Blood Red Road (Dust Lands #1)

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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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