Monday, January 30, 2012

"Blood Red Road" by Moira Young

From Goodreads: "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."

Much like the majority of books I buy nowadays I bought this book solely based upon recommendations and reviews I had read, reviews written by fellow book bloggers- I admittedly didn't know much about it when buying it aside from the fact that it was overall extremely well received (dare I say that there was "hype" surrounding it), that the film rights to this book were optioned by Ridley Scott right from the get-go and that it was written in dialect. While I did enjoy this book, I must admit that I didn't enjoy it as much as others have (I have read countless reviews on Goodreads where people have stated things along the lines of "This is the best book that I have ever read" or "This book is the best of 2011"- I wouldn't categorize it as such-but then again, the last 10 or so books I have read have been dystopians/ post-apocalyptic books and therefore I can't help myself from ranking and comparing them/ I can't help myself from almost feeling burnt out with the genres), but I didn't dislike it either (it fits dead center in the YA book spectrum IMO).

I think that my largest complaint with this book is that at times it seemed that the sole reason it had been written was so that it could become a movie-I found the descriptions of the characters, setting, and the likes of to be quite lacking (I am under the opinion that this was done so that it could easily be converted into a script, with little editing needed). Take Lugh, for instance, Saba makes him out to be such an amazing person (I believe that she refers to him as being "the sun" on multiple occasions) and from what we saw of him, I must admit that I wasn't impressed- if anything Saba is the sun because the story revolves around her and she is truly the bright point of this book (despite being "prickly" on occasion).

As for the plot? Well, I just found it to be too simplistic and formalistic- I just felt like it only ever went in one direction (ie. Plot Point A> Plot Point B> Plot Point C> Plot Point D, sometimes its nice when things are shaken up, ie. Plot Point A> Plot Point B> Plot Point D> Plot Point C- at times it almost seemed that the plot was working too well in the characters favour).

I personally didn't have a problem with this book being written in dialect, but that being said, I don't think that it added to the book whatsoever (as opposed to something like the crossed out words in Tahereh Mafi's "Shatter Me").

I think that the best part of this book (aside from the ever-prickly Saba and the swoon-worthy Jack) was the cage-fighting (I can't believe that I just wrote that). I have never encountered a YA book that involves cage-fighting before and let me tell you, more YA books need to incorporate this into them! Seriously, as soon as a female YA character begins cage fighting her badassness goes through the roof.

All in all, despite my complaints I did really enjoy this book and I am very much looking forward to the next book in this series. I highly recommend this book to those who are looking for a different YA book, where the lead female is super kickass and where the main focus of the storyline is not romance.

Rating: 8/10


  1. I think what I enjoyed so much about this one was Saba. I found her to be an unusual character especially for YA. She wasn't a fighter but found that within her. Oh and I agree... the cage fighting. That was so good. LOL


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