Friday, January 21, 2011

Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry (June 7, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1442429984
ISBN-13: 978-1442429987

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.

Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetically minimal writing style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction.


What can I say that would capture the intricacies and complex characters of Blood Red Road? I can't. The characters are everything you want them to be, because you can see who they are from the very first instance you read about them through Saba's eyes. Her "hard-hearted" Angel of Death persona is who she really is, and you catch a glimpse of that practically on every page. It's thrilling and frustrating to see that the decisions she makes only benefit her but that is all she cares about when it comes to saving her brother Lugh. She carries a weighted heart when it comes to all the challenges she has to face when dealing with the cruel and despicable in the King's land. Finding new friends in the most uncommon places only helps Saba realize that finding new is nowhere near a lost cause--not that she ever really thought it was in the first place. Her continuous spirit in trying to keep her friends out of trouble and having to let her little sister tag along is grueling for her, but nowhere near impossible. Trying to get through her thick head is sometimes, but even then she'll acquiesce to reason.

When I first started Blood Red Road, I did not think I would blast through it as fast as I did. It always pleases me so when  I find something new in the YA genre that's never been done before. BRR has everything you want in a book: suspense, mystery, a splash of romance, and some after-the-apocalypse feel that I could never get enough of. It's amazing to see how Saba goes from living in such a desolate home, where it is only her family she contends with on a barren land. She is the pioneer in the book that we vicariously live through to experience the extremities she had no idea were going on in the land of Hopetown.
As for the ever-changing array of characters, it's exciting to see the many people that want to fight with Saba against the King and his Tonton. The syntax and diction for Blood Red Road was unexpected at first--and throughout it did sometimes get on my nerves--but it was something I came to view as suitable in the end. It was only right to have this isolated girl tell her fundamental tale the only way she could and through the only language she knew how to write.

If ever there was a companion novel to BRR, I would pick it up in a "red hot" second. Everything was so fierce and empowering in this novel that I could not put it down for a second; sleep was not an option. I recommend to all that love an idolized heroine to come to the rescue of everyone she cares about, and lets nothing stop her.

Grade: A

This Galley was provided by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing for my uninfluenced review.