ABOUT THE BOOK:
Author: Moira Young
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.
When I read the reviews online, I was a bit hesistant picking this up. Cage-fighting, desert monster worms, evil lunatic dictator, missing brother... umm, so many conflicts jammed into one book. Will this make my head hurt (if you don't know me, my head hurts easily)? But then again, I was getting so tired of novels that lack conflicts and interesting characters (shout out to Meyer and Condie, how you doin' girls?). So what the heck? I figure this might be a breath of fresh air. And boy, was I glad of reading this! I would've missed out a lot.
Blood Red Road by Moira Young is a book that I could and would read over and over again.
*** SPOILERS AHEAD ***
First of all, I like the setting a lot. The story starts with a place known as Silver Lake, which is inappropriately named as the lake is drying up. But hey, it works! It gave me the illusion of desperation about the place. We also have a place in the novel called Freedom Fields where slaves worked under a mental king. And you know where all the cage fighting took place? It's called Hopetown. And in case you are wondering, it was a place where all kinds of baddies, thieves, hoodlums, wannabees-on-crack are on the loose. It's so wrong, I love it!
The author's way of writing the action is so realistic, it left me breathless.
For example, this scene:
The sand dune collapses unner me. An that’s it. No choice.
I’m swept away.
Cain’t breathe. Oh gawd, I cain’t breathe.
Weight. On my chest.
I’m movin. Slidin. Cain’t stop. Cain’t stop.
I’m out. I’m thrown out a the sand.
I felt like I was there with Saba, drowning with her. I held my breath and sighed in relief when she was out of the sand. It was quite an exprience.
Grammar and spelling is not an issue in this novel. The narrator lived in a world where writing and reading is not a basic skill in life. They did not bother with silly things like paper and pen, they fought for everyday survival. And I think that made this dystopian world more believable, although I wish they would touch more on the Wreckers, I'm quite curious about their history. Maybe on the next book? I'm quite looking forward to that.
But the reason I really enjoyed this book are the characters. No cardboard cut-out people here! ALL of the characters are very likeable (except for the villains of course, when Mrs. Pinch slapped Emmi, I wanted to twist her neck). Not a single damsel in distress or stupid heroine in this novel. Even the supporting characters (yes, even Nero) gained my sympathy. The character development is almost flawless. I think that the only character that did not change from start to finish is Jack. And I prefer him that way.
Never have I met a heroine so kick ass and determined that I actually rooted for her all the way. When she said she's going to rescue her brother, she meant it and stuck with it. No amount of cage fighting or giant killer worms is going to change her mind.
No sappy love story and more naked Jack, just the way I like it. Hehe.
I'm so happy with this book. I did not experience any eyebrow-raising, head-scratching or say what? moments.
Overall, I gave this novel a 5 out of 5 ribbons because it's perfectlyexcitingfunandkickass.