Blood Red Road (Dust Lands #1)

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Watch out Katniss! AMAZING BOOK
(Updated: November 03, 2012)
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
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Saba's Pa hasn't been the same since their mother died, he shut down and is withdrawn, which really reminded of Katniss and her mother.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!
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A MUST MUST Read!!!
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
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!
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AH-Mazing! Must-Read!
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
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)
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Dystopian That Stands Out Among the Rest
(Updated: August 08, 2011)
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
[Spoiler-Free]

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/
Good Points
- Loved the atmosphere
- Last few lines of the book
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A RAD (Ridiculously Awesome Dystopian) Read
(Updated: July 13, 2011)
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
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.
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Exciting!
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
*may contain spoilers*

LOCATION:
Who knows?! This is dystopian fiction. All I remember is that the place where the main character lived in is dusty and all dried up, like the Sahara. But then, there is a frequent change of the location in the book because the main character travels so much in search for her twin brother.

MAIN CHARACTERS:
Of course there is Saba. She is amazing in every way. At first she was this girl always trailing behind her brother. She made a complete turn-around at the end of the book. There's Jack, the love interest. Jack is secretive, resourceful, protective, and insanely hot. I loved that he lets Saba do her thing, gives her the freedom to be whatever she needs to be, and is isn't threatened by it. He loves the fact that Saba is a strong giril. The relationship between Saba and Jack is confusing, though. There was a part in the book when Jack was pining for Saba. Then a few chapters more, Jack hated Saba. Forward a few more chapters, Saba was kissing Jack. Gives life to the status, "it's complicated."

WHAT THE BOOK IS ABOUT:
Long story short, Saba goes through scary things to look for her brother, who was kidnapped by the Horsemen. The character went through some sort of slavery / gladiator / refugee kind of thing in the book.

LOVE:
I loved it when the woman shaved Saba's hair to prepare her to be some sort of girl gladiator. From that point, Saba's character changed. She became stronger and more determined to find her brother Lugh. Her character transformed from being a mere follower to a respected leader.

NO LOVE:
The way the book was written. If it weren't for the delicious story, I would have stopped reading at page one. But that's the thing! The story is just so damned good, you won't be able to stop.

FAVORITE CHARACTER:
I like Saba. She is just so determined, it's inspiring. I actually want to be her sometimes. She reminds me of Katniss, but Jack (oh, Jack!) is sure no Peeta.

FAVORITE LINE:
Oh I’m warm blooded. Jack grins. Anyways, Saba likes to look at my bare chest.
Lugh looks at me. Frowns. Is that a fact? he says.

MUSINGS:
Again, I hated the way the story was written. There were a lot of time when I just had to read passages several times just to get through all that wrong grammar and spelling. Eyesore galore. And again, the book is really engaging. It's somehow similar to the Hunger Games in that Saba is like Katniss - girl power through and through. They are also in the midst of oppression by their King (who, for some reason was depicted as King Louis XIV of France).

CONTENT REVIEW:
profanity: mild (if you can get through the writing-style)
violence: moderate
sexual content: mild
mature themes: mild
age recommendation: 13+

RATING:
Cover: 1.5
Plot: 3.5
Writing: 1.5
Characters: 4.0
Ending: 3.5
Overall Rating: 3.0 - Very Good (89% - 92%)
Good Points
*spoilers*

LOVE:
I loved it when the woman shaved Saba's hair to prepare her to be some sort of girl gladiator. From that point, Saba's character changed. She became stronger and more determined to find her brother Lugh. Her character transformed from being a mere follower to a respected leader.
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