[Review] Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Blood Red Road
(Dust Lands #1)
Author: Moira Young
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pages: 459 (Hardcover)
Genre: YA – Adventure, Post-apocalyptic

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.

Moira Young has succeeded creating a rough world and in that world, not all people know how to write so the language is unique. Blood Red Road might look like a draft of a book and that writing style really annoyed me in the beginning. My thoughts still wandered a lot as I read it. It was easy to believe that the world is rough, but hard for me to connect with the characters, especially with Saba. I also spotted that the unique writing style is a bit inconsistent. Not many, though. Here’s the example:

“They are afraid of me.” – Saba (page 158)
“The other girls’re afeared of you.” – Helen (page 159)
“That’s who  you gotta be afraid of.” – Helen (page 164)

My main problem with this book is Saba. I like strong heroines, but Saba just seem too… bad. I was really frustrated with her because she’s too mean to her little sister, too stubborn and basically too unlikable for me. Aside from those negative traits, I thought she had a determination and always set her eyes on her goal. But apparently, when she’s so close to reaching her goal, she becomes doubtful and I was like: What?? That was the only thing that’s on your mind for the entire book! And now you decide to hesitate?

And there’s Jack, oh Jack, it’s so good to have you here. Jack literally knocks her sense all the time when Saba does something wrong or inappropriate. The side characters are generally okay, but I also got annoyed with Emmi because she’s too stubborn and clumsy. I know that she’s only nine years old but can’t she be a little careful?? I guess Emmi inherits her stubbornness from Saba ._.

Probably the best thing in this book is the tension. The writing did bug me a lot, but whenever there’s a fighting scene or at the climax of the book, the writing did a good job of creating tension.

If you’re looking for a book with amazing and likable main character, I will not recommend this book but I definitely won’t stop you from reading it. If you’re looking for a uniquely-written book with exciting tension, maybe you’ll like Blood Red Road

3 Chocolate Cakes!