Oct 8, 2011

Blood Red Road by Moira Young review

Blood Red Road (Dustlands, #1)

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. 

Let me start off with the writing. It took me about twenty pages to get into the Western-type style. Then, there were some areas where the “Carin fer somebody that much means you cain’t think straight”-type writing dropped. Everything’s written in this way—or at least should be—but there were a few long-ish sentences that were written “properly.” But, everything was really easy to follow. There’s a lack of dialogue quotations, but, again, real easy to follow. I applaud Young for that.

Otherwise, the story sucked me in. Everything’s short—the sentences and sentences—which definitely kept my pushing through the story. I enjoyed it quite a lot.

The beginning of the story was amazing. Saba and her family live in the middle of nowhere, a storm comes, and Lugh is kidnapped. Took a few pages to get that bit rolling, but it helped show the characters’ relationships. Saba and her brother? Closer than anything. Saba and her little sister? Not so much. What I liked was that, after their brother was kidnapped and Emmi (Saba’s sister) disobeyed Saba and decided to tag along, the relationship between Emmi and Saba grew. Saba wasn’t so mean, and they became more like sisters.

But their relationship seemed to change a lot. At least, that’s what happened when Jack came in. He caused a lot of problems with Saba and Emmi’s relationship, along with his own relationship with Saba. I won’t go into my Jack ordeal just yet.

One of my favorite places was when Saba was change fighting. Best part of the book. Saba’s the best of the change fighters and needs to find a way out so she can continue on her journey to find Lugh. Then Jack comes along, which I believe is where the story starts to fall.

There’s something about Jack that draws Saba. She obviously is in love with him just after a few sentences. A lot of the scenes with Jack and Saba reminded me of a lot of paranormal romances. The main character is in love with the hot guy, yet she doesn’t want to admit it. Then there’s the dialogue between the characters. Again, reminded me a lot of paranormal romances. This killed my joy of reading the book.

Then there’s the whole Lugh-prophecy type thing. Yeah, he’s part of a prophecy—that was before my Jack problem, which probably started my not-so-happy-with-this-book thing. But, the prophecy thing was real small. The start of the quest cage fighting took up a good majority of the beginning, then Saba and the other fighters’ freedom took up another chunk, and the last chunk was some development of Saba and Jack’s relationship while off to go save Lugh.

The ending, though, is redeeming. Characters' relationships get a lot better, and except for the large amounts of predictable dialogue and events, closes the story rather well.

Overall, I enjoyed the beginning, which is really saving the book for me. I’ll probably look into the next book, but otherwise, I’m disappointed. I thought it’d be a lot better. Loved the beginning. The ending went downhill, a bit. One thing I would have liked to see, though, was the background history of this dystopia and where exactly this takes place. As an American, I’m guessing some form of the US in the mid-west.

After some contemplation, I’d say this is 4.0 in rating. I'd still recommend this, but warn people of the not-so-good character relationship.

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