Monday, 16 July 2012

Blood Red Road (Dustlands #1)

Blood Red Road (Dustlands #1) by Moira Young
Paperback, 492 pages

Published June 2nd 2011 by Marion Lloyd/Scholastic

My shelves: 
apocalyptic, awful-cover, books-i-own, dystopian, fantasy, if-i-were-a-boy, read-in-2012, sci-fi, series-or-companions, too-much-hype, young-adult
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Description via Goodreads:
In a lawless future land, where life is cheap and survival is hard, Saba has been brought up in isolated Silverlake. She never sees the dangers of the destructive society outside. When her twin brother is snatched by mysterious black-robed riders, she sets outon an epic quest to rescue him. The story's searing pace, its spare style, the excitement of its fabulously damaged world, its unforgettably vivid characters, its violent action and glorious lovestory make this a truly sensational YA debut novel.
Buy this book:

Blood Red Road is a book that I've been meaning to get around to for a while. Seeing as the second instalment of the series is being released soon, I thought that it was about time that I gave it a go! I have seen nothing but glowing reviews for this dystopian book and I had high expectations. Thankfully, the book was very  impressive and definitely had an individual edge to it.

This is described as a dystopian book. It centres around a girl called Saba and her desperation to find her kidnapped brother, Lugh. We don't know much about anything at the start, and have no idea why Lugh has been kidnapped, but as we go on an adventure with Saba to find her brother, the story develops and we get to learn more about the disappearance. 

What I really loved most about this book was the writing style - I had heard that the dialect was a little 'strange' in this book and I was worried that I wouldn't 'get it' or get used to it - however, I thought it was fantastic! It was not difficult to read at all - after only a few pages I was absorbed into the writing style and had a firm grip of Saba in my mind. The dialect was endearing and undoubtedly added to both Saba's character and the building of the world around her. Her phrasing was ideal for her character and simply felt so authentic.

Saba herself is not perfect and not entirely confident, but she is who she is. She is a very strong, determined character who knows what she wants and needs to do. I loved that Saba never seemed to let things get her down, though she did, naturally, still react to them. I will admit that I did go on a sort-of roller coaster with Saba though, as at points I did sometimes feel a little angered by her, particularly by her actions/feelings towards her sister. Throughout her journey through the Dustlands on her search for answers, we also meet several other characters, most of them being necessary but some also felt a little 'throw-away'. However, for the most part it was interesting to see who and why she met certain people. There is a bit of romance in this book and though I didn't particularly dislike it, it was a little bit strange for me - it didn't flow well. I can see the slight connection between Saba and the daredevil boy she meets, Jack, but I just didn't feel it very strongly.

Even after a week of finishing this first book, I am still struggling with knowing how to rate this one. I have decided to go with 3.5 stars, which to me is a very respectable rating. However, I do think that this book is deserving of more stars just for the way it was written - although most elements of the book were fantastic and the author, Young, is obviously talented, there was still something that this book lacked for me... I can't pinpoint it, but for some reason it wasn't a book that I was absolutely hooked to. I do, however, agree that it should be (it is) an award winning book. I did feel as though the book dragged a little and I was disappointed by the twists and turns in the second half of the book as I was expecting something a little more intriguing, more surprising.

As I've mentioned, I think that Moira Young has a wonderful talent for writing and this is a book that stands out of the young-adult dystopian crowd. It is different and  impressive. I can totally understand why there are so many positive reviews of this book, though it was slightly lacking for me. I do look forward to reading Rebel Heart, which is coming out soon, and despite some reservations, I would recommend this to adventure-loving young adults.


  1. Wonderful review! I've been meaning to start this one soon as well and I'm glad to see you enjoyed it! :D I'm looking forward to reading it soon!(:

    Ivy Book Bindings

  2. I've been curious about this one for a while now. I didn't realize the sequel would be releasing soon. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  3. I've heard so many good things about this book, but I can't read it. I can't get over the dialogue. The words were spelled different, and I had a hard time reading it. Maybe I'll have to try this on audio.

  4. What a great review! I have Rebel Heart sitting here begging to be read, but I still haven't gotten my paws on this one. I will definitely have to get it soon. :)

  5. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book!!! Like you, I didn't have any problem with the dialect but really liked how it made Saba, and the story, feel more real and authentic. Saba was a great character, and I actually did love Jack too :) So can't wait for Rebel Heart! :)

    Catherine :) x
    The Book Parade

  6. Great review! I remember hearing about this book a while back and wanting to read it but it sort of dropped off my radar! Thanks for brining it up again :D

  7. I've been meaning to read this one, but haven't gotten around to it either. I had heard the dialogue was strange which kind of made me not want to read it, but after seeing your review I'll probably give it a try eventually.
    -Melissa @Harley Bear Book Blog

  8. Nero! He's on the cover, that is so awesome! And wow, awesome cover. Is this the UK paperback? Like you, I had a little trouble figuring out how to rate it.

  9. I love the depth of your reviews! Great job here :)

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