Blood Red Road (Dust Lands #1) by Moira Young
Publication Date: June 7, 2011
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
My Copy: ePub eBook
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 voices in teen fiction.
I had heard really good things about Blood Red Road and of course the quote on the cover — “Better than The Hunger Games . . . This book will blow you away.” — made me want to read it! Better than The Hunger Games? No way! But, even if it’s close, I gotta check it out. So, I started reading it and was thrown into this crazy writing style. K, the characters in this society have accents and say things like “jest” instead of “just” and “an” instead of “and” and so on. But, the thing that I found really strange was that this twang of theirs was in the narration as well as the dialogue. If it was just the dialogue, it wouldn’t have been as bad. Oh, and there’s no quotation marks! What? This drove me nuts! I wanted to stop reading at the beginning. I read one chapter and was like okay, I can’t read a whole book like this! It’s going to take me forever to get through! But … but … I had heard such great things about it. So, I went on Goodreads to look at some reviews. Most of them complained about the writing and how it’s hard to get through, but once you get used to it, it’s soooo worth it. So, I proceeded.
The story was good. There was a good amount of action and a touch of romance. This story takes place in a dystopian society, but it’s not clear that it’s a dystopia right away. The narrator, Saba, and her family live isolated, away from any cities or any other people. But, then, some strangers come and kidnap Saba’s brother, Lugh, destroying her family and everything she’s ever known. So, she goes on an adventure in an attempt to come to Lugh’s rescue and learns a lot about her society along the way.
The characters were okay. I’m not sure they were all too memorable, but they were good enough. I hated Saba at first. I didn’t like the way she treated her little sister, Emmi. But, Saba grows throughout the novel and becomes likeable. Jack is Saba’s love interest. He is very likeable. But, I wouldn’t say he’s one of my favourite leading men.
Overall, I liked this book. It was definitely NOT better than The Hunger Games! I would recommend it for the story, but I think an audio book version would probably be better. I read this book with my husband and, at a certain point, we decided it might be better if we took turns reading it aloud to each other. It was better. But, it took way longer. I liked that this book stands apart from most other novels in the Dystopia genre. Extra points for uniqueness! I am also interested in reading the second book in the series, Rebel Heart, but I’m not dying to have it.