Blood Red Road by Moira Young

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Title: Blood Red Road (Dustlands #1)
Author: Moira Young
Release Date: June 7, 2011(hardcover)
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Pages: 464
Source: ARC provided by publisher

Overall: 5 Stars

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.

My Thoughts:
When I first started reading Blood Red Road, I had this horrible feeling I wasn't going to like the novel. You see, it's written in dialect... and previously before, I had never read anything like it. I struggled a bit with the first thirty or so pages, trying to grasp the imperfect language that seemed far from being structured and polished. But after a certain point, getting completely lost in the story became suddenly very easy and soon, I seemed to be flying through the pages!

Many of the dystopian novels being released lately have focused more on the political aspects of a flawed society, but Blood Red Road is more focused on Saba trying to rescue her brother and the epic adventure she'll have to partake to make this happen. Don't get me wrong, we do learn about the cruel world Saba has been born into but there was never really a need to get into the major details unless it was required. The result is an action-packed novel filled with plenty of suspense and danger!

Moira Young has created a fantastic cast of characters in her debut novel and each one has their own unique personalities that seem to jump right off the pages. Saba's growth throughout the novel is subtly shown as she gains more experience in her travels. She would do anything to save her twin brother, Lugh, but she despises her younger sister, Emmi, and doesn't even bother to hide it. Yes, she can be cold and rather selfish, but at the same time, you can't help but greatly admire her tremendous fortitude and resilience in the face of great obstacles. And then, of course, there's Emmi, who would do anything to prove herself; the fierce Free Hawks, willing to take action to protect others; Jack, our romantic interest and a charming thief; and well, there are more I could talk about but I won't. Each character introduced in the novel really did make the story all the better!

The narration is very much a reflection of Saba's personality. She's not a young woman of many words nor one for long, poetic descriptions... so the descriptions are more observant, practical and to the point. With this in mind, a brisk pacing is set and pushes the story quickly along before your mind is left to wander aimlessly. You won't even dare flip forward a few pages because you'll always be captivated by the events as you're reading them! 

Blood Red Road took me completely by surprise and surpassed all of my expectations! It's the first novel in the Dustlands trilogy, so I'm definitely very eager to see what's going to happen next in the second book! Once you get a feel for the writing style and Saba's narration, you'll have a difficult time putting the novel down as you're caught up in an exciting, gripping tale of survival and hope. Give this novel a chance... you won't regret it.

Thanks so much to Random House Canada for sending me this review copy!

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  1. I totally agree with you on this. The language is amazing. It takes a little bit to get used to, but I can't imagine it being written any other way. I loved Saba so much, even when she was being a brat. What a great story!

  2. So so so glad you liked this! I absolutely loved it. And Saba was an amazing protagonist, but I thought Emmi was SUCH a badass, hahaha. Imagine being that young and being able to withstand all the shit she had to go through. Great review :)

  3. Like you, I had serious issues with the dialect for the first part of the book, but once I could look past it I really enjoyed the narrative -- and the secondary characters totally rocked =)

  4. This novel sounds really exciting! I've seen so much about Blood Red Road, how it's the new 'it' dystopian novel. Glad to know it was good, I'll have to pick it up soon.

  5. I have heard some REALLY good things about this book. Thanks for the great review! I don't think I've ever read a book in dialect, so that should be an interesting experience at least. I generally like dystopia, too, so hopefully I'll like this one :) Thanks!

  6. I don't think I would like the dialect part of it because, well, for me English is already a second language so, I dunno, i'm not sure I would be patient enough to get used to it.

    Otherwise it suns like a good book.
    Thanks for your review, I wasn't clear on what the book was about until now :D

  7. I have heard some great things about this one but I don't know that I would like it if it is written in dialect. I will definitely check this one out at my library, though!

  8. You seem to have the same thoughts as me on this book! I bought a copy after reading a Galley, can't wait to read it again!

    ComaCalm's Corner

  9. I started reading Blood Red Road and I thought the writing would annoy me but it doesn't. I'm not sure why but the writing seems to fit perfectly with Sabba's voice. I can't wait to finish reading it! I know I'll enjoy it as much as you did :)

  10. totally agree, took me by surprised and I LOVED it! haha, im still riding the high from finishing :P fantastic review =D