Blood Red Road (Dust Lands #1)

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13%
 
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0%
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Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
4.8(16)
Characters
 
4.8(16)
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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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AMAZING!
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
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.
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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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I liked it.
(Updated: March 20, 2014)
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
3.0
The book was pretty good. The protagonist made this book really enjoyable. Saba's all back hair, eyes, and take no stuff personality. She's also called The Angel of Death from her cage fighting days. What's there not to like? She's a tough 16 year old girl w/ a pet crow, harbors a unhealthy brother-complex, & crazy about an older silver eyed dude named Jack.

The only thing I could borderline take was the writing style, but the old south writing style did make you feel closer to Saba. Another thing I liked was the foreshadowing. It was a major key to the next book. The ending though a bit cliche, the ending paved a good start for the next book. I also respect the author for being timely on the series releases. I can't tell you how many times Iv'e been through pushed back released days. The most Iv'e waited was 12 months! Anyway, the book had the ideal points I was looking for such as romance, supernatural, mild angst, and a tough lead. I highly recommend.

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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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Good Story, Disliked Writing Style
Overall rating
 
2.7
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
3.0
Writing Style
 
1.0
This review can also be found at http://fortheloveofbooksreviews.blogspot.ca/2016/09/blood-red-road-by-moira-young.html


Saba lives with her father, her brother Lugh, and her sister Emmi. Their home is in Silverlake, where they live alone beside a drying-out lake and face sandstorms regularly. When Lugh is taken by strange men on horseback, Saba vows to rescue him and she starts on a journey to get him back.

But her journey is anything but smooth, and she must face harsh weather, dangerous creatures and people with evil intentions. With the help of some friends along the way, she's hopeful to get Lugh back before anything happens to him. But what if she doesn't make it in time?

I feel a bit conflicted over this book. There were some things that I liked, but the things that I didn't like are quite significant and affected my reading experience greatly. I hate giving books a low rating, but I can't find any way to justify rating this over a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

So the best thing about this book was the story. I loved the concept of a dystopian wasteland and the thing that really kept me reading was the events and struggles that Saba faced, and the hope that she would find her brother. I had trouble putting this book down because I wanted to hurry up and read it to find out what happened to Lugh, I wanted to see if she would save him.

Saba's journey was an interesting one, filled with fights and scheming and making new friends. However, while I enjoyed the story, I can't say that I enjoyed the book itself.

The big issue for me was the writing style. The author decided not to use punctuation such as quotation marks when someone was talking, so that made for some confusion when there was a conversation between several people. I'd have to go back and read the page over to make sure I knew who was saying what. Sometimes I couldn't tell if something was being said out loud, or only in Saba's head.

To add to the confusion was the deliberate misspelling of words to convey an accent or style of speaking. I understand wanting the reader to know what Saba sounds like, but this along with the lack of proper punctuation just added more confusion. I get that the author was probably trying to make her book unique, trying to make Saba seem more real and genuine, however it didn't work for me.

I felt a bit distanced from the events that took place. In many books I feel like I'm actually there with the characters, and I find that makes a story all the better. But I felt more like just a spectator in this one, and I found that disappointing. If not for my interest in the ending, I probably wouldn't have continued reading past the first one hundred pages.

Overall, a unique read with a great concept, but the writing style didn't work for me.

Fans of futuristic and dystopian novels may like this. If you like action-packed stories and the writing style doesn't seem like it would bother you, I think it would be worth a try.
Good Points
Great story
Interesting setting
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