Henry Whelp is a big bad wolf—or will be,someday. The only son of the infamous Red Riding Hood Killer, Henry is worried that he may be following in his father's violent footsteps. He tries to distance himself from his past, and avoids the other teens at St. Remus Home for Wayward Youth, a detention centre in Dust City—a rundown, gritty metropolis known for its production of fairydust. But when Henry's psychiatrist turns up dead, Henry finds himself on a trail of clues that may lead to proof of his father's innocence—and the horrifying secret behind fairydust.
In his second novel for young readers (and his first for teens), Weston (Zorgamazoo) includes a few familiar fairytale names, like a Jack who nabs a bag of magic beans and "Detective Inspector White" (an audacious, modern Snow White). But this noirish page-turner is no bedtime story. Once, there were fairies whose dust brought health and happiness to Dust City, but 16-year-old Henry Whelp a talking, walking wolf is locked in a world where the fairies have disappeared and a pale form of fairydust is an addictive catchall drug made by powerful corporations. When he escapes juvenile detention to see his imprisoned father, who believes fairies are still around but captured by the corporations, Henry finds a hopeful romance with a wolf named Fiona and becomes dangerously entangled with ruthless mobsters. Clever use of iconic characters and fairytale symbols against a hardboiled backdrop contribute to Weston's distinctive and highly imaginative mise en sc ne. Though Henry knows that not all fairytales have happy endings, his scrappy determination to restore good should have readers avidly following him through the grimy streets of his brutal world. Ages 12 up.