16 July 2012

YA Book Review: Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Release Date: 7 June 2011
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

Get a copy! Amazon | B&N

Goodreads description:
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 bearing four cloaked horsemen, Saba’s world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on a quest to get him back. Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba discovers she is 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.
My Thoughts...

I tried to pick up Blood Red Road for the first time last summer and the prose threw me for a loop and I couldn't get into it at the time. After hearing an abundance of great things about the book, I bought it on a whim, determined to try again someday. Well, this weekend was finally that "someday," and I am quite glad that I gave it a chance. Blood Red Road is action-packed--from the moment the reader meets Saba through her harrowing journey to save her brother, Ms. Young pulls out all the stops and throws you into a dangerous world.
There's a knife in my gut. It twists, rips me open. With every heartbeat, it slides in a bit further. I cain't feel such pain an live. I wrap my arms around my body, double over. My mouth opens in a silent scream. (33)
Saba is the type of protagonist that I love following through a story. She's incredibly fierce and I love a good, strong female. Her determination to save her brother makse her likeable, while her spitfire attitude toward her little sister and many others she encounters add an element of humanity and darkness to her. She's not going to let anything get in her way--be it cage-fighting or a strange, new attraction to a tall, dark, and handsome boy. She's a little bit of everything rolled into a fierce young woman. You'll love and hate her practically in the same sentence. Every character in this book is well-developed, too, not just Saba. I loved them all--Emmi, Jack, Maev, Epona, Ash, Ike, Tommo.
They call me the Angel of Death. that's because I ain't never lost a fight. Every time they take me to the Cage, I let the red hot take me ove ran it fights till it wins. (153)
The dialect in this book is a bit hard to get into. I felt like it took me longer to get into the flow of the story. By the end I came to appreciate the brash language and understood the decision to use it, it still took longer for me to feel completely immersed. There were also a few things that didn't quite sit right with me. I liked the romance element between Saba and Jack and appreciated that Saba didn't instantly fall into his arms, but the back-and-forth between them seemed too drawn out and some of their dialogue felt scripted and not as true to their characters as I felt it could have been. I also wish I knew more about the Wreckers and the background leading up to the world we enter. The Wreckers are mentioned in a number of scenes, but I had a hard time envisioning what led the world to the point that its at.
His name's Jack. Heat burns into me. Crawls over my skin. A trickle of sweat runs down my chest. I pull out the heartstone tucked safe inside my vest. It's warm. No. Hot. That's strange. I look at the sky. The sun's dyin in the west. The day should be coolin down. But it feels like high noon. White hot. (180)
In the end, Blood Red Road did win me over with its dangerous world and fierce characters. By the end I had a hard time tearing myself away from the story, and I'm definitely looking forward to reading the follow-up novel this fall. I think it's a great read if you're looking for a kick-butt, crossbow-shooting, cage-fighting female protag (even if you didn't know that's what you were looking for). Saba's story will draw you in with even sarcastic, unfeeling comment that leaves her mouth and every moment where she steps out of character to help those around her. Her fierce attitude and her dangerous journey (which ends up being just as much as resuce mission as a journey of self-discovery) will pull you in and get your blood pumping.

3 comments:

Danny Bookworm said...

Hm I read a few times before that the dialect is hard to read. And it might be espeically challenging for me since I'm not a native english speaking person... But it does sound like you enjoyed it so I might have to give it another try..

Molli @ Once Upon a Prologue said...

I've heard some great things about this one. The language and dialect could be bit frustrating, I think, but you make the story sound so darned GOOD, Jessi!

Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

AMY FOURNIER said...

I'm glad you were able to pick this one back up and really enjoy it. It took me a bit to get used to the way they talk too, but it really is wonderful once you get into it. I loved this book in the end. I am really looking forward to Rebel Heart.

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