Tuesday 4 September 2012

Review: Blood Red Road - Moira Young

The dustlands beyond remote Silverlake are ruined and lawless. Saba, born and raised there, has hardly ever seen a traveller pass. Until the day black-robed riders arrive in search of her brother. They have been waiting to take him all his life.

Lugh is gone, and with him half of Saba's soul. She must find her twin, and nothing but death itself will stop her. On her dangerous journey, accompanied by a clever crow, Saba needs courage and a spirit as strong and sharp as her crossbow to survive. Along the road come enemies and allies - and mysterious young man with eyes the colour of moonlight . . .

Blood Red Road is an epic adventure set in a violent future world. Its unique style will make every reader's heart beat faster.

Dustlands Series:
Blood Red Road
Rebel Heart
Title & release date for the 3rd book to be confirmed

Visit the Dustlands Facebook Page for more information

I have seen very mixed reviews of the writing style of Blood Red Road and I can understand why some people found it hard to read but I have to say that was one of my favourite things about the book. I'll admit it took a couple of pages to get into the rhythm of things - the story is told by Saba and her lack of any kind of education shines through in her phonetic spelling and the complete lack of quotation marks but that just makes her voice completely unique compared to anything else I've read. The book stands out immediately because of that and I found it was surprisingly easy to read once I got started. I have seen a lot of people say that they struggled with the style though so it might be worth reading a sample before investing in the book.

Writing style aside Moira Young has created a harsh futuristic world where food and water is hard to come by. The land is mainly desert and the few areas that are populated aren't really places you'd want to visit. Saba has grown up far from civilisation with only her family for company, they are so far from anyone else that they rarely even see people passing through. The person Saba is closest to is her twin brother Lugh, they have been inseparable since they were born and never spend any time apart. Her father hasn't been the same since their mother died while giving birth to her younger sister Emmi and has been retreating further away from them with every day that passes. Life in the wilds isn't easy for the family and it is getting very difficult for them to find enough food to support themselves but their father refuses to leave their mother's resting place. Everything changes for the family the day four armed horse riders appear and kidnap Lugh. Saba doesn't know why her brother was taken but she vows that she will find him no matter where he has been taken. So begins her epic journey across the desert to find the missing part of herself.

As much as I was instantly drawn into the story by Saba's voice I have to admit that I didn't find her the most sympathetic character at the beginning of the book. Lugh is the centre of her world and she doesn't seem to have any time or feelings for anyone else. As much as I felt for her when Lugh was taken I found myself particularly irritated by the way she treated her younger sister. Saba blames Emmi for the death of their mother and for the loss of the father that she once knew and because of that the sisters have never been close. Lugh is the one who always had time for Emmi and she is just as lost as Saba without him. There were times I wanted to grab Saba and shake some sense into her when she was constantly ignoring Emmi and pushing her away. I'm happy to say that this starts to change as the story progresses though, Saba does a lot of growing up throughout the book and it didn't take me long to start routing for her. The longer she is separated from Lugh the more she starts to let Emmi and others in, she is almost in denial to herself that she could possibly need help from anyone but you do see her soften up around her new found friends no matter how hard she tries to hide it. Whatever else I may think about Saba I will tell you she is a kick ass heroine who uses her fierce determination to find her brother to see her through some incredibly difficult situations.

Emmi was one of my favourite characters though, she is so young but at the same time she is incredibly brave. I can't imagine how hard it must have been for her to lose Lugh when he was the only one to care for her and it must have been even worse knowing that Saba would rather have nothing to do with her. I loved the fact that she was so persistent with her older sister though, she has definitely inherited Saba's stubborn streak and it comes in handy on more than one occasion! Another stand out character would have to be Jack, he can be so cocky and arrogant but he has a heart of gold and he isn't afraid to tell Saba when she is being out of order. I loved the way the two characters were continuously arguing with each other and you could just see there was chemistry between them even when they hated each other. My all out favourite has to be Nero though, all I'm going to say is that he's a bird with attitude and he is totally awesome - I would love a pet just like him!

The romance is definitely secondary to the action in this story and I wouldn't have had it any other way (although I am hoping we'll see a little more of it in the next instalment!) the pacing kept me completely gripped and I just had to keep reading to find out what would happen next. At just under 500 pages this is a monster of a book but I devoured it, I couldn't get enough of the characters and the world that Moira Young has created. So if you're looking for a book with a fierce but flawed heroine, action, adventure and a completely unique writing style then Blood Red Road is perfect and it's a book I'll definitely be recommending to fans of post-apocalyptic fiction.

Source: Received from Scholastic in exchange for an honest review.

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Paperback / Kindle:


  1. I absolutely adore Saba and Moira Young's writing style. I'm so glad you did as well!

  2. I really don't like the cover shown here; I really like the American hardback cover with its dust-so perfect!

    I'm also glad the romance was secondary but I'm excited to see where it goes next in the sequel!

  3. This is indeed a great book. It's a fantastic adventure, fast paced, feisty and fun. The perfect book for an escape from the real world.

  4. @ So Many Books - Saba is such a fab character isn't she Sophie & I loved how unique the writing style was! Have you read Rebel Heart yet? I must get around to reading that one soon :o)

    @ Bookworm1858 - I had to go on goodreads and look up the US hardback cover & I agree it's better than this one. I really like the new UK PB cover though & think that would be my favourite out of all of them! I agree with you completely about the romance though - I can't wait to see how things progress from here :o)

    @ Clover - it was soooo good wasn't it Michelle - I can't wait to read the next book!

    @ BPU - I'm glad you enjoyed this one too :o)



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