Blood Red Road by Moira Young

19 04 2012

 

 

 

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 new voices in teen fiction.

 

Blood Red Road can be added to the list of books that I desperately wanted to read but could not (beside others like Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Legend ). I finally managed to procure a copy of this book, after seeing many people’s excited reactions to this novel, and above all, I simply think that the book was alright.
The plot of the book seems maybe destined better for a movie. The book has already been optioned of course, and I’m sure if the movie is produced the movie will be fast paced and interesting (and hopefully stay true to the book at least a bit). Saba’s brother Lugh goes missing, she sets out to find him with a cast of somewhat quirky characters and warriors–it’s a traditional quest. It’s a good quest but nothing particularly new. The plot flies through quickly, and it’s easy to fly through, a popcorn read that’s perfectly fit towards a movie.

It was easy for me to guess the plot, even as I was touched by some of the sweeter moments in the story. Some of the symbolism (particularly the heartstone necklace) seemed over the top and the romance was always in sight. Through and through, Blood Red Road is a popcorn read.

In terms of the dialect, I found it easy enough to read. It was fairly similar to our writing, and the characters seemed like they were talking in slang. The fact that there were no quotation marks stumbled me off first but I grew used to being without them. As I read the book, I kind of thought that there would be more remarks on Saba being illiterate. There are a few times (people try and get her to read books and maps) but I thought it would have been remarked on more. Then again, maybe having it remarked on too much would have become cumbersome to the story.

I enjoyed the characters, and I think Emmi was my favorite. (It may or may not have been because she reminds me, in a way, of my younger sister.) Saba was a strong female “bad-ass” character and she did really grow, which impressed me. I felt that maybe she and Jack kissed too much, but that may be my NO ROMANCE! bells dinging off inside my head. I liked how the author handled their romance, as they did some things that weren’t appropriate for the situation at times, and I liked how their romance “ended” at the end of the book but was also kept open-ended. Jack was a good romantic lead and I liked how his personality contrasted with Saba’s. The rest of the gang were interesting enough, but other than Ike I felt I never really got to know the other sidekick’s personalities well enough.

Above all, I thought this book was decent — and if it goes to the movie theaters (which it may invetably do, or it may stall as many adaptations of books do) I might enjoy Blood Red Road more.

3.5 stars

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