Saturday 25 August 2012

Review: Blood Red Road

Title: Blood Red Road (Dust Lands #1)
Author: Moira Young
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Released: 7th June 2011
Rating: 5/5

Blood Red Road is not your average dystopia. Saba is not your average heroine. This is not average book.

And that makes is brilliant.

Saba is content with her life. Sure, she doesn’t have a good relationship with her younger sister, and her father is crazy, and they don’t live in the best of conditions – but as long as she has her brother Lugh, everything’s fine. Until one day, Lugh gets taken. Clueless as to why it was him specifically the kidnappers were after, Saba sets off on a journey to get him back to matter what. Along the way she meets both trouble and friends, and learns just how strong she really is an a world both ravaged and harsh.

I was warned that the writing would be something of a shock before I read this. So of course, I opened it and prepared myself for what might come. I was surprised when I found out the cause of all the fuss, but it didn’t hold me back from turning the page. If anything, it kept me going. I loved how it reflected a particular dialect and way of speaking, and how it sort of emphasised how backward society is in the book, as it is in other dystopias. Moira Young has taken an incredibly brave step; I can see how some people might instantly dislike it. Fortunately for me, I loved it, and I adapted to it surprisingly quickly. Then again, I have read A Clockwork Orange. If I can read that, I can read anything. ;)

Saba was a fantastic protag. She is so. Utterly. Focused. When her brother is taken, all she wants is to get him back. Everything she does it meant to help her get him back. No distractions allowed. Sometimes I’m reading a book and I’m shaking my head or raising my eyebrows at how quick the girl is to let the guy get under her skin and distract her. Not Saba. I was surprised at how fiercely she felt about her brother, and it was sweet. Certainly nothing like the relationship between me and my brothers. She’s tough and independent and her character goes through a lot of growth, making reading from her perspective a real pleasure.

Jack was just a treasure. He’s a vivid, lively, dimensional character. Funny, sweet, serious, you get to know exactly what kind of a person he is. There’s very much this push-and-pull sort of relationship between him and Saba. Jack is very unwilling to lay out his feelings for her and forgive her every time she pushes him away until she recognises what she’s done and actively try to do something to reverse it. The dynamics between them were constantly changing and I appreciated the difference between their relationship and a tonne of others I could mention. Initially when I met DeMalo, the King’s second-in-command, I thought there was going to be a love triangle. There wasn’t. There was, however, something. DeMalo has an edge to him that makes me very hopeful of seeing more of him in the second book.

The Hawks were another set of brilliant characters. The King, while dangerous, was also quite comical, to me at least. The way he dressed and something he said in a fight scene just made me smile. I loved the grittiness and the world-building, and just almost everything in this book. I had every scene and image clear in my head. A truly wonderful book that has me excited to see more, Blood Red Road definitely makes one of my favourites I’ve read this year.


  1. Blood Red Road is one of my favourite book i have read this year so far as well. I very much agree with everything you said, especially, the writing. I'm glad that i'm not the only one who could easily adapt to it.

    I can't wait to read Rebel Heart! :)

  2. I'm so glad you loved Blood Red Road. The first few pages, I was sure I wasted my money but of course that completely changed a quarter into the book. As expected, it was mostly because of the dialect used. But then I realized how integral it was to Saba's characterization which made me really admire the author. It must have taken a lot of courage to submit something that was so different from the usual palette of YA readers.

    And then there was Jack. Enough said *swoons a hundred times*

    Spectacular review, Aa'Ishah!

  3. gr8 review . i love unique dystopia. going on my wishlist

  4. This is such a wonderful review, Aa'Ishah! Oh my goodness, Jack!! *swoon*!! Loved the swimming scene, heehee! :)

    P.S. I like this cover so much better than mine. Hmm...

  5. Your reviews keep getting better and better. This is my favourite one to date! I'm so glad you ended up enjoying this, Aa'Ishah. I agree that is was a risky and brave choice for the author to write in such an uncommon style, but I think it worked incredibly well in the end. I can't wait to see what you make of Rebel Heart. :)

  6. Okay, seriously. Rachel, you had me at the "swimming scene". I need to start this really soon. Haha!

    I'm glad that even though the writing was quite different it was still very well handled and worked out for you. The characters seems really wonderful too. I'm very curious of Saba and Jack and how their relationship developed. Fantastic review, A!

  7. Great review! I'm so glad you enjoyed Blood Red Road. The writing was definitely weird but I grew to like it and I like that it makes it unique.

  8. I'm a little over halfway through raeding this at the moment and fully agree with everything you've said!! I can't believe it's taken me this long to finally read, but it does not disappoint. I ADORE Jack so much and the brilliant, frustrating spark between him and Saba. It's so refeshing in the way it's handled and that it doesn't overpower the plot.

    Saba is... wow. EXACTLY what you said. I love how fierce and determined she is. I can't wait to see how this story ends - amazing review! <3

  9. I LOVE BLOOD RED ROAD! Sorry, I needed to say that AND I'M SO GLAD YOU LIKED THIS! (I get excited by good books very easily!) I'm seriously so happy you enjoyed this though! I loveeee Jack and Saba is such a phenomenal and strong character. She's one of my favorite female protagonists and I can't WAIT for Rebel Heart! I'm so jealous it's already out in the UK...I'm stuck waiting in the US! >.< Anyway, brilliant review! :D

  10. I saw this book in the supermarket the other day! Its sounds good!
    Thanks for the great review

  11. This is has been sitting on my shelf but I'll have to read it soon, especially after your review. You've made this book sound so utterly amazing. I LOVE the way you've described the characters and relationships, it's the biggest reason you've made me want to read this. I'll have to push it way up my TBR list.

  12. Hi, I'm a new follower! I don't think I've ever heard of this book but after your review it's definitely going in my TBR pile.

    ~Ariella @ A Sprinkle of Books

  13. Oh wow, this sounds A M A Z I N G ! <3 I've had this sitting on my shelf for a while now but I think your review might just be the one to get me to finally read it! Saba and Jack sound like perfect characters and I'm glad that there isn't any need for eye-rolling here x) Plus I'm soo insanely curious about the writing because I saw the first page and it's completely different from anything I've ever read before! Anyway, fantastic review and I'm really glad you liked it :)

  14. Aa'Ishah your review makes me want to fling my review pile out the window and get to this right away, I've heard great things about this series already so I'm actually kicking myself for not picking it up! Fantastic review hun! :)

  15. Great review! Personally for me, I didn't like this all too much but I'm glad to hear you loved it.

  16. I like strong heroines, and it seems to me that you just shared a really good one here! Bet I'll have to add this to my TBR list! Amazing review :)


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