils Unto Dust by Emma Berquist
Glory, Texas sits in the middle of the West Texas plains. Full of dust and hard-living, Glory isn’t a town for the weak of heart or spirit. In fact, no place is, not after the slow plague ten years ago that turned those infected into Shakes, not quite human creatures who are always looking for their next victim. Glory and other town are able to keep the Shakes at bay with fencing and shake-hunters, rough men who go outside the safe boundaries to hunt them down.
Willie, aka Daisy Wilcox, is trying her hardest to make ends meet for her and her family. Willie’s mother succumbed to the infection and she isn’t sure if Mother is dead or alive. Her father, the local drunk, is never home except to steal the hard earned money she ekes out. But then he goes one step further.
One day, Willie’s home is approached by some very rough shake hunters who are looking for Willie’s father and the money he stole from them. Now, it’s up to her to find her father and return the money or lives will be at stake. With the help of two young shake-hunters, Willie must travel to the next town over…across the plain riddled with Shakes…
Once forced out, she sees the reality and horror of life outside Glory. With only two inexperienced shake hunters and unexpected visitors, Willie isn’t sure she’ll make it to the next town. And then….
Berquist takes the setting of the Texas plains and weaves a dystopic tale where not quite zombie-like creatures can be more terrifying than the natural predators of the plains. This will capture the attention of those wanting more horror dystopia set within a future Western. What makes this book even more unique is the Western aspect of the novel itself, which is hard to find in current YA fiction collections. Recommended 7th-12th grades.
Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics
2015, Harlequin Teen
Amanda and her family have lived their lives in the woodlands. Her father, a trapper, maintained a decent living while she and her siblings helped her mother around the house. The last winter was a bad one for the entire family, especially her mother, but Amanda has a lot to be happy about, especially her trysts in the forest with the love of her life.
But things change. When Amanda finds out she’s pregnant, she desperately needs to hide the fact, especially after she is shunned by the one person she thought loved her. Her father fears another brutal winter will further hurt the health of his family. With that in mind, he decides to move his family to the prairie lands across the mountains. A long drive, but perhaps this is what Amanda needed….a fresh start.
The entire family makes the drive to their new homestead, where Amanda’s father was told he could pick from several abandoned houses as his own. Things look up for the family. They pass other homesteaders who wave in the distance to them. Mother is doing well taking care of the baby, who can neither hear or see, and her little brother and sister, while tired, are healthy and curious.
But once they find a home, the horror begins….little does Amanda nor her family know the house they selected has a gory past, and one that will quickly rise up to greet them.
Sometimes you can’t run far or fast enough….
Talk about CREEPY. This was definitely a page-turner where the author left a crumb trail only to lead the reader right into the edge of horror, death and hauntings. This is truly a novel for those YA readers who absolutely love true horror, not just supernatural. Recommended 9-12th grades