Thursday, March 8, 2012

Review: Blood Red Road

Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.
Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.
Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetically minimal writing style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction.
Summary from Goodreads
Review: The first thing I noticed about this book when I picked it up was the spelling and grammar. Some people loved it, some people hated it. Me? I liked it, but found it a bit annoying. The deliberately misspelled words really added to Saba's character and helped me focus on her perspective instead of mine. Admittedly, when I first started Blood Red Road I thought Saba was like a hillbilly or pirate. Like most stylistic things, it grew on me. (I missed the dialogue tags so much. Never will I ever take quotation marks for granted again.) This book wouldn't have been the same without the different narration and I felt like it was perfect for this book.
I'll admit something before I start the rest of the review. I love reading about sibling relationships in books. Twin relationships are my favorite because I'm a twin and authors always make it seem more awesome than it actually is.

The story basically starts when Saba's twin brother Lugh, is kidnapped from their house in the middle of nowhere. Saba promises him that she'll come after him. And she does indeed go after him...with lots of complications, of course. It wouldn't be a story without complications.

Saba is not a hero. She's also not downright awful either. She's one of those characters that are so gray that depending on who's perspective the book's told in, she can be described as a good or bad character. She's a bit like Katniss from the Hunger Games or Katsa from Gracleing.  I, for one, loved her. She's not very nice to her younger sister (actually, she's a complete bitch to her in the majority of the book) but Saba is such a strong character. Everything that can go wrong (and worse) does go wrong for Saba but she continued to keep going and going and going after her brother. Nothing could break her spirit and I admired her a lot for that. Saba was so emotionally flawed almost to the point of being unlikable, but she grew on me over time.

The world building wasn't the main focus of the story, but her world scared me. The drug they used to control the workers reminded me a lot of Across the Universe by Beth Revis. And the desert. It was both frightening and sad how when she sands shifted, they'd bury everything in this bright red dust. While Saba traveled in the desert, it felt like the desert itself was its own character. (Haha, gotcha there! I have no qualms about spoiling books I'm not reviewing. Feel free to hit me now) The world building wasn't very fantastic because it wasn't a main focus of the novel. Blood Red Road was a journey, and it read like one.

Can I talk about the supporting characters without giving away spoilers? Yes? No? Maybe? I'm unsure how to talk about any of them without giving away spoilers, so let's just leave it at this; they rock. I loved Saba's friends so much in this book. All of them were so loyal and so real.

They didn't try to coddle Saba (like she needed coddling) and they weren't afraid to shy away from the truth. (By "they" I mean the love interest who shall not be named)

Blood Red Road was a fast paced and thrilling read. It would've been a great standalone book but there are still many parts left to be tied in the sequel. Moira Young has set up an amazing story in book one and I can't wait to see what she has in store for us in the next book!

Rating: 5/5

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