Thursday, October 06, 2011

Blood Red Road by 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.

The tension in this story is non-stop from beginning to end, and the pacing leaves you breathless. I finished this book in a day and a half simply because I couldn't put it down.

That said, the beginning was a little hard to get through. Saba did not come across as likable or interesting. Her sun rises and sets with her brother (which, at 18 years old, kinda creeps me out), she's horrible to her little sister, and she has absolutely no curiosity. She’s even less likable after Lugh is taken and her obsession with him is moved front and center.

When Saba lands in the cage so easily, I considered setting this book down. The plot at this point rubbed me the wrong way because it felt clunky, though I can't quite put my finger on why. However, I'm glad I kept reading because Saba becomes so much better by the end. Her transformation is gradual and believable, and everything she went through directly affects her growth. It makes sense why she had to endure the things she endured, because it enables her growth toward the end. I’m very glad I stuck with this book.

There was one thing, however, that I could not get over... I really really didn't like the writing style. The lack of quotes and the misspellings in order to get the voice to come through made the prose too difficult to read. I had to stop too many times to ponder out several words, as well as what was being said aloud. I prefer to be seamlessly submerged in a story, and this writing style doesn't allow that.

I am still interested in reading more, though I do hope it's easier to read. And I hope the next story follows Jack. I didn't feel like I knew him very well by the end, and I still think he's got secrets. I'd like to know what they are.


Kelly Hashway said...

Interesting. Honestly it's not the type of book I usually read.

Karen Strong said...

This is the same issue I had when I first picked up this book. It was very hard and so different from what I usually read. I actually put it down for several weeks. But once I picked it up again and got over the style, I really enjoyed it.

Anne M Leone said...

Yes! I totally agree with your assessment. I really enjoyed the second half, but it took me a while to get into it. And the language drove me batty. But by the end I was totally hooked and would definitely be interested in checking out the next book. Thanks for your review!

Ruth Schiffmann said...

I'm intrigued and impressed by the fact that with all the flaws and distractions you mention at the beginning, by the end you were a fan. I like when that happens - you start off unsure but the book proves itself in the end. I'm adding it to my list. Thanks!