18 January, 2013

book review

Blood Red Road (Dust Lands #1) by Moira Young

Publication Date: June 7, 2011
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
My Copy: ePub eBook
Source: Purchased

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.

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My Review

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.

3_5 stars blue
A Peek Inside:
I’m startin to git that feelin agin. The jumpy
feelin, deep in my gut, that means somethin big’s
about to happen. I don’t know ezzackly what it is,
but I’m gonna be ready fer it. I used to git it 
before I went into the Cage. 
 
It’s the red hot. It’s on the rise.

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Posted 18 January, 2013 by Sam in Book Reviews, Books / 9 CommentsTags: , , , ,


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9 Responses to “Review: Blood Red Road”

  1. I brought this book up to school with me to read in my free time (so, who knows when!) I’ve heard a lot of good things too. I was actually really attracted to this book by the cover. It looks like a western-style dystopian, which seems like an exciting concept. I really enjoyed your review. I have to agree that slang outside of dialoge is inappropriate in my eyes. Within dialoge – fine, but NOT in professional writing. I like when authors toy with new writing styles though, such as the lack of quotations. It needs to be done with definitive style though in order to work. Hmm, I think I’ll still give this one a read. That cover is just SO intriguing!

    • I agree with you about the cover; it’s really cool. Yeah, I definitely recommend for anyone to try to read it. If you can get past the writing style (or if it just doesn’t bother you), it is a good story. Thanks for visiting! 🙂

  2. I’m looking forward to thie one, but it’s a shame that the characters were only okay, hopefully the next one will be better 🙂
    I grabbed your button – your blog background is so pretty by the way 🙂

  3. I too had heard such great things about The Blood Red Road so I bought myself a Hardcover copy. (I really like the cover). Like you, I couldn’t get into the phonetic spelling of the vernacular. Something about it kept throwing me off. I’m usually not that picky about such things and usually just roll with it. I put the book down after about 20 pages or so. After reading your review, I’m going to give it another shot. Thanks!

  4. HI! I’ve seen the rating of this book on goodreads and saw it has high rank so I started reading this book but didn’t finished it because of the weird dialogues. It’s good to know that I’m not the only one weirded out by the dialogues and the no quotation marks thingy. I haven’t read any other review of this book aside from this but i’ll give it a shot and read it again. Thanks for giving honest opinions about the book! This really helped to finish it. 🙂 More power to you blog!

  5. I have heard such amazing things about this, but I haven’t read it yet. The writing style is definitely something that I would have to get used to, but I think I could manage. The lack of quotations, though. That might drive me nuts. Otherwise, I think I want to at least give it a shot for the experience. It sounds like an epic story. Thanks for the review!