Blood Red Road by Moira Young
Release Date: June 7, 2011
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Source: Galley from Simon & Schuster | Purchased final copy
Buy It: Amazon | Book Depository
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. – Goodreads
Hellooooo, new favorite book!
The first thing that makes this read different from others is the writing style. It has short and abrupt sentences, no quotation marks, and is written in Saba’s dialect which is grammatically incorrect. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness uses a similar technique, but Blood Red Road definitely takes it up a few notches. It took a few pages to get used to, but soon enough I was so completely wrapped in the story that I hardly noticed it. I could see this writing style turning some readers off, but I personally felt it gave the material a little more character.
The book is completely action packed! It opens with a sandstorm, four horsemen showing up, Saba’s father killed, and her twin brother, Lugh, captured by said horsemen. From there, we begin a journey with Saba to find and get Lugh back. Naturally there are quite a few bumps along the way — very intense bumps — but Saba proves what a complete badass she is, taking people down along the way and remaining unwilling to give up in her search for her brother.
Saba’s charm for me, though, is not how many punches she can pack, but how much of a flawed character she is. She’s selfish, stubborn, and can be very unlikable at times, but she’s also fierce, vulnerable, loyal, and it would be impossible not to empathize with the loneliness she feels without Lugh. She does love him to a fault, but she manages to grow throughout the course of the novel and becomes a bit more self-aware. This isn’t to say that she undergoes a magical transformation because, no, she does continue to screw up, but she’s beginning to take the steps out of his shadow and into her own identity. I’m very excited to see the continuation of her personal journey in the next books in the series.
JACK!!! I can’t have a review of this book without a mention of him. I absolutely LOVE him! Not only was the banter and tension between him and Saba delicious from the very beginning, but I wanted to give him a high five for being unafraid to call her out on her crap and her unfair treatment of Emmi. They’re such a perfect balance for each other! LOVE.
If I could pinpoint the one real issue I had with this book, it’s a certain event that happened in the last few pages. It completely took me by a surprise and I felt it was almost unnecessary. Perhaps it’s setting up something in the next books, but I’m skeptical since the characters seemed to move past it fairly quickly… This might bug me more later, but right now I’m just completely in love with the rest of the novel. This was a great debut from Moira Young and I’m looking forward to more from her, both in this series and any other future works.
I enjoyed this book so much that I’m giving away a final copy of it! The giveaway is international as long as The Book Depository ships to you (check here). The entry form will close on June 21, 2011 at 5pm PST and a winner will be selected using random.org. You don’t have to be a follower to enter, but it is appreciated!
A special shoutout goes out to Samita for pushing me in the right direction to read this one! ;)