Friday, March 02, 2012

Review: Blood Red Road by Moira Young

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Blood Red Road
Moira Young
Series: Dust Lands, #1
Release date: February 28th, 2012 (Paperback)
by Doubleday Canada

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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.

*A copy was provided by Random House Canada for review purposes*
After seeing all the wonderful reviews of this book, I was excited to see it appear at my doorstep, and I didn’t wait long to dive into it. A violent futuristic world, fast pace action, with a kick-butt heroine? Count me in! It delivers what it promises, as I instantly became absorbed in Saba’s journey to save her brother.

“Once, we could count on pullin a fish from the lake an a beast from our traps. Fer everything else, we planted some, foraged some, an all in all, we made out okay. But fer the last year, whatever we do, however hard we try, it jest ain’t enough, Not without rain. We bin watchin the land die, bit by bit.”

As you can see from the above quote, the first thing anyone will notice going into this will be the writing style. If you look at the reviews, some love it, and others hate it. Luckily, I am on the loving it side, though it helped that I knew what to expect going in. I read a short excerpt beforehand, and in turn, I had absolutely no problems getting into the story right away. I also could not imagine the book without it. It has character! It makes it so unique, so filled with personality that you can’t help but feel like Saba is sitting in front of you, recounting her journey. I’m telling you, I could hear her. It’s a brilliant way to give life to a story.

Saba is off to find her brother who’s been kidnapped, which also left her in charge of her pesky little sister. At first, Saba seemed like she was going to be a whiny, exasperating protagonist. She was awful to her sister, and a bit too reliant on her brother. However, as the story progresses, we get to see Saba grow and change into this strong-willed, feisty person overflowing with bravery. She never ceases to be extremely stubborn, even a bit too much at times where I wanted to scream at her for it. But for the most part, I loved her fearless personality and determination.

The world: So ugly, but so beautiful. The moving sand dunes, the everlasting nothingness, the red dust; everything is so impressive, yet intimidating. I constantly felt a sense of longing for the world that was. Even though Saba has never seen anything but, you can feel the loneliness everywhere. There are also hints of fantasy and magic elements throughout the novel that make it even more impressive, not to mention unnerving.

The book is not without a few flaws: Some turnabouts at the end felt a bit too Hollywood-like; The world itself left me with a few questions- some of the details are a bit fuzzy at the edges; Then the stars- all this intriguing astrology in the beginning that gets abandoned by mid-book. Though these are all pretty minor overall, and since this is the first in its series, it felt to me like we were sent off into a strong, fast pace story that concentrates on action and excitement at first, but will (hopefully) give us a more refined world building in the following installments.

Incredibly gripping and grossly entertaining, Blood Red Road sends us on a journey full of bumps and scrapes that will leave your heart pounding with energy. I highly recommend it to every fan of The Hunger Games. Oh, and there’s cage fighting! Enough said! 

4 Hot Espressos
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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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38 Responses to “Review: Blood Red Road by Moira Young”

  1. Amy

    I loved this book! I agree that I enjoyed the writing style. It made me able to connect better I think. Plus, I’m a girl who loves action. The fast pace was great for me. Saba is such an awesome character, and I totally loved her little sister by the end. Fantastic review cupcake!

  2. Giselle

    @JR & @Amy: Yay glad you both loved it! If the world building was a bit more complex it would have easily been a 5-star for me. I can’t wait for the sequel!

  3. Natalia Belikov @ Dazzling Reads

    kyaaaaa! awesme review my sweet! but…the unanswered question are for the rest of the series! so give this book the fifth xpresso cup it deserves! XDDDDDDDDDDD *dont be cheap with coffe!!* XDDD huhuhuh FIE! FIVE! FIVE! actually 100!! I loooooooove this book. I guess you noticed that XD I agree about the world. I couldt have describe my feelings towards it better than you!

    =D muah! have a lovely weekend my dear =D
    Dazzling Reads

  4. Giselle

    @Natalia Belikov: Bahaha. NAH! My coffee is limited! 😛 I’m just very picky for my 5s, but I still agree this one was really good! Glad you loved it Natalia! <3

  5. Amy

    This book just floored me when I read it. It was so unlike anything I’d ever read before. Like you say there are a couple of things about the world that sort of get left hanging or are not explained enough, but hopefully the second book will shed more light on Saba’s world. ^__^ I ♥ Jack!

  6. Lalaine

    I loved this book! so much! I thought Saba is a badass heroine. I love Jack too, their romance isnt what you can call cheesy but sizzling hot!

    Great review Giselle! as always

  7. Annette

    I said pretty much the same thing in my review. The dialect makes it seem like Saba is sitting with you telling you the story. Loved this one! Great review!

  8. Giselle

    Thanks ladies!

    @Annette: I’m sure a lot will find it’s like she’s talking to us. It really is. I just checked your review – funny we both said that almost exactly! >.<

    @Lalaine: Yes I liked the romance too and especially that it never took over the plot, it was there as a bonus to the story.

  9. Carina

    I’ve heard so many mixed things about this novel, but I’ve never stopped wanting to read it though. And you’re review makes me happy that I’m still planning to read it, even though I still need to get a copy sometime. 😀

    I’m really glad you liked it and shared your opinion with us! Lovely review. 🙂

    Fictional Distraction

  10. Mary @ BookSwarm

    I can’t even tell you how much I loved this book. Because it was so unusually written, it took me a little bit to get used to the language but WOW! Between the dunes and the cage fighting and the oh-so-determined main character, I was ensnared. Maybe the astrology (v. intriguing…) will return in book 2?

  11. Jules

    I have to admit the style of writing has put me off reading this but maybe I should just try it and see!

    Great review – I’m certainly more keen on trying this now.

  12. The Lovely Getaway

    I was fortunate enough to have met Mrs. Young at an author signing a couple months back. She was so lovely, not to mention funny…. I STILL havent picked up BRR 🙁 Major fail on my behalf. Hopefully that changes and soon! Maybe this weekend? :)haha! Will be back to compare thoughts…. fab review <3

    Diana @ The Lovely Getaway

  13. Giselle

    @Carina & @Jules: Some people just haven’t enjoyed the writing but a lot have also loved it (like me). I think you should try it!

    @Mary: I hope it does it was very intriguing and I wonder why it was part of the story so much at the start.

    @The Lovely Getaway: Wow lucky you! You really have to read it the writing is like nothing I’ve read before!

    For the others who haven’t read it- it’s a must! 😀

  14. Sam

    Awesome review! I’m so glad you liked this one too, Giselle. 😀 It took me a while to warm to the writing, but once I did, I thought the story was amazing! 🙂

  15. Katie @ BlookGirl

    I’ve had this on my list since I first heard about it. I am so glad to see that you enjoyed it, because I know I’ll enjoy it 🙂

    It seems like all of the first books in a series have flaws, but typically, the books afterward get better and better. I hope that’s the case with Blood Red Road.

    Great review, Giselle!

  16. Vivian

    I’m also one that loved it (after adjusting to the writing style). I may have to read it again after your great review.

  17. Tiffany

    I’ve had this one for quite awhile now but it’s still sitting on my shelf. I have no idea why I haven’t gotten to it yet but your review has totally made me want to bump it up on my to be read stack. Hopefully I’ll get to it soon. Great review!

  18. Melliane

    Oh nice! I didn’t know about this book but now I’m very intrigued. The world looks very interesting, it’s nice to have something like that. And what more can I ask for if the story is even really great.

  19. Rebecca (Kindle Fever)

    Oh, it does sound super interesting! I’m curious, but at the same time I’m unsure if it’s something for me. o: Gah. I love the sound of it though and people seem to really love it! Great review. You’re making me way too curious!

  20. A. Knight

    Cage fighting?!? You’re so right. Nuff said, yo.

    Or not. I’m just so intrigued by the premise of this. Fans of the Hunger Games friendly? Hmm… interesting.


  21. ❤ Vivian

    Thank you so much for this wonderful and detailed review, Giselle! I did not recognize it as a White Pine book at first because the cover was different..the name Saba brought me to realize, haha! Yes, I have heard students in my school really love it, or hate it. Thanks again for the fantastic review, I have another sense of what this book is like! Will read after my current WP book!

    Vivian @ Vivaciously, Vivian

  22. Jess

    This has been on my shelf for a few weeks, I think I want to read it next. The heroine sounds like one I would like.

  23. Lexie

    EEEEEEE. I’m so glad you liked it. *-* This is one of my very favorite dystopians. While the narration does take a little while to get into for some, like you said, it’s impossible to picture the book without it. It is just so Saba; I don’t think you could really get the full scope of her any other way.

    Fabulous review! 😀

  24. Candace

    I was pretty unsure about this book but that sample you gave us along with your review has me thinking I’ll have to give it a try for sure!