480 pages, Margaret K. McElderrly Books
"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 was yet another dystopian novel that I wanted to read SOOO bad in 2011 but didn't have a chance to get to. Even though that was unfortunate, I am kind of glad I didn't read it earlier, otherwise I would have had to wait even LONGER for the sequel! As you can probably guess, I absolutely loved this book! I was totally blown away by it.
Even though I really wanted to read this book, I was still skeptical when I started it. I have read The Road by Cormac McCarthy, and I couldn't help but notice the parallels between the two. Similar titles? Check. Lack of quotes and has a dialect? Check. Post-apocalyptic world? Check. Violent scenes? Check. A parent/sister left to look after a younger family member? Check. Needless to say, I was sort of expecting an enjoyable read that was a young adult rip-off of The Road, but fortunately, this couldn't be further from the truth. Blood Red Road clearly stands apart from The Road and is an amazing debut novel in its own right.
I personally was accustomed to the lack of quotes and a strong dialect in a book. Think of a strong dialect like The Help combined with the lack of quotes like The Road, and you will get a general idea of what it was like to read this book. I have read that some people found it very difficult to get used to this writing style, but it really isn't that difficult to get past it, especially when the story starts to get very intense and only some of the dialogue has the thick accent.
The beginning starts off with a bang, and then from about page 20-80 the book becomes a bit slow as Saba tries to figure out what to do. But after page 80, the story kicks into high gear and is a non-stop action-packed adventure. I simply loved it. I really don't know what to say other than you must read it. Saba really is a kick-butt heroine... she has this really tough exterior and is simply focused on finding her twin brother, Lugh. After a while you begin to see her tough facade disappear, especially with the appearance of Jack.
I love the love interest in this story. For once there really isn't a stupid love triangle, as far as I can tell. I have seriously been getting sick of those because I find them completely and utterly unrealistic, and they always get on my nerves at some point. What is the best part is that Saba is such a strong character that I wouldn't have minded if the author never introduced a love interest for her. She really didn't need one. As such, even with the introduction of Jack and their complicated relationship, I really didn't feel like it took away from the story at all. It didn't turn into a romance centered book, thank the lord. Better yet, the relationship between Saba and Jack really didn't require either of them to change who they really are, unlike many books that are in the young adult genre today. It is a relationship that I really want to cheer for and will forever stand behind unless something drastic happens in the next book.
Needless to say, if you haven't read Blood Red Road yet, do so immediately before the next book, Rebel Heart, comes out October 30! This book is a new favorite of mine, and if you are a fan of dystopian, it may become one of yours!
Rating: 5 stars - I loved it! Buy a copy!