Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Review: Blood Red Road

Title: Blood Red Road
Author: Moira Young
Genre: YA, Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic
See it at Goodreads 

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.

I was completely surprised by this book. It didn’t completely blow me away, and I had to take a while to adjust to the unique style of the language. But that’s what made it so intriguing and page-turning at the same time as well. It was unusual in its style--no dialogue tags, and because the MC is the narrator (first person) and she’s not as educated, everything flows in her own voice and language. It does take some getting used to, I must say, but once I did and got into the story, I was bound to it and the world-building.

I didn’t quite get the Hunger Games reference. I hate when people try to compare all the new popular dystopian/post-apocalyptic books to The Hunger Games just because it’s a bleak, future world. There’s nothing else to compare it to other than that and perhaps a strong female heroine. But seriously, the reviews with the comparisons I’ve read just have to stop… it’s annoying. It stands out as its own story, with its own unique characters and world. Just saying.

I really liked the pet crow. Haha. Like our everyday pets now like our cats and dogs, the crow had a personality all on its own. I thought that was beyond awesome--and I normally don’t say “awesome” in my reviews too often, but it really was. The details were nicely done, though sometimes scarce I felt, because I did struggle at times to envision the scenery. It was the emotion that really kept me into the story. A sister/brother bond can be really close, and I felt Ms. Young did exceptionally well at showing this. I would go to the ends of the Earth for my own brother, too.

Maybe I’m just picky, but I would have really enjoyed it more if I’d known what led to this world. There are bits of the old past laying around, and Saba describes it when she stumbles upon it (old airplanes especially perplex her), but I was left wanting to know what had happened to our life. What led to our world to be in this state? Of course, this adds to the mystery of the story, and gives the reader a sense of gloom, I guess…and I can only add more kudos to the author on this building tension. It’s suspenseful and the plot paces nicely. I couldn’t put it down once I was engaged, despite the unique and strange narration that took a little getting used to. In the end, I grew to love the style and felt like I had Saba sitting beside me in person, telling me everything herself.

Highly enjoyed and I look forward to the next.

4 stars!



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