Early Review: Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Blood Red Road (Dustlands Series) by Moira Young

Release Date: June 7th, 2011
Synopsis: 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.
I wasn’t sure about Blood Red Road to start with. I’d seen mixed reviews and some of them gave me pause. However, I’m not one to let that stop me, and the premise of this book was too good for me to skip. I’ll be honest, Saba, 18, reminded me of a female Mad Max, and the way the author describes Saba’s world, I can’t help but picture the desolate, sand swept landscape of the Mad Max movies. Her twin Lugh is the “nice one”, and she’s not one for wearing her feelings on her sleeve. However, she’s extremely close to Lugh, and when their father is killed, and he is kidnapped by some extremely creepy men on horseback who ride in on the tail of a particularly bad sandstorm, she vows to do anything to find him. During her journey, Saba is kidnapped by a husband and wife team that will make your hair stand on end and sold into slavery as a cage fighter (more shades of Mad Max) once they reach the city of Hopetown. Don’t let the name Hopetown give you the wrong idea. There’s no “hope” in Hopetown. It’s a cesspool of criminals and the worst kinds of excess, and Saba is at the hands of some truly nasty folk. It’s in Hopetown that Saba meets the “King”, another shudder-worthy character, and will discover something of what happened to her brother and where he might be found.

Blood Red Road was a long read, and it’s told from Saba’s first person perspective, which gives the book a very immediate feel. It’s also written in dialect. Now, I know this bothered some, but personally, I got used to it, and it didn’t affect the story either way for me, other than to make me feel a little bit closer to Saba. There’s not a quotation mark to be found, but knowing who’s saying what isn’t hard to figure out, and it was almost like reading a diary; a dusty, rough, gritty diary. Blood Red Road doesn’t pull any punches and it’s a long read, but it’s certainly worth it. There wasn’t any re-inventing of the wheel here, but the writing is strong, and in Saba, the author has created a tough rebel to root for, and you will root for Saba. Blood Red Road is a bleak look into a future to fear, for certain, but the author’s wonderful cast of characters and Saba’s epic journey to save her brother will keep you glued to the pages.

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  1. Stacy (Urban Fantasy Investigations)

    I have a copy of this and will be diving into it soon, glad to see that you liked it.

  2. "There’s not a quotation mark to be found, but knowing who’s saying what isn’t hard to figure out, and it was almost like reading a diary; a dusty, rough, gritty diary."
    This is such a wonderful description. Now I can't wait to read this (and it wasn't even on my radar). Great review!
    From the Shadows

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