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 of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she had 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 serious 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. (goodreads)
When I first opened the book, I was a little skeptical about reading it. When the synopsis says 'minimal writing style', they weren't joking. It actually took me a couple of days to finally pick the book up and begin reading it. From that point on, I never regretted it. Here is an example of the writing style:
You ain't gotta choice, she says.
You cain't make me do nuthin, I says.
Oh you'll do ezzackly what I tell you, she says. (pg. 119 of ARC, subject to change)
I started off questioning the writing style and how anyone could like a story like this. In the end, I have to give kudos to whoever Young's editor was. At times while reading, I found myself wanting to fix everything. There is no way I would have been able to edit this, when things are supposed to be spelled phonetically and things of the sort. After all is said and done, I REALLY enjoyed the phonetical writing style. It gave a unique flavor and flow to the story.
Saba and her twin brother Lugh, along with their Pa and little sister Emmi, live in a desolate place in the middle of nowhere called Silverlake. Rarely anyone passes through and Saba and her family don't ever leave. Saba thinks it has to do with the fact that her mother died there. The water is drying up, it never rains and there is hardly any food. Something has got to give. One day, a huge sandstorm rolls through Silverlake and on its tail comes four cloaked men on horseback. These men grab Lugh and ride off into the desert. Saba makes a promise to Lugh as he's being captured that she will find him, and she is determined. She sets out on her own to travel across unfamiliar terrain in unfavorable conditions to save her beloved twin brother and bring him home. Along the way, Saba is caught in many unkind situations but somehow she always finds a way out... or makes a way out because NOTHING will keep her from getting to her brother. She also happens to find herself in the company of some intriguing people. They end up traveling with her for some time, even though she is determined to rescue her brother alone. She feels others will only slow her down, create problems or use her for their own gain.
Saba is an AMAZING protagonist. There are those reviews out there that say Saba is like Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games. I completely agree. She is strong, fierce, stubborn, determined and has some intense survival instincts. She is no damsel-in-distress. In fact, there is not a single one of those in this book. Every female you come across, regardless of age, is self-reliant and incredibly strong. The only thing that truly struck a chord with me was Saba's relationship with her little sister, Emmi. After her mother died, Saba only ever cared about one person and that was Lugh. She had not a care in the world for Emmi and was only ever nice to her when Lugh asked. It was amazing to see the growth in Saba and Emmi's relationship throughout the story. My other favorite character was, of course, Jack. He was funny, sly and so darn smooth. Their first time laying eyes on each other and the few sentences he and Saba spoke in the one passing were incredible and intense. Loved him from the beginning. I loved reading through their interactions. I loved their relationship, period. And it wasn't instantaneous and complete hormonal-teenage-angst. Saba is eighteen and Jack is in his mid-twenties, I believe.
The world building is wonderful and the characters are perfectly written. The pace of the story is fast and intense. Every page is full of adventure and action. I could not put this book down. As soon as I finished, I wanted to wrap myself back in the pages and never emerge. Blood Red Road is an amazing and promising debut from Moira Young. I recommend this book to anyone who has any interest in YA dystopians.
Release Date: June 07, 2011
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry (Simon & Schuster)
Pages: 477 (ARC)
Source: Book It Forward ARC Tours
Others in Series: n/a
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