Title: Blood Red Road
Author: Moira Young
Series: Dust Lands (book one)
Who’s it for: Teens
What’s it about? Saba lives in Silverlake, a wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms where her family scavenge from landfills left by the long-gone Wrecker civilization. After four cloaked horsemen kidnap her beloved twin brother Lugh, she teams up with daredevil Jack and the Free Hawks, a girl gang of Revolutionaries.
Saba learns that she is a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Saba and her new friends stage a showdown that change the course of her civilization.
[Blurb taken from Goodreads]
What’s good about it? So much! It’s paced really well and I loved the style of Moira Young’s writing. It reminded me a little of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road in how it was written (with a Mad Max style setting). It’s an exciting plot with a really intriguing future world behind it – there wasn’t a word wasted.
Saba is such an intriguing main character. Despite everything that she learns about the world she inhabits and the man that rules it, it’s her single-minded determination to save her brother that drives her and helps her do amazing things. It’s actually quite impressive how single-minded she is. Her close relationship with her brother is a stark contrast to that of her nine year old sister Emmi and it was interesting to see those two interact. Although at points she did seem to act a lot older than your average nine year old, but then again, all the nine year olds I know aren’t fighting for their lives in a barren world so…take that as you may.
What’s bad about it? There’s a lack of punctuation – specifically speech marks – that I really missed. As the book is written in first person from Saba’s point of view sometimes it was hard to tell where her thoughts ended and the speech began.
How do you pronounce Lugh’s name?! I settled on ‘Lou’ but I think I may be wrong…
The verdict? This was brilliant! There wasn’t a moment where I felt bored or like my attention was wandering and I really, really, really loved the style of writing. It’s not written in standard english as such, it’s written in first person from Saba’s point of view and therefore the words are spelt how she would spell them, phonetically. This may be a little off-putting for some, but I got into it quite quickly. Well, until I hit a point where I couldn’t work out if it was dialogue or not. That may have taken some thought in a couple of places.
There were such tantalising little hints about this barren world, ruled by the King, the Tontons and Chaal, and I’d love to know more. I’ve added the sequel to my must-read list so I’ve got high hopes for how that will play out.