Blood Red Road by Moira Young
Series: Dust Lands #1
Published by Simon and Schuster on June 7th 2011
Genres: Young Adult
The book that will “blow you away”** has a dazzling new look in paperback!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 four cloaked horsemen capture Lugh, Saba's world is shattered, and she embarks on a quest to get him back. Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the outside world, Saba discovers she is a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba’s unrelenting search for Lugh stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization. Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetic writing style, and an epic love story—making Moira Young is one of the most exciting new voices in teen fiction.
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.
“The hellwurms is awake. An they’re comin up to feed.” (352)
Welcome to Blood Red Road, where things start out bad, and they are always certain to get worse. I have so much love for this book. It’s sort of like a mix of Hunger Games and The Book of Eli. The main character, Saba, her twin brother Lugh, and their little sister, Emmi, are living a normal, although not very pleasant life, until one day, four riders in black show up and take Lugh. Saba embarks on a journey across a dangerous and mostly barren land to find him.
I’m going to list the things I loved about this book. Because really, this is how I felt by the end:
“They said you were the Angel of Death, he says. He takes a step towards me, blood gushin out from between his fingers. I didn’t believe them.” (447).
Saba. Thank you for being awesome. I know people don’t like you because you make some dumb, irrational decisions there in the second half, but I appreciate you. Sure, those irrational decisions were annoying. Wow. What a heroine. She has her stubborn, irritating moments, but most of the time, she’s off beating somebody up, or just being awesome. She even gains the nickname “Angel of Death” after being forced into cage fighting. She can take care of herself, or at least she learns how to. No damsel in distress here!
Jack. Oh I have so much love for this boy. Charming, funny, mischievous, resourceful. I adored his character. I knew from the first minute he appeared that I was going to love him. Jack and Saba’s relationship was one of mutual care and friendship, leading up to a well-developed, realistic romance. There was obviously attraction at the beginning, but there was no leaping into a relationship without knowing the other person at all. I loved reading the arc of their relationship; it was fun to see how Jack’s opinion and welfare became increasingly important to Saba.
“I laugh. Yer crazy, I says. I was fine till I met you, he says.” (380).
The Free Hawks. A band of girl revolutionaries who travel by horseback and carry bows and arrows.
Saba’s pet crow Nero. “Once Jack found out how good Nero was at countin, he carved a pair of dice an taught him how to play. Nero throws one at a time, usin his beak.” (326). I kind of love giving human characteristics to animals. Maybe it’s the Disney syndrome, but Nero was such a fun character.
The King. Always talks in third person. Certainly made him seem WAY more crazy. Although, once they actually met him, I knew instantly that he wasn’t necessarily the one running all the madness. He was too fluffy. Like, there was no way he was smart enough or evil enough or clever enough to be behind everything.
Things I DIDN’T like. This list is considerably shorter.
1) Emmi. Oh my gosh I wanted Saba to just leave her somewhere to die. She never did what she was told and always ended up getting someone killed or captured. And after a while, she always had good intentions for the stupid things she did, so everyone was like, it’s ok Emmi. You got so and so killed, but you were just trying to help.
2) The language took some getting used to since it wasn’t proper grammar and things were spelled wrong. It definitely added to the style of the book, but it bothered me for a while. Then I discovered the book was awesome, and it ceased to annoy me.
There were quite a few comments in other reviews that were annoyed with the Heartstone, but the romantic in me loved it. So, no complaints here. I mean, a magical stone that heated up whenever you heart’s desire was around (AKA JACK)? I kind of thought it was adorable.
So original; at least it wasn’t like anything I’ve ever read.