When Saba’s twin brother is snatched from her by the violent Tonton, she must embark on a long and dangerous journey with her little sister to retrieve her beloved brother. On the way, she will encounter terrors, sorrows and the man who will change the way she sees the world. With her unique writing style and unforgettable characters, Young had me from the very first page.
I read this book in less than three days, which is unusual. I like to take my time with a book and balance it with two or three others of different genres, but I couldn’t peel my eyes away from this one. It is 500-pages long, but I didn’t realize how they flew by and the book was over. It’s a dystopian but that doesn’t come close to describing the extent of this book. It’s got a little bit of everything: action, suspense, drama, and romance. More importantly, it is an adventure and an amazing one at that.
It’s slow going at first, but once you get used to the present tense style and crude, broken words, the language used makes it seem more authentic. The author succeeds in keeping it consistent too, which is difficult when you’re trying to change the narration style. That’s one of the most striking parts of the book.
Here's an alternate cover
As for characters, I actually didn’t like Saba all that much. She is close-minded, hostile and cruel. The way she treats Jake and her little sister, Emmi is heart-wrenching. It’s one thing to be emotionally stunted and another to knowingly cause pain. Jake is exactly the opposite - fun-loving, resilient and quite open with his emotions, he’s the perfect guy, but sometimes he took it a little too far. It made him seem a tad unrealistic. Guys don’t show that much emotion and no sane creature would put themselves out only to be crushed-again and again.Emmi is definitely my favorite character. She has all the best qualities of Saba - loyal, brave and gutsy, without the emotional baggage(lessness). Epona, Ash, Ike and Tommo are well-formed supporting characters with critical roles. I wish I could have explored their backgrounds further...maybe in another book.
Speaking of which, did you know that this is the first of a series? Name’s Dustlands. I was overjoyed when I found out. I can’t wait to go on another ride with Saba, Jake, Lugh, Emmi and others. Another fun fact: this book is also being made into a movie (film rights by Ridley Scott) and I believe it will be released in 2014? Hurray!
Overall, an epic book with a masterfully created world, gripping plot and characters you’ll love. This is the perfect book to fill the Hunger Games void.
Recommended for: Fans of The Hunger Games and Enclave (Ann Aguirre)
At the beginning, Blood Red Road reads like poetry. A harsh poetry, but suited to the story's environment. Saba and her brother, Lugh, live with their Pa and younger sister, Emmi, in a harsh desert landscape far from any other civilization. When four hooded horsemen steal Lugh away and kill Pa in the process, Saba is determined to fetch him back whatever the cost. Forced to take Emmi, the sister she never cared for, along for the ride, Saba's determination is stretched to the limits. First, when misplaced trusts lands her as a slave in a world of cage fighting, and still more when she learns the reason her brother was kidnapped at all. Saba goes from a solitary world in which she cares for nothing but her brother, to a world full of ugly characters who will use or kill her, whichever suits them best. Thankfully, she also meets a group of freedom fighters who share her warrior spirit, and one young man in particular, Jack, who always seems to find his way into her business. She'll need all their help in the end if she's going to save her brother. Their help, and her own stubborn courage.
A lot of people have compared this to The Hunger Games, and I can see why. Saba will go to any lengths to save her brother (Katniss threw herself into the Hunger Games for her sister), even to the point of fight-to-the-death sequences in a post-apocalyptic world. These are significant similarities, but that's about where they stop. The setting, for one thing, has the wasted, dry feel of The Book of Eli - so much so that my vision of the book was tinted in the same sepia of the film, and the town Saba is stuck cage fighting in looked not inconsiderably like the one Gary Oldman ruled over. Saba is fiercer than Katniss by a long shot; Katniss thinks more, while Saba follows her warrior instinct. Katniss also fears, and Saba just gets angry. They're very different people, and they make for very different books.
The wonderfulest thing about Blood Red Road is that the ending sets itself up very nicely for a sequel, but the story itself doesn't rely on it. If Moira Young is happy with this book all by itself, she doesn't need to pick up the pen for a sequel. Which makes the waiting period so much easier as her readers. Of course, we want a sequel. There's Jack for one thing, who is left with business to attend to, and there's the burning question of DeMalo, who has us all wondering what he'll do next - and why. And we would like to spend more time with the other characters, and it's obvious there's a whole lot more unexplored territory to this half-wasted landscape. I've heard very little about the sequel so far, but I'm gratified that there will be one. And yes, I'll be reading it. As stories go, this is a very, very good example of YA literature. As writing goes, this is as good as it gets.
I gave it 5 stars on here since I couldn't give it 4.5 stars
What a fabulous, unique read and I can honestly say I've not read another dystopian like this before. This is one of those books I was a little hesitant to read, but Moira's writing grabbed my attention and took me for thrilling ride. One of the things that surprised me the most about the book is it's writing style. At first it threw me off, but I quickly became engaged with the story that the writing didn't even bother me. It flowed perfectly with the characters and fit right in with the richly detailed setting. It felt a bit like reading a western dystopian, which may sound strange, but I really enjoyed it.
What I found most intriguing about Blood Red Road's world was the way it felt. It feels like part old western with it's arid, deserted landscape, the way the characters talk, the way of life on the out skirts of civilization, and the only means of transportations is on horse or walking. Then there's other parts of the world with some of it's creatures like Sabba's pet Nero that felt futuristic. I really liked the way Moira was able to bring these different settings together to create something truly unique and perfectly fitting for her book. Than there are her characters and wow, what fabulously developed characters she has.
I like the way in which Moria tells her story through her heroine Sabba. Not since meeting Katniss in The Hunger Games have I met another character who would be her equal in an game of survival. Sabba is a strong, unwavering character who is a survivalist. Set out to find her brother who was kidnapped by a cruel King, Sabba's character grows a lot. I was surprised that for someone who earned the nic-name Angel of Death in the cage fighting she was forced to endure, could go from a cold heartless person into someone who's fearlessness, steely determination and hopefulness turned her into a character who became relatable, and has an inner strength I really admired. There's more an than just one girl who can kick some serious butt in this book, the Free Hawks were all girls I admired and I'm looking forward to getting to know this gang of fearless riders as the series progresses.
I absolutely loved the chemistry between Jack and Sabba. These two couldn't make up their minds on how they felt. Their bickering back and forth, stolen glances and no none sense talk to each other made their relationship refreshing. I'm sure that sounds strange to say, but when you meet them you'll know what I'm talking. It's so obvious they both like each other. I should say Jack is more accepting of it than Sabba and I admire his patience with her. I loved the cave scene! No it's not dirty, but it's a moment I wanted to yell "finally". There's much more to their relationship, and I liked the way it developed. It's one of the things that kept me reading the book.
There are a lot of great elements to this debut book that I enjoyed, and I was really surprised with how much I liked it. With it's unforgettable characters, fast flowing plot line, action and an undeniable character chemistry, it was kind of hard not to. I recommend picking this book up, and I'd definitely classify this book as RAD, a ridiculous awesome dystopian. Though Blood Red Road has a satisfying ending, I'm really looking forward to reading more books in the series. I think it's very fitting for readers 14 years and older.
Summary: Saba has spent her entire life in Silverlake, a deserted wasteland, with her twin brother Lugh, her younger sister Emmi, and their Pa. She has never been outside of Silverlake and it's all she knows. Things change when a group of horsemen appear, capture her brother, and kill her father in the process. Before Lugh is taken away, Saba promises him that she will find him. Along her quest she runs into grave danger and she must fight to survive.
My Thoughts: Omigawd. This is the best book I've read all year. I am not kidding neither am I exaggerating. I devoured it. I'm going on a whim here but I think this is the next Hunger Games series (for me at least).
What I liked: This is a dystopian novel, but don't be fooled, it's not like the others, Blood Red Road stands out among the rest. It takes place in the future, but it isn't all technological, yet it works so well for the book. The setting is very unique, the land is barren, dry, dusty, etc. and it really gives the novel its character.
Another thing that stands out is the writing style. Many may be put off at first (I sure was) because it's so minimal e.g. the author uses 'fer' (for), 'cain't' (can't), 'hafta' (have to) but I found myself getting used to it around page 20 and guarantee you will too and I realized that I wouldn't want the novel written any other way.
I loved love Saba, she was stubborn, strong, determined, and she had a bit of Katniss Everdeen in her. She was so committed on finding her brother and didn't let anything get in her way. The character development in this book is impeccable. It's not just Saba who develops but everyone around her as well and I liked how the characters shared the spotlight. There is also some romance in the book which I thought was going to change the book's direction, but it only made it more awesome. The pacing is great, there is not a dull moment because there is always something going on and the action does not disappoint.
The ending is just... wow. (No spoilers of course!) When I thought the book couldn't get any better, it did. Within those last few lines, the author ended the book on the perfect note. Thank you Moria!
What I disliked: Honestly, nothing. Please just come out already book #2!
Conclusion: This book made me fall in love with YA all over again. There were moments while reading this that I was contemplating if I liked this more than the Hunger Games series. My answer... maybe ;).
Review from my blog: http://booksaur.blogspot.com/
OR video review: http://www.youtube.com/booksaur/
- Loved the atmosphere
- Last few lines of the book
Okay. I have one word for you. WOW. WOWWOWWOWWOWWOW! I mean, I had vaguely heard that Blood Red Road was really good, and I knew it was the winner of the 2011 Costa Children's Book Award (that little titbit of info was written on the inside of the copy that I borrowed) but Blood Red Road still blew me away!
My heart was literally pounding as I was swept away across the Dust Lands to join Saba on a high-tension, action-packed adventure. Blood Red Road was written in a very unique style - completely in dialect, lacking in any quotation marks and not really separated into distinct chapters - more like a continuous account of Saba's journey, a new section beginning with each new location she reached.
Here's a little chunk from the beginning of the book to give you an idea of what the writing was like:
'Everythin's set. It's all fixed.
The lives of everybody who's ever bin born.
The lives of everybody still waitin to be born.
It was all set in the stars the moment the world began. The time of yer birthin, the time of yer death. Even what kinda person yer gonna be, good or bad.
You cain't change what's written.'
I suppose some may be troubled by the whole book being written in dialect, but I found it no problem at all. I love how different it was! It made you feel like you had definitely made the transition into a completely different world from ours. Everything flowed really naturally and, personally, I think it made me feel closer to Saba, as if I was really in her head and part of her world.
Now, Saba is what you call a fiery character! When what she calls the 'red hot' takes over, she is practically invincible - a real fighter. She's not a typical 'perfect' heroine, though, in fact she's pretty much the opposite of perfect. Rude, sassy and rather horrible to her nine-year-old sister Emmi (Their mother died giving birth to Emmi and Saba has never been able to look past the fact that her mother would still be alive if it wasn't for Emmi) we should probably not like Saba at all, but somehow I felt myself drawn to her character and I couldn't help admiring her guts and strength. Her character did change and develop along her journey, though, and it was nice to see this.
And Jack. Jack is the perfect match for Saba. Witty, charming and mysterious, I fell in love with him straight away. As did Saba, really, even though she refused to admit it for a LONG time.
Blood Red Road was a red hot novel - amazingly exciting and amazingly...well, just AMAZING! I love dystopians and this has definitely made its way onto my list of favourites, up there with the likes of The Hunger Games and Divergent!
I am crazily excited for the release of Rebel Heart, the sequel to Blood Red Road, which is apparently going to be 30th October THIS YEAR!! I can't wait! And even more exciting news... the film rights have already been bought! It will be VERY interesting to see them bring this story to life, I think.
Have I told you that you should read this yet? No? Well I'll tell you now. YOU HAVE TO READ BLOOD RED ROAD. NOW.
When I had finished this book, I was so angry that I would have to wait a whole year for the next one. I literally threw the book at the wall and started screaming angrily! Why do I have to wait, this is so annoying!
I loved this book (I think you may have guessed)! This book blew me away. I was engrossed with this book, and was super sad and angry when I had finished it. Though the title is deceiving, as I thought that this book will be more gory and bloody than it was, but it still was pretty awesome.
The characters are amazing. I loved how Saba spelt a lot of things wrong, that made it seem so much more real, even though it was sometimes hard to understand. Reading that reminded me of Knife of Never Letting Go, so I was crying inwardly.
This book is purely awesome, and Katniss better watch out, as Saba is gonna kick you hard!
Saba definitely reminds me of Katniss. Watch out Katniss, you've got some competition, and I have a feeling you're going to lose!!!
Blood red Road is set in the future, where water is nearly impossible to find, and the whole world is one big desert. 18 year old Saba has spent her whole life at Silverlake. She lives with her brother "Lugh" (pronounced Lou), her sister "Emmi" and her father. Saba does everything with Lugh (everyone says that Lugh is "Day", with his golden hair and blue eyes, and Saba is "Night" with her dark hair and eyes), but she definitely could do without her annoying sister.
Saba's Pa hasn't been the same since their mother died, he shut down and is withdrawn, which really reminded of Katniss and her mother. Saba's Pa always has his head stuck in the clouds, believing he can read the stars and that everyone's life have already been decided for them. He also says that he knows what is in store for Saba and Lugh. Lugh however, thinks that their Pa is absolutely bonkers, but Saba doesn't really know what to believe.
Suddenly, Lugh is stolen from home for reasons that Saba doesn't figure out until later in the book. Suddenly, Saba is involved in an epic quest that will take her all the way across the dry, barren land that she calls home.
On the way, Saba learns a lot about herself and the world around her. She discovers that she has more strength than she thought she could have. She also discovers, among other things, that she has space in her heart for more people than Lugh. A man called Jack, a cage fighter with a very bad reputation, ends up stealing her heart and Saba finds out just how funny, smart, arrogant, infuriating, and helpful he is. She also meets a band of rebel girls, who agree to help her as well, although their leader warns her not to trust Jack.
What really was supposed be a simple search and retrieve turns into an elaborate escape plan that makes Saba use every skill she's every learnt, and she will need to trust her new friends with her family, her life, everything she cares about, and wit Jack, her heart.
When they finally find Lugh, Saba realises that everyone will have to leave and go their separate ways. She realises that she really doesn't want to let go of Jack, but he promises her that they will see each other again. I have a feeling though, that it not going to be as straightforward as that. I can't wait for the next book!
I have yet to read a dystopian I don’t like, and this was no exception. However, this stood above all other dystopians I have read (even Divergent)! I was quickly sucked into this devastating world where things went from worse to wicked in a heartbeat! Blood Red Road is one wild ride! There is never a dull moment as the pages fly by in absolute frenzy.
The premise of the story is pretty simple. Saba’s twin brother is taken for reasons you discover along with Saba as the story is told. Saba is determined to get him back, no matter what it takes. Up until this point in her life she has been a follower, but boy does that change! As the reader we get to see Saba transform into this strong and capable woman. If you like character development you won’t be disappointed with Saba!
You will not believe the things Saba encounters on her voyage to rescue her brother. Her first obstacle is taking care of her little sister Emmi, but that is just the beginning. Just when you think she has reached the worse of things, you are proven wrong! The characters she meets along the way are an integral part of the story. While the main focus of the story is adventure, the introduction of Jack brings just a touch of romance. No worries, there is no “insta” love in this book! Poor Jack really has to earn his way into Saba’s heart!
I finished this book last night, but I can’t stop thinking about it. The next book in this series, Rebel Heart, comes out in October 2012. You better believe that it will be a pre-order for me!! I have a feeling I will be reading anything written my Moira Young! Blood Red Road was heartbreaking, heart-wrenching, and heartwarming all at the same time. I suggest you go out and read this immediately!
Y'all know that I jest cain't stand dialect. Them books is the worst. I espect good and proper writin. All them misspellins and such jest get my goat. I ain't never liked one and I ain't never thought I could. I probly should of not even read this but I'm powerful stubborn. Turns out Blood Red Road's ezzackly as it should be.
I hardly expected to like this book, let alone love it. Dialect really does annoy the ever-lovin heck out of me. It's distracting, unpleasant, gives me a headache and slows me down as a reader. Basically, it's torture, plain and simple. Well, apparently, it can be done right. Moira Young has proved that and left me speechless, so it's a good thing I'm typing my review rather than vlogging it. I don't quite know precisely why her dialect works so much better, but I am plum grateful for sure that she didn't put apostrophes in place of every dropped g (ex. runnin, fightin, etc). By the end of the book, I didn't even have to work to process the text; I was completely sucked into the story, something that's never happened to me with dialect before.
Writing in dialect was not the only bold stylistic choice Moira Young made, and it's not even the boldest. She made the really odd decision not to use quotation marks. There are none in this book. However, that's not because there's no dialogue; in fact, there's plenty of it.. She doesn't mark the dialogue in any way, except by he says or I says, but even those aren't on every bit of dialogue. Rarely did I have any issue distinguishing dialogue from narration. The fact that she did this and the result emerged easily comprehensible speaks volumes to her massive talent.
This novel has some of the best characterization I have ever encountered. There is not a single character in this book that's around for more than a page that doesn't feel just as real as you or me. Their personalities are all distinct and vibrant. They leap off the page or, perhaps, pull you into the pages to spend time with them. The story had to be told with dialect, because that's who the characters are. They don't know how to read or write; they only know how to speak and that's how most people talk in this strange post-apocalytpic world.
Speaking to that, I have no clue what happened to the world, none at all. Either we're somewhere out west near a lot of deserts or something's happened to cause less rain, because most everything is arid, parched, harsh. What technology exists comes from the time before. Knowledge has been lost. Few people are familiar with book learning, and I suspect fewer still will in a couple of generations.
In case that wasn't bad enough, there's also an evil, crazy king, whose mission in life is to take over this dusty world. Guys, let me tell you: he is creepy as all hell, like Louis, the Sun King, meets Henry VIII and his festering wounds. GROSS. Plus, he has his troops, the Tontons (which I have to try really hard not to picture as tauntauns - they're people). More mysteriously, there's his right-hand man, DeMalo, handsome and haughty. There's something to him and I want to know more.
At the beginning of Blood Red Road, Saba doesn't know hardly anyone but her family. In her whole life, she's met just three other people. She's not bothered though, because that's just how life is. There's her pa, who claims to be able to read the stars, her twin brother Lugh, the light of her life, and her little sister Emmi, who she hates for having caused their mother's death (childbirth). Saba doesn't start out as an especially likable character. She hero-worships her brother and is a right terror to her sister, so much so that even I thought she was being seriously awful.
Men on horseback show up, kidnap Lugh, kill her Pa, and ride away, leaving her behind with a useless sister and desert land. She has no purpose in life but to rescue her brother. As she goes, she keeps trying to leave her sister behind (with good people to look after her) but Emmi, just as stubborn as her sister, is having none of it. Along the way, as mentioned in the blurb, Saba picks up more people, like Jack and the Free Hawks, a badass group of women.
Though I want to leave most everything for you to experience on your own, I just have to comment on the perfection that is the evolution of relationships in this book. Saba's relationship with her sister changes ever so slowly, the character arc so believable. So too is Saba's slow evolution to being able to trust people that aren't Lugh. Then, there's the romance, which made my toes curl. Saba, not being trusting, has no desire for romance and fights it just like she fights anyone who tries to kill her or hurt Lugh. This allows for a perfect slow burn. She and Jack have amazing chemistry; I just love the way he teases her. *swoons*
If Moira Young can make me love a book written in dialect, the same could happen to you. If you like post-apocalytpic novels at all, do not miss out on this one. You would be cheating yourself of serious awesomeness.
Blood Red Road was a book that greatly surprised me. I wasn't expecting to fall in love but, without warning, I was sucked in to Saba's world. All that hype that you saw when this book first came out? Completely and utterly spot on. I absolutely adored this story.
Saba is a tough character to love. She's stubborn, fierce as all get out, and witty too. In other words, a recipe for my perfect female character. However her stubborn attitude more often than not causes her to make very rash decisions. I'll fully admit that there were multiple times I wanted to reach in and just slap her for a moment. I understood why Moira Young created her this way though. Saba is used to having to take care of herself. She's used to being a lone wolf.
That is, of course, until she meets Jack. Ah, Jack. Witty, lovable, and sometimes completely lost Jack. He was definitely my favorite character. The perfect opposite to everything that Saba was. Their relationship was rocky, it was real, it was amazing! All work and no play makes Saba a dull girl. Good thing Jack was around! Seriously though, every single character that travels alongside these two shines off the page. They are so well-crafted, that it is hard not to find yourself rooting for them as you read.
What else can I say to make you pick up this book? Refreshingly, Blood Red Road is unlike a lot of other dystopian novels out there. Instead of focusing solely on a society, with a bit of characterization thrown in, Young's book is all about the characters. You'll find yourself beside them as they fight to survive, tackle problems thrown in their path, and wrestle with the age old question of who they really are. It seems odd that this would work so well, but it honestly does. I was able to get so lost in Saba's world, that I honestly didn't want to come back out.
At the end of the day, if you are a reader of dystopian fiction this is a book that you're going to need to pick up. The twists and turns in the plot will delight you. The fierce, dogged pace of the story will make you feel like you're on the brink of exhaustion. Then you'll meet the characters and realize that there is no turning back. Moira Young did a fabulous job with this book. I'm just going to come right out and say I want more. Soon.