Book Review: Oil and Dust by Jami Fairleigh

Reviewed: September 5th, 2021
Released: September 1st, 2021
Genre: Fantasy

Artist Matthew Sugiyama can alter the physical world with his art. As the top student graduating from the prestigious Popham Abbey, Matthew Sugiyama’s future is secure… until he bucks convention and begins a journey to find answers about his birth family. The trouble is, he doesn’t know who or where they are.

Determined to find answers, but without a clear destination, Matthew sets out on horseback across a post-technology world, guided only by random flashes of a vision or long-buried memory. Using his skills as an artist to barter for hospitality and supplies, Matthew soon learns his sheltered upbringing has left him wholly unprepared to face the obstacles on the road or his unexpected yearning to join the communities he encounters. When he uncovers a mysterious adversary’s plan to harm the people he’s come to care for, Matthew must decide what’s more important; the adopted family he has created, or his need for answers about his past.

And once it’s revealed, it could tear this world apart…

Helen’s thoughts: 5/5

Oh wow! What a terrific book. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading this book but it is thought provoking, moving and beautifully written.

Fairleigh has written a winner here.

Matthew is an artist, and not an ordinary artist, living in a post apocalyptic world. A world where politics, religion, and greed are no more, along with most technology. A sense of community and looking out for each other has grown out of the ruins of Before. Working together, and for each other these communities welcome travellers who barter for food and lodging with their skills.

Being an artist, Matthew is much sought after, as he can change things with his paintings.

But Matthew doesn’t want to settle in a community, he is restless, needs answers about his family, and where he came from. Only those answers are not easily found, and someone keeps putting obstacles in his way.

Mathew is a heart warming character, no means perfect but lovable all the same, and he attracts like-minded people, or rescues most of them! Akiko is adorable, as are so many of the other characters, from Josephine to Charcoal. Each perfectly drawn, someone you would like to meet.

Fairleigh has created an interesting world, beautifully described. An insight into how life could be without the need for power, though of course not all are happy living in peace, even after the history of Before.

A wonderful book, you should buy it now. I was fortunate enough to receive an ARC copy, but I bought my own copy anyway. Oil and Dust is definitely one to add to the book collection.

About the author:

Jami Fairleigh is a writer, urban planner, and hobby collector from Washington. She shares her life with a husband, a trio of well-mannered horses, a pair of dubiously behaved parrots, and one neurotic dog. You can find her and more information about her writing at

Author website


Oil and Dust is available on Amazon.

Link to book on Amazon UK: eBook | Paperback | Hardcover

Link to book on Amazon US: eBook | Paperback | Hardcover

If you enjoy fantasy books then you will love my books which are available in eBook or paperback: Book One: Sentinals Awaken. Book Two: Sentinals Rising. Book Three: Sentinals Justice (Preorder). Sign up to my newsletter and download a free novella called Sentinals Stirring and get notified when my next books are published.

Success! You're on the list.