review: blood red road by moira young

Author: Moira Young
Publication Date: 06/07/2011
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry 
Pages: 512
Source: e-ARC

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. (goodreads)

To be honest I didn't even read the synopsis before I read this book. I saw the cover, read the title and that was that. That might not work for everyone, but for me it was pleasant coming in without knowing too much as I almost felt as if I were figuring things out just as Saba was, growing along the way. Rather than talking about the beginning of the story I'll just say that this book is about family, relationships and how both of these things help us grow as a person, even the relationships we don't care much to have.

One of the main reasons I loved this book - and I did love this book - were the characters. Each and every one of them were fleshed out enough to get to know them without needing to tell their entire life story. We learn more about them as we need to which keeps just the right balance of character knowledge satisfaction and intrigue. There were good characters and bad characters but they were all interesting. One of them in particular I would have never in a million years guessed would be fashioned after a historical figure but was and it was perfect. And for Saba, well, she's a character that we need more of in YA literature. She's strong and stubborn but smart and incredibly loyal. The best way to describe Saba is that she is for all intents and purposes a real person with real problems and worries and this is partially why I could relate to her even if her world and situation are different from mine.

Some people might have problem with the writing style of this book, and I did with the first 20 pages or so, but after that I forgot all about it, which is good, as the dialect and diction fit the setting and characters so well that I'm still marveling about it. The sentences are brief and there are no quotation marks anywhere but as you read more about the characters it all starts to fall into place.

If I could do a mashup Blood Red Road would be Gladiator meets the book version of The Road.

This is a book that would have been just fine as a stand-alone but ends in a place where you're left happy about the ending but still thinking about the characters which is good because there are more books coming and no complaints from me about it. I would recommend this book to anyone. It was a fantastic read overall and completely refreshing from everything else that I've read lately. I want a copy for my bookshelf.

3 comments on "review: blood red road by moira young"

Jenny wrote: Mon May 23, 10:30:00 PM

Wanting a copy for your bookshelf is high praise indeed! It does sound rather intriguing.

kaye (paper reader) wrote: Thu May 26, 11:50:00 PM

It really is a good book. Although I might say that it's a great story regardless which makes it into an even better book. I think it's the realness of it that makes it stand out.

Natalie wrote: Fri Sep 09, 12:09:00 AM

This book was just recommended to me today by one of my friends, so I'm glad to hear a second great review of it! Characterization is probably the most important element of a book for me, so I was really glad to hear you mention that!

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